David Matas

Conference Speakers

Mr. David Matas

Senior Legal Council, B'nai Brith Canada

Education: University of Manitoba Bachelor of Arts 1964; Princeton University Masters of Arts 1965; Oxford University Bachelor of Arts (Jurisprudence) 1967 and Bachelor of Civil Law 1968.

Employment: Law Clerk to the Chief Justice Supreme Court of Canada 1968-69;  special assistant to the Solicitor General of Canada 1971-72; associate of Schwartz, McJannet, Weinberg 1973-79; private practice in refugee, immigration and human rights law 1979-. 

Government appointments: member Canadian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly 1980; Task Force Immigration Practices & Procedures 1980-81; member Canadian delegation to the United Nations Conference on an International Criminal Court 1998; member Canadian Delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust, 2000; Director of the International Centre for Human Rights & Democratic Development which became Rights and Democracy 1997-2003; Canadian delegation to the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe Conferences on Antisemitism Vienna 2003 and  Berlin 2004.

Academic appointments: Lecturer in Constitutional Law, McGill University 1972-73; Lecturer in Introductory Economics, Canadian Economic Problems 1982, International Law 1985, Civil Liberties 1986-88, Immigration & Refugee Law 1989-, University of Manitoba.

Volunteer activities:

Co-chair Canadian Helsinki Watch Group 1985-;

Beyond Borders, founding member and legal counsel,

Amnesty International: Member of the Standing Committee on Mandate of the International Executive Committee, 1993-1999, Legal Co-ordinator Canadian Section (English speaking branch) 1980-; member of the anti-impunity working group 2002-2005;

B'nai Brith Canada: Chair League for Human Rights, 1983-85, Senior Honourary Counsel 1989-, Vice-President 1996-1998;

Canadian Bar Association: member of the Committee on the Constitution 1977-78, chair of the Constitutional & International Law section 1979-82, chair of the Immigration Law section 1996-97.

Canadian Council for Refugees: Chair of the Working Group on Overseas Protection 1989-1991, Member of the international Expert Group on Carrier Sanctions, 1990-91; Chair of the Task Force on Overseas Protection, 1992; President 1991-95.

Books: "Canadian Immigration Law" 1986; "Justice Delayed: Nazi War Criminals in Canada" 1987 with Susan Charendoff; "The Sanctuary Trial" 1989; "Closing the Doors: The Failure of Refugee Protection" 1989 with Ilana Simon; "No More: The Battle Against Human Rights Violations" 1994; co-editor "The Machinery of Death" Amnesty International USA 1995; "Bloody Words: Hate and Free Speech" 2000, "Aftershock: anti-Zionism and antisemitism", 2005.


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