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McGill Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism

On September 17, Professor Steven Ratner, who holds the Bruno Simma Collegiate Chair of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, gave the 2014 John P. Humphrey Lecture in Human Rights. His talk was titled "After Atrocity: Optimizing UN Action toward Accountability for Human Rights Abuses."


O’Brien Graduate Fellowships for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

Established in 2005 by David O’Brien (BCL ’65), the O’Brien Graduate Fellowships are inviting applications from for outstanding graduate students studying in the area of human rights and legal pluralism in the Faculty of Law.

The Fellowships are awarded annually by the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office upon recommendation of the Faculty of Law. Fellows become members of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.

Application deadline: December 15, 2014.
Download the Call for application (bilingual) [.pdf] and visit Law Graduate Admissions: O'Brien Fellowships for more information.


2015 International Forum for Young Leaders - Call for applications

“Human Rights and Leadership”

The next generation of human rights professionals will be required to respond to increasingly complex and systemic global challenges through innovation and ingenuity.

Our mission is to foster a network of young leaders who aim to develop accessible solutions to these challenges and advance human rights and access to justice through ethical engagement.

We seek 25 individuals under 30 years of age who have demonstrated their passion for implementing innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, and offering them an opportunity to interact and benefit from each other’s experiences.

See the full call for applications [.pdf] and download the application form [.docx].

Deadline: October 31, 2014


2013 Annual Report

The Centre has released its 2013 annual report.

Highlights from last year include the Third Echenberg Family Conference on Human Rights, the launches of the Second Seminar Series on Disability Rights, of the Interdisciplinary Research Network on Discrimination and Inclusion, and of the Human Rights Internship Program's Working Paper Series, along with hosting a researcher from the Scholars at Risk Network.

Download the complete report [4 MB, pdf].


Joseph ArvayLitvack Lecture 2014 - Litigating Charter Challenges: Stories of a Constitutional Lawyer

Tuesday, March 18, 2014, Faculty of Law, McGill University

The Litvack Lecture was given by Joseph Arvay, QC, recipient of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism 2014 Robert S. Litvack Award.

Joseph Arvay is a Canadian lawyer who has argued numerous landmark Supreme Court of Canada cases involving civil liberties and constitutional rights. The Robert S. Litvack Award recognizes his outstanding lifetime achievement. Mr Arvay’s lecture was recorded and can be viewed on McGill’s media servers.


Disability Rights Seminars 2013-2014

The CHRLP is pleased to present its 2013-2014 seminar series on selected issues of human rights and disability law, which builds on the themes explored in last year's successful series.

The four events we have planned this university year seek to engage in one of the most compelling human rights issues of our day, consistent with the Faculty of Law’s tradition of analysis, scholarship and promotion of human rights and social justice. The events will follow the format of a teaching seminar and required resources will be circulated ahead of time.

Sign up today. See our information and calendar page to find out more.


The continuing relevance of human rights

Human rights evoke concern with the lives of individuals and the well-being of communities. Relevant to our understanding of history, the present, and inter-generational justice, human rights have been on institutional, legislative, constitutional, and international agendas, and have been embraced by diverse social movements in countries all over the world. Human rights concepts have been relied upon in efforts to promote peace, cooperation, and intercultural dialogue.

Plurality in a globally connected world

Human rights concepts are increasingly being applied in diverse social and cultural contexts, reflective of a legally plural world. This plurality prompts new thinking about the relationship between law and society. Connecting the study of human rights to legal pluralism brings to light the importance of multiple legal and normative orders, ethical inquiry, local knowledge, individual and systemic relationships, and social power within the institutions and communities of civil society.

An innovative legal and interdisciplinary approach

The Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism is a focal point for innovative legal and interdisciplinary research, dialogue, and outreach on human rights and legal pluralism. The Centre's mission is to provide students, professors and the larger community with a locus of intellectual and physical resources for engaging critically with how law impacts upon some of the most compelling social problems of our modern era.