By Interim StaffA Canadian Supreme Court justice will now have the whole world as a stage for her brand of radical judicial activism.
On Feb. 25, the General Assembly ratified Secretary General Kofi Annan’s appointment of Justice Louise Arbour as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In June, Arbour will be retiring from the Supreme Court of Canada, to which she was appointed in 1999, to accept a position that was left vacant after the death of Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was killed in a terrorist attack in Baghdad last August.
Arbour’s role as the Human Rights Commissioner will be to police governments worldwide on keeping UN dictates regarding human rights. In the past, the role was played by former Irish president Mary Robinson, who chastised nations for failing to uphold abortion and homosexuality – or in UN terms, failing to protect citizens against discrimination based on “sexual orientation” or “reproductive rights.”
Arbour first made news in Canada as an Ontario Court of Appeal judge, when she published her report on a 1994 riot at the Kingston Prison for Women, which concluded that the female perpetrators of millions of dollars in damage had been “victimized” because they had been strip-searched by male policemen during the riot.
After her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1999, Arbour’s radical feminist and anti-family bias was clearly evidenced in her rulings. Her legacy includes: the legalization of lap-dancing; a ruling in favour of common-law relationships, being in at least one herself; in a 1992 insurance case, ruling that laws should not discriminate against common-law couples as compared to married couples; and, in the recent Canadian Supreme Court decision on the use of spanking by parents as a form of discipline, being the only one among Canada’s nine Supreme Court justices to insist on total criminalization of all spanking.
Arbour’s new position as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is not her first foray into the international arena. In October 1996, she was appointed by the Security Council as chief UN prosecutor against war criminals in the Balkans and Rwanda.
As detailed in a REAL Women report regarding the Supreme Court of Canada, this appointment was made despite the fact that it was both illegal and unconstitutional under Canadian law. The federal Judges Act requires that federal judges may only engage in matters within the legislative authority of Parliament. Then minister of justice, Allan Rock (who, incidentally, was recently appointed Canadian ambassador to the United Nations) arranged to have the act amended – the “Arbour amendment” – to accommodate Arbour’s unprecedented appointment to the UN tribunal. The constitutional implications of this act were simply ignored.
Arbour’s appointment as head of an international human rights body is worrisome to many conservatives at the United Nations. Sam Singson, the UN representative for Campaign Life Coalition, says, “The threat to national sovereignty, and the threat to impose a radical feminist ideology on the world in the name of human rights, is escalated when headed by an individual who is a judicial activist with a globalist view.”
Arbour’s globalist views are well known. Speaking about the controversial proposal to have an international criminal court prosecute what the UN sees as “human rights abuses” (which would include “forced pregnancy”), Arbour insisted that the ICC “would have universal jurisdiction (and) all states would be required to co-operate. It would have coercive powers that would bind states to produce documents and evidence (and) it would be armed with the ability to get evidence it needs.”
In a March 1998 speech, Arbour urged Canada to press even more vigorously for a powerful and independent ICC, instead of the “weak and impotent” model advocated by the U.S. “The only cure is to give it more powers,” she maintained.Many social conservatives in Canada are happy to see Arbour leave the Canadian Supreme Court. Appointed as a justice in 1999 at the age of 52, she would have continued to impose her views on Canadians until the year 2022. However, while her new international position might seem like a benefit to Canadians, Arbour is now empowered to unleash her feminist, anti-family view on the world. With files from LifeSite