Gib van Ert

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After ten years practising civil litigation at a leading Vancouver firm, Gib spent three years as Executive Legal Officer at the Supreme Court of Canada. The ELO is the principal advisor to the Chief Justice, assisting with the administration of the Court, the Canadian Judicial Council and the National Judicial Institute. Gib is a frequently-cited authority on the application of international law in Canadian courts. He practises in both Ottawa and Vancouver.

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613 408 4297
604 644 5845


Bar admissions
BC (2004)
Ontario (2018)


BA (McGill)
MA (Cambridge) 
LLM (Toronto)





Counsel work including trials, appeals, judicial reviews, chambers/motions work, arbitrations, examinations outside of court and legal opinions.

Civil litigation experience in a wide variety of matters including commercial disputes, wills and estates matters, real estate litigation, environmental claims and professional negligence cases. Recognized in Best Lawyers in Canada 2020 for corporate and commercial litigation.


Public law experience as litigation counsel for private parties, amicus curiae in national security proceedings before the Federal Court, and former in-house counsel to the Chief Justice of Canada.


Media and communications experience including media relations and the development of a social media strategy for the Supreme Court of Canada.


Board experience as secretary of the National Judicial Institute (2015-2018), director of the International Commission of Jurists Canada (2014-2018) and director of the Canadian Council on International Law (2018-present).


Legal writing, teaching and speaking as the author of the leading text on the use of public international law by Canadian courts, as well as other works published by Irwin Law, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, the Canadian Yearbook of International Law and the Canadian Bar Review.


Professional development experience as faculty at judicial training seminars and continuing professional development programs for lawyers across Canada.



British Columbia Bar (2004-present)

Ontario Bar (2018-present)

Law clerk to Justices Charles Gonthier and Morris Fish of the Supreme Court of Canada (Jan-Dec 2003)

Law clerk to Justice Jo-Anne Prowse of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia (2001-2)

Selected publications

"POGG and Treaties: The Role of International Agreements in National Concern Analysis" (2020) 43:2 Dalhousie Law Journal

“The Domestic Application of International Law in Canada” in C. Bradley, ed., Oxford Handbook of Comparative Foreign Relations Law (Oxford University Press, 2019)

With P. Saunders, R. Currie, J. Brunnée and others, International Law Chiefly as Interpreted and Applied in Canada, 9th ed. (Emond Publishing, 2019)

“The Reception of International Law in Canada: Three Ways We Might Go Wrong” in O. Fitzgerald, V. Hughes and M. Jewett, eds., Reflections on Canada’s Past, Present and Future in International Law (McGill-Queens University Press, 2018)

“The impression of harmony: Bill C-262 and the implementation of the UNDRIP in Canadian law” 2018 CanLIIDocs 252 (2018)

“A suitable population: British Columbia’s Japanese Treaty Act litigation, 1920-1923” (2017) 3(1) Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law 133

“Three good reasons why UNDRIP can’t be law—and one good reason why it can” (2017) 75:1 The Advocate 29-36

“Torture and the Supreme Court of Canada” (2014) 65 University of New Brunswick Law Journal 21

“Three Obstacles to a Successful Cost Recovery Action in Residential Oil Tank Cases” (2014) 72:4 The Advocate 503-508

“Canada” in D. Sloss, ed., The Role of Domestic Courts in Treaty Enforcement: a Comparative Study (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Using International Law in Canadian Courts, 2nd ed. (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2008)

With S. Matiation, “Labour Conventions and Comprehensive Claim Agreements: A New Model for Subfederal Participation in Canadian International Treaty-Making” in O. Fitzgerald (ed.), The Globalized Rule of Law: Relationships between International and Domestic Law (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2006) 203

“The admissibility of international legal evidence” (2005) 84 Canadian Bar Review 31

With Mark Freeman, International Human Rights Law (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2004)

“The legal character of provincial agreements with foreign governments” (2001) 24 Les Cahiers de Droit 1093

“Canadian Cases in Public International Law”, annual contribution to the Canadian Yearbook of International Law, 2004-present


Member, The Advocates Society

Member, Supreme Court Advocacy Institute

Chair of the technology committee and member, County of Carleton Law Association

Director and member, Canadian Council on International Law

Member, American Society of International Law