Kathleen Mahoney's research interests are Human Rights, International Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law, Constitutional Law, Women's Rights, Judicial Development and Aboriginal Law. In her pioneering work in judicial education, she has authored numerous foundational papers and organized conferences, workshops and collaborative international projects in Geneva, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Spain, Israel, China, Vietnam, the United States, and the United Nations.

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She was Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development for 6 years. She was a founder of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund. She was recently named an expert advisor to the Interaction Council, an organization of former heads of state.She has published extensively in academic journals as well as in the popular media. She has appeared as counsel in leading hate speech and pornography cases in the Supreme Court of Canada and was counsel for Bosnia Herzegovina in their genocide action against Serbia in the International Court of Justice.

In 2006, Professor Mahoney was named to be the Canadian Director of a 5 year project on judicial development and grassroots engagement in Vietnam. In 2009, she was a member of the International Bar Association's mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo to review the justice system and advise on a reformative plan.

She was the Chief Negotiator for the Assembly of First Nations for the historic Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, achieving the largest settlement in Canadian history and was a major architect of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She led the negotiations for the historic apology from the Canadian Parliament and from Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.

Among her many awards and distinctions, Professor Mahoney was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Trudeau Fellow, a Sir Alan Sewell Fellow (Australia), a Human Rights Fellow (Harvard), and a Fulbright Fellow. She received the Canadian Bar Association and Alberta Bar Association Distinguished Service Award. She was awarded the Bertha Wilson Touchstone Award in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments in the promotion of equality in Canada, and the Governor General's Medal in Recognition of the Person's Case. The University of Calgary awarded her the Excellence Award for Inspiration and Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Research. She received the Alberta Centennial Medal for her contribution to the advancement of human rights.