Symposium on the Role of the Judiciary Honours Former Israeli Supreme Court President

Publication Date

Fall 15-9-2016

Document Type



Prominent judges, lawyers and scholars from Canada and Israel will explore the role of the judiciary in the 21st century at a symposium on September 26 and 27, 2016 in honour of Dr. Asher D. Grunis, former President (Chief Justice) of the Supreme Court of Israel.

Hosted by Osgoode Hall Law School and the Centre for Public Policy and Law at York University, Institutions, Constitutions: The Judiciary's Role in the 21st Century will examine comparative constitutional ideas and the role of the courts in advancing constitutional values in Canada and Israel.

The symposium will also recognize the many contributions of Grunis, a 1977 Osgoode DJur graduate who has had a distinguished career as a law professor, practising lawyer and judge. He served as President of the Supreme Court of Israel from February 2012 until January 2015 when he reached mandatory retirement age.

“We are delighted to welcome back an Osgoode alumnus who, as the 10th president of the Israeli Supreme Court, served to safeguard the democratic values of Israel,” said Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin. “This symposium honours Dr. Grunis for his unwavering commitment to law and justice and a lifetime of service to society.”

Among the notables who will be participating in the symposium are Aharon Barak, former President of the Israeli Supreme Court; Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada; Chief Justice George Strathy of the Ontario Court of Appeal; and Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. In addition, academics from about a dozen universities in Canada and Israel will take part in the event.

The symposium, which is being held at Osgoode Professional Development Centre, 26th floor, 1 Dundas Street West, Toronto, will begin on Monday, September 26 at 2:15 p.m. with welcoming remarks followed by panel discussions on “Efficiency and Justice” and the “Institutional Role in Protecting Human Rights.” A cocktail reception will follow at 6:15 p.m. at which Cotler will deliver a keynote address in honour of Grunis.

The second day will feature sessions on the “Institutional Role in Appointing Judges,” “Multiculturalism and Minority’s Rights” and “The Judicial Role.”

For a detailed agenda, please visit http://ycppl.info.yorku.ca/agenda/. Please note that the registration fee is waived for members of the media.

York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 26 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 295,000 alumni.

Media Contact: Virginia Corner, Communications Manager, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 416-736-5820, vcorner@osgoode.yorku.ca