Sunday, February 10, 2008

On February 10, ...

... 1947, Louise Arbour (right) was born in Montréal, Canada. A professor at the Osgood Hall Law School, York University in Toronto, Canada, beginning in 1970, she became a judge in 1987, serving 1st at the Supreme Court of Ontario (High Court of Justice) and then at the Court of Appeal for Ontario. In 1996, the U.N. Security Council appointed her Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda; she resigned 3 years later to join Canada's Supreme Court. Since 2004 she has been U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Arbour made news Friday when she stated that "[t]he controversial interrogation technique known as waterboarding and used by the United States qualifies as torture." Referring to the international arrest warrant issued in 1998 against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, Arbour added that "[v]iolators of the U.N. Convention against Torture should be prosecuted under the principle of 'universal jurisdiction' which allows countries to try accused war criminals from other nations:

'There are several precedents worldwide of states exercising their universal jurisdiction ... to enforce the torture convention and we can only hope that we will see more and more of these avenues of redress.'

... 1952, the Congress Party won victory in India's 1st general election, a result that made its leader, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister.

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