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Source: McGill University

McGill marks UN Day with new International Law Chair

October 18, 2006

McGill University is
pleased to announce the creation of the Hans and Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in
Public International Law, endowed by the generous support of Tamar
Oppenheimer, OC, BA'46 (McGill), MA'53 (public international law, Columbia
University), LLD'94 (McGill), who was the first Canadian woman to have been
appointed Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Secretariat.

"Dr. Oppenheimer rightly sees the establishment of this chair at McGill as a
gift to Canada," said Dean Nicholas Kasirer. "We see it as a bold call to
action for universities to place the issue of the relationship between
international law and domestic law at the centre of Canadian legal
education. Her own career stands as a model for McGill students," he
continued, "and I see her gift as a commitment to emphasizing international
law that will strengthen McGill immeasurably."

On United Nations Day, October 24, at 11:30 am, an exhibit highlighting
McGill's distinguished and lasting contributions to international law and
diplomacy will be held in the Nahum Gelber Law Library at the McGill Faculty
of Law (3660 Peel St.) to coincide with the announcement of the Oppenheimer
Chair. Prof. John Peters Humphrey's 1947 draft of the UN's Universal
Declaration of Human Rights will be on display, as well as various documents
authored by Dr. Oppenheimer, who spent over 40 years with the UN. Her varied
career included assignments as Secretary-General of the 1987 International
Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Director of the Division
of Narcotic Drugs and Deputy to the Director General of the UN office in
Vienna, where she now lives.

The Oppenheimer chair holder will emphasize the importance of international
norms in national law and bring the work of multilateral organizations as
well as the ancillary role of non-governmental organizations to the
attention of law students and others who come to international law from
different disciplines. Dr. Oppenheimer has established this Chair with the
objective of furthering the implementation of international legal
instruments and their incorporation into domestic legislation, as well as
encouraging law students to undertake careers in the international, national
and provincial civil service. By providing an opportunity to study matters
relating to the implementation of international law in national rules and
administrative practices, the Chair will help students acquire the skills
that civil servants working with international legal issues need, whether
they embark on careers in Canada or elsewhere.

The Faculty of Law at McGill, which draws its undergraduate and graduate
students from across the country and around the world, is an ideal setting
for the study of public international law, given its comparative and
international orientation. The Faculty has long been instrumental in shaping
international law and in inspiring future diplomats and international public
servants. The Oppenheimer Chair will be part of a rich tradition in teaching
and research in this field dating back to the first international law
courses taught at McGill in the 1850s. Teachers and scholars such as Percy
Corbett, BA'13, MA'15, DCL'61, Herbert Arthur Smith, Eugène Lafleur, BA
1877, BCL 1880, DCL 1900, LLD'21, John Cobb Cooper, LLM'52, John Humphrey,
BCom'25, BA'27, BCL'29, PhD'45, LLD'76, Maxwell Cohen, LLD'94, Peter
Leuprecht and Stephen Toope, BCL, LLB'83, have taught international law at
McGill. Graduates include former ambassadors Herbert Marler, BA'95, BCL'98,
Arnold Heeney, BCL'29, LLD'61, and Yves Fortier, BCL'58, LLD'05, as well as
international civil servants such as Donald Johnston, BCL'58, LLD'04, former
Secretary-General of the OECD. In 2005, Louise Fréchette, former Deputy
Secretary General of the United Nations, received an honorary degree at the
convocation of the Faculty of Law.

Established in 1848, the Faculty of Law at McGill University reflects a
central commitment to its vocation of teaching and conducting research in
comparative law, legal traditions and in respect of the internationalization
of law. The Oppenheimer Chair will stimulate research and teaching in Public
International Law, a foundational aspect of legal education at McGill.

Lisa Van Dusen
McGill University Relations



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