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The Vance Center benefits from the wisdom of many legal practitioners and scholars worldwide. The International Council provides cutting edge guidance and unparalleled contacts throughout the legal profession, the United Nations and other international systems, and academia. We are enormously grateful for the service of these world-class experts.

Hon. Louise Arbor



Former President & CEO of the International Crisis Group (2009 – present)

From 2004 to 2008, Ms. Arbour served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She previously served for five years on the Supreme Court of Canada.

In 1996, the UN Security Council appointed Ms. Arbour as Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, where she served for three years.

Ms. Arbour was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario in 1987, and in 1990 to the Court of Appeal for Ontario. In 1995, as commissioner of an inquiry into the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario, she produced a report that accelerated the move towards modern institutions specifically designed to meet the security and programming needs of women inmates.

In 2009, Ms. Arbour became a member of the Advisory Board for the 2011 World Bank Development Report: ‘Conflict, Security and Development; in 2010, she joined the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security; and in April 2011, became a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

The International Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.

Hon. Hans Corell

hcorellUnder-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations (1994 – 2004)

From 1962 to 1972, Hans Corell served in the Swedish judiciary. In 1972, he joined the Ministry of Justice where he became Director of the Division for Administrative and Constitutional Law in 1979. In 1981, he was appointed Chief Legal Officer of the Ministry. He was Ambassador and Under-Secretary for Legal and Consular Affairs in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs from 1984 to 1994.

Since his retirement from public service in 2004, Ambassador Corell has been engaged with many different organiza tions in the legal field: the International Bar Association, the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University and the Hague Institute for the Internalisation of Law. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University, Sweden.


Hon. Richard J. Goldstone

rgoldstoneFormer Justice South Africa Constitutional Court (1994-2003)

From 1994 to 1996, Judge Goldstone served as the chief prosecutor of the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

From 1999 to 2001, he was the chairperson of the International Independent Inquiry on Kosovo. In 2004, the secretary-general of the United Nations appointed Goldstone to the independent committee to investigate the Iraqi oil-for-food programme (the Volcker Committee). In 2009 he led the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on Gaza. From 1995 to 2007, he served as the Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand. He chairs the advisory boards of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation, the International Center for Transitional Justice, and the Brandeis University Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. He is a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Hon. Juan E. Mendez

jmendezFormer UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (From November 2010)

Professor Méndez is a Visiting Professor of Law at the American University – Washington College of Law and the author (with Marjory Wentworth) of Taking a Stand: The Evolution of Human Rights (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011). In 2009 and 2010 he was an advisor on crime prevention to the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court. He is also Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association.

Until May 2009 he was the President of the International Center for Transnational Justice (ICTJ) and in the summer of 2009 he was a Scholar-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation in New York.  Concurrent with his duties at ICTJ, Professor Méndez served as Special Advisor to the Honorable Kofi Annan on the Prevention of Genocide, a task he performed from 2004 to 2007.