Errol P. Mendes
Professor Mendes is a lawyer, author, professor and has been an advisor to corporations, governments, civil society groups and the United Nations. His teaching, research and consulting interests include corporate law and governance, labour standards, diversity and ethics in the workplace, global governance, international business and trade law, constitutional law, international law (including anti-terrorism laws and policies) and human rights law and policy. He has been a Project Leader for conflict resolution, governance and justice projects in China, Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, El Salvador, Sri Lanka and India.

Professor Mendes is a frequent speaker and media commentator on corporate governance, international trade, business and government ethics, constitutional and human rights topics across Canada and the world and has lectured on these topics in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. He has been invited to present numerous briefs to the Parliament of Canada and has acted as an advisor to the government of Canada in these areas. He has also advised several of Canada’s largest corporations in the area of corporate governance, ethics and compliance.

In 2010, he was appointed Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission to assist the new mandate of the Commission focused on combating systemic discrimination in the Province of Ontario.

Professor Mendes has also been an advisor to several of Canada's largest corporations and worked with leading private sector companies and associations to establish an International Code of Ethics for Canadian Businesses, which was endorsed by former Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy on September 15, 1997. In 1999, in recognition of his work on business ethics in Canada, the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nation invited Professor Mendes to be an advisor on the Global Compact initiative of the Secretary General. Professor Mendes assisted in the development of the Global Compact.

Professor Mendes has taught, researched, consulted and published extensively in the area of Global Governance, International Business Law and Ethics, Constitutional Law and Human Rights Law.

He is Editor-in-Chief of Canada’s leading constitutional law journal, “The National Journal of Constitutional Law”. He is the author or co-editor of five books, including the landmark constitutional law text, co-edited with Senator G. Beaudoin, The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 3rd Edition, Carswell, 1996 and the internationally recognized texts, Towards a Fair Global Labour market: Avoiding the New Slave Trade, Routledge, New York and London, 1999, (co-authored); Democratic Policing and Accountability: Global Perspectives, Ashgate, U.K., (co-edited); Between Crime and War, Terrorism, Democracy and the Constitution, Carswell, Toronto, 2003 (co-edited); Global Governance, Economy and Law, Routledge, New York and London, 2003.

Professor Mendes lead a 16-year (1993-2009) CIDA funded project on human rights in China in partnership with Beijing University, the leading academic institution in China. The project produced three landmark books co-edited by Professor Mendes (in both English and Mandarin) on human rights that included contributions from leading Chinese and Canadian intellectuals and practitioners: Human Rights, Chinese and Canadian Perspectives (1993); Bridging the Global Divide on Human Rights, A China-Canada Dialogue (2004) and Confronting Discrimination and Inequality in China, Chinese and Canadian Perspectives (2009.)

Since 1979, Professor Mendes has taught at law faculties across the country, including the University of Alberta, Edmonton from 1979 to 1984, the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario from 1984 to 1992 and the University of Ottawa from 1992 to present. He was a visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law, McGill University and the Université de Montréal in 1992.

He was appointed in 1995 to a two-year term as a member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Panel. He was re-appointed in 1997. He also has extensive experience as a Human Rights Adjudicator under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Professor Mendes is also an experienced international commercial arbitrator and a member of the Canadian Panel of Arbitrators under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Court of Arbitration. He has acted both as a sole International Commercial Arbitrator and as a member of International Commercial Arbitration Tribunals.
Professor Mendes was appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada as a Senior Advisor in the Privy Council Office of the Government of Canada during the academic year 2005-2006. In that position he advised the Clerk of the Privy Council on a range of issues including national security, diversity, national unity, foreign policy and corporate social responsibility.

In 2006, he was awarded the Walter S. Tarnopolsky Human Rights Award by the Canadian Section of the International Commission of Jurists and the Canadian Bar Association for his human rights work in Canada and across the world.

In 2009, he was a Visiting Professional at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, attached to the Office of the Prosecutor. In his advocacy and support of the Court, he has supported the work and advocacy of the World Federalist Movement which was one of the major global civil society groups that were key to the establishment of the first permanent global court with jurisdiction over the most serious international crimes. His book on the Court titled Peace and Justice at the International Criminal Court, A Court of Last Resort has been published in the fall of 2010, in Europe and North America by Edward Elgar Publishers Inc. The softcover version of the book was published in June of 2011.

Born in Kenya, East Africa, Professor Mendes obtained his Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Exeter, England, where he ranked first in his graduating class. He obtained his Master of Laws degree from the University of Illinois in the United States. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1986.

Entries by Errol P. Mendes

Ukraine Is Another Example of a Dangerous World of Clashing Hegemons

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 5:12 PM

When the history of the early decades of the 21st Century is written, it may well be called the era of multiple clashing hegemons. The most recent global crisis triggered by President Putin's decision to militarily invade the Ukrainian region of Crimea, on the flimsy pretext of protecting Russian interests,...

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Western Business Must Walk the Talk in Myanmar

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 12:29 PM

Many people in Myanmar commemorated the 25th anniversary this September of one of the bloodiest crackdowns in the country's history that began earlier in August of 1988 and resulted in more than 3,000 dead by the September of that year. Many were students and Buddhist monks.


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With Syria, the US and Britain Are Trapped in the Past

(3) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 6:19 PM

William Faulkner's most brilliant insight was his quip that "The past is never dead, it is not even past." It is the past that is now befuddling the most strategic thinkers in President Obama's administration as well as the bevy of deep thinkers at Harvard and other universities and think...

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The Cost of Non-Intervention in Syria

(6) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 12:17 PM

Even while President Obama and John Kerry assert that the death toll of innocent civilians in the chemical attacks by the Assad government in the suburb of Damascus has reached 1,429, there is the possibility of a larger terrifying scene that could spread to the entire region -- and possibly...

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Short Termism and the Danger to the Canadian Economy and Companies

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 11:05 AM

There is a concept, called short-termism, which could devastate finances in the future, and has in the past devastated the millions who rely on their paycheques or pensions in the corporate world. The implosion of some of the largest companies in the world such as Enron and WorldCom in 2002...

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Should The Next Liberal Leader Follow Obama's Lead?

(1) Comments | Posted January 25, 2013 | 9:58 AM

President Obama made his second inaugural address a call to arms for a populist liberalism that gave no ground to his opponents in the far right conservative forces. With his oratorical skills he turned the promise of the Declaration of Independence of equality, life, liberty and pursuit of...

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The Most Undemocratic Moments of 2012

(16) Comments | Posted December 26, 2012 | 10:06 AM

Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher argued that "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." As 2012 ends, what do we in Canada understood as enduring truths that can we take into living forward in 2013? On the home front, we should have understood that democracy...

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Don't Let Extremists Speak For You

(1) Comments | Posted September 19, 2012 | 4:26 PM

The hate-mongering film produced by an extremist anti-Muslim individual in the U.S. who is also a convicted criminal has triggered hate-filled Muslim extremists engaging in anti-U.S. violence. Among the tragic victims so far as four dead U.S. diplomats, including the Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and...

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Harper Shrugs Off Charter Celebrations

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2012 | 11:46 AM

Can a single constitutional document change the evolution of a society? I would argue that happened with the Canadian people when the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was signed on April 17, 1982 by the Queen on Parliament Hill. On April 17, 2012, we should all be celebrating the...

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What Do Climate Change and the Titanic Have in Common?

(1) Comments | Posted April 11, 2012 | 8:24 AM

The world is on a collision course with climate change. We need real leadership to steer the ship away from catastrophe.

This week -- April 14, 2012 -- will mark the 100-year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The lost souls that went down with the ship should...

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Harper Shuts Out Committees on Crime

(4) Comments | Posted February 2, 2012 | 2:20 PM

Canadians may be sleepwalking while the seat of their country's democracy is being slowly choked. Canada barely has a properly functioning Parliament due to the anti-democratic instincts of the Harper Conservatives. The techniques being used, in a historically unprecedented way, have included not only proroguing Parliament in the 2008-2009 period,...

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Canadian Economy Ain't So Rosy, Mr. Harper

(6) Comments | Posted December 12, 2011 | 2:29 PM

While the Harper Conservatives are boasting about Canada having the best economic performance in the G8 (which Germany would contest), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has just issued an important reality check. The OECD warns that the gap between the top 10 per cent...

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Human Smuggling Bill Just a Political Game?

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2011 | 12:02 PM

Before the May 2 federal election there were vicious attack ads by the Harper Conservatives after the high profile arrival of the Sun Sea vessel carrying Sri Lankan Tamils seeking refugee status in Canada

In the ads, the Conservatives, seeking a majority government, claimed both the Liberal...

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The Harper Government and the Republican Tea Party: Partners in the Revolution of the Night Watchman

(60) Comments | Posted August 3, 2011 | 8:03 AM

There is an astonishingly silent connection between the debt ceiling crisis in the U.S. and the stealth agenda of the majority Harper government in Canada. In the U.S., the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, the ideological twin of the Harper Conservatives, were determined to hold the full faith...

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