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Justice Louise Arbour takes up her office.

Press Release · Communiqué de presse

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)


The Hague, 30 September 1996


As of Tuesday 1 October 1996, Canadian appellate Judge Louise Arbour successes to Justice Richard Goldstone (South-Africa) as Prosecutor of both the International Criminal Tribunals, for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and for Rwanda (ICTR).

Justice Richard Goldstone has been Prosecutor of the ICTY since 15 August 1994 and of the ICTR since 9 November 1994. He returns to South-Africa where he will sit as a member of the Constitutional Court.


Appointed on 29 February 1996 by the United Nations Security Council (Resolution 1047), Justice Arbour was born in Montreal on 10 February 1947. Fluently bi-lingual, she brings to both Tribunals a wealth of relevant experience as a criminal lawyer. Admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1971 and the Bar of Ontario in 1977, she served for 13 years as Associate Professor of Law and later
Associate Dean at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University (criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, droit civil) and became a member of the bench in December 1987, first as a trial judge on the Supreme Court of Ontario and, in 1990, at the Ontario Court of Appeal.

In April 1995, she was chosen to lead an official investigation into the operation of the correctional service of Canada, based on allegations by female inmates at a women's prison in Kingston (Ontario).

Until her appointment to the bench, she served as vice-president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Additionally, she is a life member of L'Association des Juristes d'Expression Française de l'Ontario.

Throughout her career, Justice Arbour has published extensively, in both English and French, in the fields of criminal procedure, human rights, civil liberties and gender issues. In addition, she has performed editorial work on behalf of the Criminal Reports, the Canadian Rights Reporter, the Osgoode Hall Law Journal and La Revue Génerale de Droit, and has been a guest speaker at
many conferences and presentations throughout Canada, the USA and elsewhere.

She was honoured with a Doctorate of Laws (Honoris Causa) by York University in 1995; the same year she also received the University Medal from the University of Montreal.