Payam Akhavan, a Professor of Law at McGill University, is a renowned international law scholar and former UN prosecutor at The Hague, who has devoted his life to advancing and protecting human rights.
Professor Akhavan received his Doctor of the Science of Jurisprudence (SJD) from Harvard Law School and worked as a Senior Fellow at Yale Law School. He was the first Legal Advisor to the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda at The Hague (1994-2000) and made significant contributions to its foundational jurisprudence. He is also a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the New York State bar and has appeared as counsel and advocate in leading cases before diverse courts such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Supreme Courts of Canada and the United States.
Professor Akhavan also has served in the field with the UN in Bosnia, Croatia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Timor Leste, and Rwanda. In 2016, he was appointed as a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Professor Akhavan has published extensively in leading journals and his work has been featured on leading media, including CBC, BBC, Maclean’s magazine, the New York Times. This year, he has been invited to deliver the CBC Massey Lectures entitled “In Search of a Better World.”
We are pleased to feature Professor Payam Akhavan as our Gala Keynote Speaker, when he will share his unique insights as a human rights lawyer and advocate for improving and seeking justice for vulnerable people.