This profile was prepared when Jayne Stoyles was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Jayne is creating the first organization in Canada with the mandate of mobilizing civil society to ensure that people living in Canada accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and torture are brought to justice and their victims recognized, supported, and compensated, through both international and domestic mechanisms. Jayne’s goal is for her efforts in Canada to be replicated in other countries, ultimately leading to a world where human rights criminals have no place to hide. The Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ), or Centre Canadien pour la Justice Internationale (CCJI), is building both national and international networks to help bring cases forward that have a Canadian connection. This involves putting pressure on the Government of Canada to provide sufficient funding to the federal War Crimes Program (WCP) for domestic prosecutions, and guaranteeing that the WCP is regularly considering the most appropriate international and domestic remedy when war criminals are present in Canada. The CCIJ/CCJI will also undertake investigations with the support of contacts in the affected countries, after which point it will provide evidence to the WCP for a criminal case, or will draw in Canadian lawyers working on a pro bono basis to bring a case for compensation through civil courts. The CCIJ/CCJI also provides education and training for legal professionals, civil society groups, and the general public in Canada about impunity as a critical human rights issue; serves as a resource centre for anti-impunity initiatives launched across the country, including access to Canadian and international jurisprudence and information regarding Canadian law, policy, and practice; and provides support for legal reform efforts. One of its current reform efforts is to change Canada’s state immunity law so that cases such as that of Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photo journalist tortured and killed in an Iranian prison, can be tried in a Canadian court, and compensation given to her family from the Iranian officials responsible.