Head of UNHRC, member of SDS, convicted for violating human rights


UN Watch reported Friday that William Schabas, recently appointed head of a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) commission to investigate Israel, once attempted to disqualify three judges who convicted him with “violating human rights and freedom” by accusing them of bias.

In 1974, when Schabas was a Ph.D. student in history at the University of Toronto, and a leader in the radical SDS group, he was charged and convicted with violating human rights and freedoms by physically obstructing a visiting lecturer from speaking on campus.

Schabas was found guilty on four charges and suspended from the university for four years, later reduced to two.

It is a curious bit of history that, according to a decision of the Ontario Divisional Court (Re Schabas et al. and Caput of the University of Toronto et al.), Schabas tried to disqualify the entire panel hearing his case by arguing that they were biased.

Schabas has previously expressed his desire to have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried as a war criminalrefused to call Hamas a terrorist organization, and prejudged Israel’s guilt on war crimes charges. However, he recently insistedthat he doesn’t “hate Israel,” and “would put [his] opinions aside” and judge Israel’s actions fairly.

In Everything You Need to Know About International Law and the Gaza War, which appeared in the September 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, David Avraham Daoud explained why appointing Schabas undermines, not strengthens, international law.