ERNA PARIS is the author of seven acclaimed works of literary non-fiction and the winner of twelve national and international writing awards for her books, feature writing, and radio documentaries. Her works have been published in fourteen countries and translated into eight languages. Long Shadows: Truth, Lies, and History was chosen as one of “The Hundred Most Important Books Ever Written in Canada” by the Literary Review of Canada. In May 2007 Long Shadows inspired the Canadian House of Commons motion to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for survivors of Canadian residential schools. In June 2002 it inspired a resolution in the United States House of Representatives to create a monument to American slaves on the Washington Mall. (For more information, please see Awards and Honours.)

 

Her most recent work, The Sun Climbs Slow: The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice was first on The Globe and Mail's “best book of the year” list and shortlisted for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.

 

Erna is a member of the Honorary Council of the Canadian Centre for International Justice; a member of the Canada Committee of Human Rights Watch; a vice-president (2014) of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; and a past chair of the Writers' Union of Canada. In 2012, Erna was awarded the World Federalist Movement – Canada World Peace Award.

 


Erna’s best-selling, award-winning book, The End of Days: A Story of Tolerance, Tyranny, and the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain, will be re-published in an updated edition by Cormorant Books, Toronto. The new title is: From Tolerance to Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale from Fifteenth-Century Spain
Pre-order at Amazon.ca

Saturday August 9, 2014, Globe and Mail

Are we witnessing a hollowing out of the global rule of law and other norms that have provided a framework for peace since the end of the Second World War? It is true that the laws, treaties, statutes, and regulations – so reluctantly negotiated by nations anxious to maintain their sovereignty and rights – have often been honoured in the breach; but until recently the breach, itself, was seen as an aberration, as a subject of fierce international debate.

Less so now, it seems. As postwar configurations of power shift and new pockets of violence erupt, international institutions seem less able to make a difference. In consequence, the world is becoming a lot more dangerous – again. [more]

Monday July 14, 2014, Globe and Mail

A man with soulful eyes and a wispy beard approached me at a recent academic meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia. “What do you hear in Canada about Crimea and the struggle in Ukraine?” he asked shyly. “We hear about a reborn Russian imperium, among other things,” I reply.

“That’s what Putin wants outsiders to think,” he said, “but it’s much more complicated. A few people feel uncomfortable over Crimea, but all of us grieve because the fighting in Ukraine is personal. It’s a family affair, a conflict over Mother Russia.” [more]

Monday June 16, 2014, Globe and Mail

Are you there Sigmund Freud? Your famous couch has fallen into disuse in recent years, but the need is urgent. In France, a public dispute has erupted between Jean-Marie Le Pen, 85, the retired leader of the far-right National Front party, and his daughter, Marine, whom he hand-picked to succeed him in 2011. On the surface it’s as elevated as a food fight. Papa made another of his notorious anti-Semitic remarks, suggesting he’d like to send a Jewish critic of his party to the crematory. Breaking with the past, Marine openly rebuked him, then cancelled his blog on the party’s website. The next day Papa addressed an open letter to his daughter, in which he claimed to be the victim of an injustice, spoke of the support he had received, and demanded the reinstatement of his blog. Then he posted the offending comments on his personal website. “I will not submit to totalitarian censorship,” he railed. [more]

Saturday, March 8, 2014
Erna Paris will deliver the keynote address at
the Providence Spirituality Centre,
1200 Princess St., Kingston, Ontario.
For more information:
International Women’s Day 2014 Conference
Read the full Keynote Address

The Failures That Hold Mexico Back

Wednesday, January 29, 2014, Ottawa Citizen We almost missed our flight several weeks ago at the end of a lengthy stay in Mexico. A raucous demonstration by thousands of the country’s teachers was blocking traffic near the historic centre of the capital. The powerful teachers’ unions had been fighting back since President Enrique Peña Nieto […]

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The Asian Holocaust: Renowned Canadian Authors Speak

Wednesday October 30, 2013, Confucius Institute Edmonton (CIE) Local volunteer group Edmonton ALPHA announced today that internationally-recognized Canadian writers, Erna Paris and Joy Kogawa, will address students in several Edmonton senior high schools on November 21 and 22. In addition, the authors will address a symposium, entitled Why History Matters: The Need for Learning about […]

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Does the International Criminal Court have a credibility problem?

Monday November 4, 2013, Globe and Mail In 1998, when 120 countries at a United Nations conference in Rome agreed, miraculously, to a treaty that would govern the world’s first permanent international criminal court, few thought the road ahead would be easy. The United States was opposed, as were other major powers, such as Russia […]

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Quebec and the Surveillance Society

Thursday September 19, 2013, Ottawa Citizen Personal privacy: the right not to have our words tracked by the overseers of the digital world we now inhabit. Freedom of expression: the right to communicate our commitments however we choose, provided no harm is done. Remarkably, both these hard-won rights are being jeopardized at the highest levels […]

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A Very French National Emergency

Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013, Globe and Mail For over a century, foreigners have flocked to France. The country is geographically diverse, beautiful and blessed with a thriving agricultural sector whose products can reach national markets within hours of harvest. A culture of pleasure prevails, including café society and local consumption of the world’s best wines. […]

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National Magazine Award Winner

June 7, 2012 The New Solitudes, Erna’s Walrus magazine article on a changed Canada, won a silver medal at the Canadian National Magazine Awards.

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Nuremberg’s Forgotten Doppelganger
A cautionary tale of victors’ justice.

The Mauthausen Trial: American Military Justice in Germany, By Tomaz Jardim, Harvard University Press Reviewed By Erna Paris Literary Review of Canada, May 2012 “Shortly after 9:00 a.m. on May 27, 1947, the first of forty-nine men condemned to death for war crimes at Mauthausen concentration camp mounted the gallows in the courtyard of Landsberg […]

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Justice for Child Victims is Indeed Possible

Thursday, Mar. 15, 2012, Globe and Mail Guilty as charged. There was high drama in The Hague and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Wednesday as the judges of the International Criminal Court prepared to release the tribunal’s historic first judgment. The decision was unanimous. Between September, 2002, and August, 2003, Thomas Lubanga […]

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International Criminal Court Track Record

Thursday March 15, 2012, CBC Radio, The Current Well it did take a decade and piles of money for the International Criminal Court to get a conviction. And now the Congolese warlord who destroyed the lives of so many children forcing them to be child soldiers or sex slaves will be locked away. But of […]

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Iranian Edition of The Sun Climbs Slow

February, 2012 Erna is pleased to announce that the Persian-language edition of The Sun Climbs Slow: The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice has been published by Enteshar Publication Co.,Tehran. In addition to being made available to the general public, the book will be studied by Iranian law students. In a separate edition, […]

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