Karim Jivraj is a Canadian political activist, a past candidate for Parliament, and a law graduate with a background in international disputes. Karim Jivraj is completing the licensing process in view of being called to the Bar. His professional interests include civil and criminal litigation, media and defamation law, professional regulation and discipline, and general commercial law.
Born in Hamilton and raised in Toronto, Karim Jivraj attended the Toronto French School in Lawrence Park, where he served as the Student President. After TFS, Jivraj moved to Paris and matriculated at the Sorbonne, where he read international law, and graduated with two law degrees. Jivraj also earned a coveted spot at Sciences Po, where he pursued graduate studies in political economy, and won a two-year visiting scholarship to Cornell Law School, where he won the Cuccia Cup Moot Court Competition in Constitutional Law and served as President of the National Security Law Association.
During the 2006 student riots in France, Karim Jivraj rose to prominence after a series of speeches at the Sorbonne, and quickly emerged as the chief spokesperson opposing the anti-government protests. He debated scores of French political figures, including a noted debate with former socialist Prime Minister Laurent Fabius. Karim’s defiant activism was profiled in major French and European papers including Le Monde, Le Figaro and La Vanguardia.
Karim’s international legal experience includes work placements at leading Canadian, American and French law firms. During his studies, Karim Jivraj most notably clerked at the Cour de cassation, France’s Supreme Court, under the tutelage of the Premier président (Chief Justice).
Trained in both Common Law and Civil Law traditions, Karim's focus has been on international commercial arbitration and Investor-State disputes. Karim Jivraj has worked on disputes under the auspices of various international treaties (bilateral investment treaties, NAFTA Chapter 11, Energy Charter Treaty) and under the rules of various institutions (ICSID, ICC, LCIA) and on matters spanning various sectors, including mining, construction, and oil & gas.
Upon his return to Canada, Karim Jivraj ran for Parliament in the 42nd Canadian federal election. After winning the Conservative Party of Canada nomination in University-Rosedale as the underdog candidate, Karim Jivraj then faced off against popular Liberal candidate Chrystia Freeland, the current Deputy Prime Minister. Karim's spirited parliamentary run was profiled in the National Post, The Walrus, CPAC and CTV News.
Despite being a first time candidate, Karim Jivraj was asked by then Prime Minister Stephen Harper to represent the Conservative Party at locally and nationally broadcast debates on foreign policy, international trade, federalism, immigration and national security.
Throughout his time in Canadian politics, Karim Jivraj was perhaps best known for his principled stand on issues of national identity and citizenship. Karim Jivraj has been a longtime proponent of civic — as opposed to ethnic — nationalism, arguing that only a robust national identity can unite citizens of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Jivraj’s courageous and defiant stance against ethnic nativism and extremism has not been purely academic: he has taken great risks at significant personal cost to expose and blow the whistle on cases of white nationalism and anti-Semitism in Canadian politics.
Karim Jivraj: Education
Licence en droit, Sorbonne
Graduate Studies, Sciences Po
Exchange Program, Cornell Law School
Master en droit, Sorbonne