In March 2016, the University of Ottawa received a visit from the Chief Justice of the State of Mexico requesting the Faculty of Law to support the development and interpretation of international human rights standards into domestic law within the framework of this incredible and new penal procedural reform that was being experienced by the whole of Latin America and consequently his country, Mexico. As of July 2016, Mexico was due to have a uniform criminal code of procedure that would give basic rights to the accused and victims and he had to act promptly.
This is the genesis of the project to train Mexican judges in the field of international human rights standards. An alliance with the National Judicial Institute of Canada, Global Affairs Canada, the judiciary in Mexico, and the University of Ottawa. The latter then set up a team composed mainly of members of the University of Ottawa's Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC). This team acted as a leader in developing a curriculum on human rights, international standards and criminal procedure. Under the leadership of the Common Law faculty deanship, the University of Ottawa undertook to work with eight Mexican judge trainers and develop a curriculum on criminal procedure and human rights. Under the coordination of Pierre Gilles Bélanger, part-time professor, doctoral student, and member of the HRREC, a “hybrid” curriculum was developed around a virtual platform. This platform, in turn, was developed under the leadership of Nelson Arturo Ovalle Diaz, Ph.D., part-time professor and member of the HRREC.
The other main actors of these training sessions were:
Salvador Herencia, member of the HRREC and Director of its Human Rights Clinic, responsible for developing best practices on human rights standards in the inter-American system.
Debbie Johnston, member of the HRREC, who developed the section on criminal procedure and certain vulnerable groups.
Lucie Lamarche, professor at UQAM and member of the HRREC.
A number of experts and faculty have joined the university groups, and we are really proud to have built a multidisciplinary team and to offer all our courses in Spanish.
The University of Ottawa has been in the headlines in Mexico many times during the last two years, and we can take pride in its presence on the international scene and its international influence.
The online course, "DERECHOS HUMANOS PARA JUECES" is already on the Web and is available to Mexican judges,