Canadian Louise Arbour, an international figure in the world of human rights, was awarded the leadership award at Egale’s Speak Easy gala at the Ritz Carlton on Sept 23.
Arbour was given a standing ovation even though she wasn’t at the event. The former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who served from 2004 to 2008, could not attend because of a previous commitment. Supreme Court of Canada Justice Louise Charron accepted the award in her place.
Arbour served as a Supreme Court justice from 1999 to 2004. In that time, she ruled with the majority in Chamberlain v Surrey School District, which decided that a local school board could not impose religious values by refusing to allow books that promote tolerance of same-sex relationships.
Arbour is also the former Justice for the Court of Appeal for Ontario and a former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Since July 2009, she has served as president and CEO of the International Crisis Group, an independent non-profit organization committed to preventing and resolving conflict.