Laverne Jacobs, associate dean for research and graduate studies in Windsor Law, has been nominated by the Government of Canada for election to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
An expert in the areas of disability equality and the law, human rights, and administrative law, Dr. Jacobs’s work has been cited by disability organizations, government, law reform agencies, and courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. She is a member of the Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law and co-director of its disability rights working group. She also founded and directs the Law, Disability, and Social Change Project — a research and public advocacy initiative housed at Windsor Law that works to foster and develop inclusive communities.
“It is an absolute honour to be nominated by the Government of Canada as its first candidate for the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” says Jacobs. “As a member of the disability community, I am also excited by the prospect of participating in its work. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a vital international instrument for the implementation and concretization of the rights of people with disabilities around the world. I look forward to contributing to the process and I am truly delighted to receive this nomination.”
Composed of 18 independent experts of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights, the UN committee will aim to fill nine seats at the June 2022 Conference of States Parties to the Convention in New York. If elected, Jacobs will be the first Canadian ever to serve on the committee and her term will be effective January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2026. Before the June 2022 election, she will be involved in an international campaign.
“Dr. Jacobs is a well-respected and recognized legal scholar whose extensive work in the areas of human rights and disability law has made her a strong voice of advocacy, and a highly valued source of expertise by law reform agencies and courts across the country and the world,” said UWindsor president Robert Gordon.
“As founder and director of the University of Windsor’s Law, Disability and Social Change Project — a research and public advocacy initiative that works to foster and develop inclusive communities — Dr. Jacobs inspires all of us to work toward a more inclusive and just society for individuals of all abilities.”
Her nomination and candidacy for election to the UN committee was announced by Carla Qualtrough, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, at the 14th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday morning, followed by a local press conference by Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kuzmiercyzk Thursday afternoon.