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Irwin Cotler, député

Question au feuilleton – Q-742 (nominations à la Cour suprême)

Posted on 24 novembre 2014 | No Comments

Le professeur a récemment inscrit une question au feuilleton sur le processus qui sera employé pour choisir le prochain juge de la Cour suprême. Voici la question et la réponse du gouvernement:

Questions orales: processus de nomination de la Cour suprême

Posted on 24 novembre 2014 | No Comments

Monsieur le Président, le juge Louis LeBel quittera bientôt ses fonctions à la Cour suprême, mais il semble qu’aucun processus de nomination n’ait été lancé et qu’on n’ait pas annoncé publiquement de méthode de consultation, ni de comité de sélection, ni d’examen parlementaire. Il n’y a ni consultation publique, ni transparence, ni reddition de comptes. Pourtant, en 2004, les membres conservateurs du comité de la justice, dont l’actuel ministre de la Justice, recommendaient qu’il y ait « un examen public d’une courte liste de candidats par un comité parlementaire ».

Le ministre recommande-t-il toujours la tenue d’un examen parlementaire public, responsable et transparent?


What Iran must do to secure a nuclear deal

Posted on 21 novembre 2014 | No Comments

(As published in The Chicago Sun-Times)

It has been almost a year since the start of negotiations between the P5 + 1 countries (USA, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) and Iran over the latter`s nuclear program. However, it appears unlikely that an agreement will be reached by the November 24th deadline. Indeed, the best that can be expected by then, according to at least one Western official, is “the outline of a final deal, but probably not the deal itself”.

There are multiple reasons for this outcome. For one, it is uncertain that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given Iranian negotiators the mandate to make necessary compromises. Iranian officials have made it clear that they want to massively increase the number of centrifuges for uranium enrichment, while the P5 + 1 states want to reduce the 19,000 currently installed to the low thousands. Perhaps one of the most significant factors involved in the apparent failure of the talks is the Iranian push for “a rapid lifting of all sanctions”, which clashes with the American and European position that these be gradually lifted if Iran demonstrates compliance with international agreements. This stands in contrast with the position of the Republican majority in the United States Congress, which is willing to impose even more sanctions, which nuclear experts believe could potentially drive Iran from the negotiating table entirely. The Obama administration, on the other hand, believes that the lifting of sanctions is necessary to convince Iran to end its nuclear ambitions.

Any approach to sanctions, however, must be implemented with a view to achieving Iranian concessions that will have a measurable effect on the regime’s nuclear ambitions, rather than simply creating another “calm environment” for increased nuclear activity. As such, the P5 + 1 must set out the following specific and verifiable conditions:

  1. Iran must abide by and fully implement its obligations under Security Council resolutions and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iranian compliance should not be perceived as a concession for the West to reward, but a requirement to which Iran must conform. Part of Iran’s responsibility as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty is to grant IAEA inspectors immediate and unfettered access to all suspected nuclear sites, which it has failed to uphold by misleading the agency regarding the extent of its nuclear activities. Any future talks require Western negotiators to identify robust IAEA inspections, including unannounced assessments and unfettered remote monitoring of suspected nuclear facilities, as a necessary condition.
  2. Iran must suspend its enrichment of uranium so that it cannot use negotiations to buy time for a nuclear breakthrough. Verifying this suspension requires Iran to transfer its uranium stockpiles to another state’s custody, which would be returned for power generation following proper inspection and monitoring. This also requires Iran to reduce the number and type of centrifuges in its possession, which experts like David Albright believe to be necessary to constrain the weaponization of nuclear materials.
  3. Iran must suspend its heavy water production at its Arak facility, which is a key component for producing the plutonium cores of nuclear weapons. Iran claims that Arak only produces medical isotopes for research, but these can be purchased from international markets or produced by the Tehran reactor. The Iranian regime’s failure to comply with a UN Security Council resolution to end construction at Arak and to provide the IAEA with updated information about the reactor’s design since 2006 is unacceptable.
  4. Iran must fully inform the international community about both its past proliferation activities and its plans to build ten additional uranium enrichment facilities. It is Iran’s responsibility to satisfy IAEA concerns regarding enrichment activities at the Fordow and Natanz facilities, plutonium production at Arak, and laser enrichment at Lashkar Ab’ad. It must also provide a substantive response to the IAEA’s information request on Iran’s planned uranium facilities. In addition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which exposed Iran’s facilities at Natanz and Arak, now says that it has information about a centre for nuclear weaponization research in Tehran that the regime is attempting to shield from detection.

Iran’s past tendency of using negotiations to conceal or deflect attention from its nuclear activities, along with the strong desire of the P5+1 to reach an agreement, make a complete collapse of the talks unlikely. For future negotiations to successfully curtail Iranian nuclear ambitions, however, Western states, and the United States in particular, will need to ensure that Iran takes concrete steps to comply with the non-proliferation treaties to which it is a party.

Irwin Cotler is a Member of the Canadian Parliament, Emeritus Professor of Law at McGill University in Montreal, and the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. He is co-Chair with Senator Mark Kirk of the Inter-Parliamentary Group for Human Rights in Iran and a Member of the Advisory Board of United Against a Nuclear Iran.

Pétition sur le trafic d’organes en Chine

Posted on 19 novembre 2014 | No Comments

Monsieur le Président, je suis heureux de présenter aujourd’hui une pétition au nom de Canadiens qui sont préoccupés au sujet d’une pratique cruelle à laquelle s’adonne […]

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Déclaration sur l’attaque en Jerusalem

Posted on 18 novembre 2014 | No Comments

Monsieur le Président, tôt ce matin, deux Palestiniens munis de couteaux, hachoirs et pistolets ont attaqué une synagogue. Ils ont tué quatre personnes et en ont […]

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Le Canada doit demander à la Chine de rendre compte de la suppression des droits de la personne

Posted on 8 novembre 2014 | No Comments

Le voyage du premier ministre Stephen Harper en Chine porte sur les relations commerciales, les investissements et, plus particulièrement, l’espoir de resserrer les liens économiques avec le […]

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Pétition sur les droits de la personne en Corée du Nord

Posted on 7 novembre 2014 | No Comments

L’hon. Irwin Cotler (Mont-Royal, Lib.): Monsieur le Président, je prends la parole pour présenter une pétition venant de Canadiens préoccupés par les violations des droits de […]

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Déclaration sur la Journée mondiale de la prématurité

Posted on 7 novembre 2014 | No Comments

L’hon. Irwin Cotler (Mont-Royal, Lib.): Monsieur le Président, le 17 novembre aura lieu la Journée mondiale de la prématurité. Cet événement international vise à sensibiliser la […]

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Iran should stand trial for persecution of Baha’i

Posted on 30 octobre 2014 | No Comments

(As published in The Montreal Gazette) In Geneva on Friday, Oct. 31, the United Nations Human Rights Council is conducting its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Iran’s […]

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Les attaques à Ottawa ne nous réduiront pas au silence

Posted on 24 octobre 2014 | No Comments

En 1951, mon père m’a amené visiter pour la première fois la Colline du Parlement. À notre arrivée à l’édifice du Centre, il s’est tourné vers […]

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