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Honorary President

Claire L’Heureux-Dubé

Lawyers Without Borders Canada’s Honorary President
Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

Biography of Claire L'Heureux-Dubé

The Honourable Madam Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé has been the honorary president of the board of directors for Lawyers Without Borders Canada for the past four years. Ms L’Heureux-Dubé is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest court of the country.

Born in Québec City in 1927, she received her law degree from the Université Laval in 1952 and started practicing as a lawyer the same year with the firm Bard, L’Heureux, Philippon, Garneau, Tourigny & St-Arnaud. In 1973, she became an appointed judge of the Superior Court of Québec as well as being appointed commissioner to the Royal Commission of Inquiries into certain matters relating to the Department of Manpower and Immigration between the years of 1973 and 1976. In 1979, she was then appointed to the Québec Court of Appeal and in 1987 became the first woman of Quebec and second woman ever to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Ms L’Heureux-Dubé is a woman of great heart and commitment and an immeasurable asset to the international human rights cause. She has worked tirelessly for the defence and promotion of human rights not only through her work on the bench but also through her countless contributions outside the courts, notably as president of the International Commission of Jurists from 1999 to 2003; as a member of several committees and organizations including the Advisory Council to the Canadian Human Rights Commission; the Advisory Council to the Privacy Commissioner; and the International Federation of Women Lawyers. She is also a prolific academic who has contributed a great body of work in the human rights field from conference presentations to published articles. In addition to the numerous awards, honours and honorific doctorates which she has merited over the years, Ms L’Heureux-Dubé was also appointed Companion of the Order of Canada and Grand Officer of the National Order of Québec.

As indicated by her appointment to the National Order of Québec, Ms L'Heureux-Dubé has worked for the promotion of the fundamental values of equality, universality and access to justice. She has led the way for many others who share her profoundly humanistic vision of social reality and has contributed to the evolution of law in Québec, Canada and throughout the world. She has become a prominent figure in the fight for human rights through her efforts to abolish social inequalities, recognize the rights of minorities, and to advance family law and the rights of women. Her dissenting opinions, in particular at the Supreme Court level, have been highly influential and have led to a number of judicial reforms.


Board of Directors

Miguel Baz

President of the Board of Directors
President of the Executive Committee

Assistant General Counsel, Bell Canada

Biography of Miguel Baz

Born in Uruguay in 1971, Miguel Baz obtained his bachelors degree in law from the Université Laval and his masters in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has been a member of the Québec Bar since 1993.

His professional experience is diverse; after practicing a couple of years in Québec City with the firm Tremblay, Bois and Mignault, he joined the legal department of Hydro-Québec in 1998, where he practiced transactional and commercial law. From 1998 to 2001, he advised the public entity and its subsidiary, Hydro-Québec International, on various international transactions in the energy sector, in particular transactions in Peru, Panama, Chile, Senegal and Guinea.

In 2001, he joined the legal department of Bell Canada, in its mergers and acquisitions group. He has been involved in a number of transactions, including the attempted privatization of BCE Inc.; the sale of Bell Canada's directory business to the Yellow Pages Group; the creation of the Bell Aliant income trust; the creation of the Bell Nordiq income trust; the first income trust structure in the telecommunications sector; and numerous M&A transactions and acquisitions for private and public entities.

Since 2007, Miguel Baz has headed the commercial and IT law group for Bell Canada in the Quebec region. As director of this group, he is responsible for the commercial-legal activities of Bell Canada in Québec, providing advice mainly to the commercial markets group on a variety of commercial transactions.

Having been involved with a number of charitable organizations since the beginning of his career, he now heads the board of directors and executive committee for Lawyers Without Borders Canada. Since June 2010, he has been the president of the board of directors for this organization.


Iris Almeida-Côté

LWBC Treasurer
President, INNOVA CONNECT inc.

Biography of Iris Almeida-Côté

Iris Almeida-Côté has for 30 years, occupied senior management positions in governmental and non-governmental organizations in the fields of education, strengthening democratic institutions, promotion of the rule of law and good governance.

Iris Almeida-Côté is President at INNOVA Connect Inc, a company she created in March 2012. INNOVA offers specialised services to organisations and senior executives in personal branding and strategic communications, entrepreneurship and preparation of entrepreneurial succession and financial risk management.

Iris was an active member of the TRIGONE Group Inc., where she served as Chief Executive Officer, Montreal and International from April 2012 to February 2013. From June 2009 to March 2012, she served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada World Youth. Iris Almeida-Côté was President and Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Pension & Benefits Institute from 2006 to 2009, Director of Policies and Programs at the Parliamentary Centre for Rights and Democracy from 1991 to 2006, and Head of Programs at Partnership Africa Canada from 1988 to 1991. On an international level, she was Assistant Secretary General of CIDSE (Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité) in Brussels from 1986 to 1988, and President of the International Movement of University Students in Paris from 1982 to 1986.

Iris Almeida-Côté holds a Master's Degree in International Law from the Université du Québec à Montréal (2001) as well as a Master's Degree in Sociology from the University of Bombay (1982). She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Saint-Justine Hospital and Chair of the Financial Audit Committee. She is Treasurer on the Board of Directors of Lawyers without Borders, member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society of Association Executives, member of the Conseil interculturel of the City of Montreal and member of the Orientation Committee of the Institut d'études internationales de Montréal at UQAM. She served as President of the jury of the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, member of the jury of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s Impact Awards, and member of the jury of the Toyota Earth prize.


Jean-François Bonin

Member of the LWBC Executive Committee
Legal counsel, The Office Francophonie, Justice in Official Languages and Legal Dualism, Department of Justice Canada

Biography of Jean-François Bonin

Jean François Bonin currently holds the position of Legal Counsel for the Office Francophonie, Justice in Official Languages and Legal Dualism, Department of Justice Canada. He handles the Canadian legal and judicial cooperation policies for the international francophone region.

Mr Bonin started as a legal aid lawyer, and then began to work in areas involving Canada and European Union relations. He then commenced work in Ottawa acting as legal counsel for various cases focusing mainly on human rights, international trade and cultural diversity. While working at the International Organization of La Francophonie from 1996 to 1998, he managed the technical support program for developing countries on legal and electoral issues.

Mr Bonin has published a number of legal articles in various specialized journals as well as contributing to a book entitled ‘Les Conventions de Vienne sur le droit des traits’ (The Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties), published by Bruylant in 2006. He has taught as a lecturer at the Law Faculty of the University of Ottawa and at the National School for Public Administration.

Jean-François Bonin has held the position of president of the Outaouais Bar between 2005 and 2006 and currently oversees a workgroup studying the international relations policies of the Québec Bar.

A member of the Québec Bar since 1979, Bonin graduated from the Law Faculty of the University of Sherbrooke. He holds a certificate in Advanced European Studies from the Collège d’Europe and a masters in law from Vrije Universteit, Brussels.


Pierre Brun

Member of the LWBC Executive Committee
Lawyer, Melançon, Marceau, Grenier & Scortino

Biography of Pierre Brun

Pierre Brun completed his legal studies at the University Laval and holds a masters degree from the University of Montréal on environmental law. He has a great deal of experience in labour and administrative law as well as specializing in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms and in particular, issues regarding freedom of association and the right to equality.

A co-founder of Lawyers Without Borders Canada, Mr Brun has participated in numerous missions in Africa and is a member of the board of directors.

Mr Brun has been co-author for many years of Alter Ego chartes des droits de la personne (Charter of human rights), an annual publication by Wilson & Lafleur. He has also published numerous academic articles and has presented at a number of conferences in relation to human rights.


Luc Côté

Lawyer, senior advisor in international law

Biography of Luc Côté

Born in Montréal, Luc Côté has practiced criminal law for more than 25 years. Since 1994, he has focused on international criminal law; first in Rwanda where he lived for five years, investigating the genocide with the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights; and then with the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

In 2001 he completed his graduate studies in international law at the Graduate Institute of Development and International Studies in Geneva. He worked as legal counsel at the Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Program of the federal Department of Justice in Ottawa before being appointed prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2002, a position which he occupied for three years until 2006. Thereafter, he was appointed executive director of the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor-Leste, put in place by the United Nations.

Today, Luc Côté is a consultant for the United Nations and the International Center for Transitional Justice. He works on transitional justice issues in Haiti, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Libya. In 2010, he was awarded the title Advocatus emeritus by the Quebec Bar.


Fannie Lafontaine

Member of the LWBC Executive Committee
Professor, Law Faculty of the Université Laval, Québec

Biography of Fannie Lafontaine

Fannie Lafontaine is a lawyer, professor at the Law Faculty of the Université Laval and member of the Quebec Institute of International Studies.

Before joining Université Laval, Lafontaine held the position of adviser and specialist in human rights with the executive committee of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva and was assistant to the president and specialist in human rights with the International Commission for Inquiry on Darfour. She has been a lawyer with the Centre for Global Justice (Justiça Global) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; a clerk for Justice Louise Arbour at the Supreme Court of Canada; and a litigation lawyer with the firm McCarthy Tétrault in Montréal.

She graduated with honours from the University of Cambridge in 2004 and the Université Laval in 1999. She has been published primarily in the fields of international criminal law and human rights. She has been a member of the Québec Bar since 2000 and a member of the editorial committee of the Journal of International Criminal Justice.


Madeleine Lemieux

Lawyer, Paradis, Lemieux, Francis Law Firm

Biography of Madeleine Lemieux

Madeleine Lemieux holds a law degree from the Université Laval (1973) and a master degree in law from the Université de Montréal. Called to the Bar in 1974, she practices primarily in the field of administrative law, agricultural law, labour law and municipal law with the firm Paradis Lemieux Francis in Bedford.

Lemieux acted as counsel for public, municipal and governmental institutions. She is an accredited mediator in civil and commercial law as well as an arbiter. She has presided over the workgroup created by the Québec Department of Justice on reforming the compensation regime for victims of crime.

Lemieux has led a number of training sessions for members of administrative tribunals at the Ministère du conseil executive (Ministry of the Executive Council); at the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals; at the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice and at the Conférence des juges administratifs du Québec (Conference of Administrative Law Judges Quebec). She teaches courses on ethics, deontology and administrative law at the l’École de formation professionnelle du Barreau (Bar Admission School).

She is the author of the book "Tribunaux administratifs du Québec - Règles et législation annotées" (Administrative tribunals in Quebec - Rules and Legislation Annotated) published in 2002. Lemieux is also very active within the Québec Bar Association. She was notably a member of the disciplinary board of the Québec Bar. She has presided over the Comité du Fonds d'indemnisation of the Québec Bar (Committee of the Quebec Bar Compensation Fund) and was a member of the Comité d'accès à la profession (Admission Committee). She was a member of the Comité sur la formation continue (Committee on Continuing Education) and of the Comité sur la révision du code de déontologie (Committee on the Revision of the Code of Ethics).

Between 2005 and 2006 she held the position of the President of the Québec Bar and was also president of the Conseil des services essentiels (Essential Services Council) for a number of years.

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