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Human Rights Award

The Human Rights Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights and/or the promotion of the rule of law provincially, nationally or internationally. The award will be granted for devotion to the advancement of human rights and the rule of law over a long term or for a single outstanding act of service. Unless there are reasons to proceed otherwise, the award will be granted to one individual every two years.

Call for nominations deadline: December 31, 2020

Award criteria to be met by recipient 

The criteria for the award are as follows:

  1. Must demonstrate an outstanding contribution to human rights and/or the promotion of the rule of law where the service is in accordance with the highest ideals of the legal profession; and
  2. Must not have received the award previously.

The award, in consultation with the proposed recipient's family/next of kin, may be granted posthumously.

Nomination process

Filing a Nomination

To file a nomination, the Nominator completes the online nomination formOnly one online form is required per nomination. If you are a supporter of a nomination, you do not have to fill out the online nomination form.  

The nominator must file a nomination package that includes the following:

  • A letter of nomination setting out the reasons for the nomination and background information on the nominee's outstanding service and achievements as they relate to the award,
  • A current curriculum vitae, and
  • Letters of support from other members of the Law Society or the public supporting the nomination.

We encourage the Nominator to file the nomination together with letters of support as one package. You can file your nomination using the online form, email or by regular mail.

To File Online

To file online, the Nominator follows the instructions to fill out the online nomination form. All supporting documents are uploaded onto the form.

To File by Email

To file by email, the Nominator completes the online nomination form. The letter of nomination and letters of support are sent by email to

Please indicate Human Rights Award and the name of the candidate being nominated in your subject line. 

The letter of nomination, letters of support and other accompanying material submitted by email should be in PDF format.

To File by Regular Mail

To file by regular mail, the Nominator completes the online nomination form. The nomination package is sent by mail to this address: 

Human Rights Award Selection Committee 
c/o Jason Pichelli
Law Society of Ontario 
130 Queen Street West 
Toronto, ON  M5H 2N6

Selection Committee 

The award recipient will be selected by Convocation of the Law Society of Ontario. 

Recognition of Recipient

The award will be presented at a Law Society of Ontario Rule of Law event.

Past Recipients

Hon. Irwin Cotler, PC, OC, 2014
Dr. Cindy Blackstock and Waleed Abu al-Khair, 2016
Dr. Fiona Sampson, 2018
Professor Payam Akhavan, 2021

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