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[Perspectives] Louise Arbour: champion of international law

In October, 1970, Canada was embroiled in what was arguably the worst political crisis in its history. Members of the radical Front de libération du Québec kidnapped British diplomat James Cross, then kidnapped and murdered Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte. The federal government invoked the War Measures Act, sent armed troops on the streets, suspended civil liberties, and arrested hundreds of people, largely for their political views. At the time, Louise Arbour was a law student at the Université de Montréal, and what she saw profoundly shaped her legal and political philosophy.

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