Since formally launching in 2008, the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ) roster of clients has grown to 92. The organization has provided legal expertise as interveners in cases that have gone to the Supreme Court of Canada and will have global impact. It has a critical law reform initiative that has gone before Parliament. It has trained and involved over 150 legal professionals and law students in its work. And it has been able to achieve all this and more with the most modest of staff & resources.

There’s so much more to be done. So CCIJ came up with The Philippe Kirsch Institute as a viable, self-sustaining way to help do it.

Legal education and training with a conscience – that’s what The Kirsch Institute is, and why its users and supporters can feel especially rewarded. The Kirsch Institute is an innovative social enterprise – all revenue goes directly to CCIJ’s efforts to support survivors of genocide, torture, and other atrocities.

The Kirsch Institute builds on CCIJ’s experience in organizing highly successful courses that already draw on its impressive network of former Supreme Court judges, acclaimed lawyers, and academics who instruct on a pro bono basis.

Jonathan Wade of the Collaborative for Innovative Social Enterprise Development (CISED) in Ottawa has publicly endorsed The Kirsch Institute as an exemplary model:

“CCIJ is an innovator. Its legal work can be complex and requires a long-term commitment. In an environment of reduced and impatient philanthropy, CCIJ [wants] new ways to create sustainability, and in launching a training institute, has acted to make it possible.”

Paying it Forward

CCIJ is committed to helping other non-profits explore their own potential to launch a social enterprise in support of their mission. We are documenting and will make available our process and key learnings. Thanks to our extensive networks, this means that contributions (of all forms) to The Philippe Kirsch Institute will ultimately support the Canadian charitable sector more broadly, as well as organizations doing good work in other countries.