Former Graduate Students
Futsum Tesfatsion Abbay (futsum [dot] abbay [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)) is a distinguished legal scholar from Eritrea. He obtained his LL.B. (with distinction) from the University of Asmara in 1998, following which he was appointed as a graduate assistant in the law program of the university.
Futsum has the unique distinction of being the only visually impaired academic in the country. He received a USAID scholarship in 1999 that allowed him to pursue a LL.M degree at McGill. Since obtaining his LL.M. in 2002, Futsum has been teaching at the Faculty of Law of the University of Asmara.
He has committed his life to promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, particularly the rights of the visually impaired. In spite of numerous legal and political challenges, Futsum remains committed to carrying his advocacy work forward.
Idil Atak is a postdoctoral fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism and a research associate at the Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in public international law and at the Chaire de recherche en immigration, ethnicité et citoyenneté of UQAM.
She holds an LL.D. of the Université de Montréal. In her doctoral thesis, which she did under the supervision of Professor François Crépeau, she explores the impact of the Europeanization of the fight against irregular migration on migrants’ human rights.
A member of the executive committee of the Canadian Association on Refugees and Forced Migration Studies, Idil is a lecturer in the area of international law of refugees and migration, international institutions and freedom of movement in Europe.
Idil Atak served as a legal expert for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara, then as deputy to the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Her research interests include the international and European human rights, the international law of refugees, irregular migration in Canada and in Europe, freedom of movement and the European citizenship.
Véronique Bergeron received her LL.L. (cum laude) from the University of Ottawa in 1998. She is currently pursuing a Master's Specialization in biomedical ethics, an interdisciplinary academic program that emphasizes both the conceptual and the practical aspects of bioethics, under the supervision of Professor Angela Campbell. Her LL.M. (bioethics) thesis considers legal pluralism by looking critically at competing normative forces (law, ethics, a family's and community's expectations and values) that wield an impact on decisions about the health care of neonates. Véronique Bergeron lives in Ottawa with her husband and five children.
Maureen T. Duffy (maureen [dot] duffy [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)) is originally from the United States, where she obtained her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of the Bars of the State of Illinois and the Northern District of Illinois. She practiced law in Chicago for several years, first in private practice with Rudnick & Wolfe (now DLA Piper Rudnick), then as a specialist in the area of children’s rights, with the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian, and, more recently, as an administrator/attorney with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. During law school, she was a legal intern for the Legal Aid Bureau. She has extensive trial and appellate experience, as well as experience before administrative and legislative bodies, and she has published in the field of children’s rights. In addition to her legal experience, Maureen has experience as an editor and writer within the publishing field.
She completed her LL.M. degree, with Dean’s Honours, at McGill’s Institute of Comparative Law. Her thesis was written under the supervision of Professor Patrick Healy and addressed the use of the immigration system to detain terrorism suspects within the United States. During the LL.M. program, she worked as a legal researcher in the Special Court for Sierra Leone Clinic.
A recipient of the O’Brien Fellowship for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Fellowship, Maureen is presently pursuing a doctoral degree in international law under the supervision of Professor René Provost. Her thesis explores shifting presumptions relating to criminal detentions, specifically focusing on these shifts in the context of terrorism detentions. She has diverse research interests, including domestic and international criminal law, constitutional law, human rights, media law, environmental law, and legal pluralism.
Andrew Foster obtained a B.A. (Honors) in Philosophy from the University of Alberta and an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia before coming to McGill. He is currently in the process of completing an LL.M at McGill in Comparative Law. A member of the Law Society of Alberta, Andrew articled with the Alberta Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
Andrew has a diverse set of interests, including public international law, legal theory, comparative law, property law, human rights and constitutional law. Under the supervision of Professor Robert Leckey, he is conducting research on the use of public international law in the interpretation of rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He is also taking part in the McGill Clinic for the Sierra Leone Special Court under the supervision of Professor Frédéric Mégret.
Sakina Frattina is a graduate of the Pantheon Sorbonne University (International Law) with a mention "bien" and Business School in ESC Marseille, France.
She is currently working towards her Masters degree in law at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. Her research is centered on the concept of dignity as a right and its meaning in the context of an armed conflict.
Her research will soon take her to the field to conduct research in Israel and Palestine. Women's rights are part of her broader interests.
Sepideh graduated in 2006 from King's College London with an LLB and the Law School Prize in Jurisprudence. She was selected for the British Government's Fast Stream program that year and has since been working at the intersection of law and policy at the Ministry of Justice in the area of international and domestic human rights. At the same time Sepideh held a position as visiting tutor at King's College London Faculty of Law, teaching Jurisprudence and Legal Theory to final year law students. She is currently on career break, pursuing her LLM thesis under the supervision of Professor Frédéric Mégret, having been generously awarded the Provost's Graduate Fellowship and the BUNAC Educational Trust Scholarship to pursue her studies. Sepideh's research interests include Legal Pluralism, Law and Geography and International Human Rights, Humanitarian and Trade Law. She is currently pursuing work in the field of International Trade Law for submission to the Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence. Since arriving at McGill she has worked as a researcher at the McGill International Criminal Law Clinic and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law.
Rose Grogan graduated from Oxford University in 2008 with First Class Honours. She is now an LL.M. candidate specialising in human rights law and comparative law. Studying at McGill has allowed her to expand on her interest in human rights law and to develop an interdisciplinary approach to the field. Ms. Grogan's reasearch concentrates on children's rights, disability rights and dignity discourse in human rights law. Supervised by Prof. Shauna Van Praagh, her LLM research project will analyse the emerging concept of the dignity of groups with a specific focus on the parent-child relationship.
Buschra Jalabi obtained her LL.B. degree from Université de Montréal. She was called to the Québec Bar in 2006 and worked as an attorney for the Québec Public Curator’s Office during 2006-2007. She is currently pursuing an LL.M. degree at the McGill Faculty of Law. Her research interests include public law, international human rights, health law and medical liability. Buschra is interested in exploring the legal dimensions of health law in regard to protection mechanisms of human rights with a focus on incompetent persons. Her research project, under the supervision of Professor Lara Khoury, proposes to examine the specific issue of the protection of incompetent persons in the context of medical experimentation. Buschra is an active member of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism where she also works as a coordinator of various public events and academic initiatives.
Graciela Jasa-Silveira (graciela [dot] jasa-silveira [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)) received her Licenciado degree from the University of Sonora in Mexico. After a brief experience working in the civil law section of the Public Defender’s Office, she went on to complete her LL.M. in International Trade Law at the University of Arizona, writing her thesis “Parallel imports in the NAFTA Region” under the direction of Prof. David Gantz. Graciela has been a full time professor at the University of Sonora for 7 years, where she has taught mainly in the areas of international public and private law. She has also collaborated with the NACLE network in the Family Law Module. Her research interests include legal education, family law and international trade law. Graciela is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in the area of comparative law under the supervision of Prof. Patrick Glenn. Her thesis research centered on a pluralist perspective of Mexican family law.
Nelcy López Cuéllar (nelcy [dot] lopezcuellar [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)) is interested in understanding the role of judges in the construction of a constitutional democracy. Her research focuses on the Colombian case from 1991 to date. As a previous clerk of the Colombian Constitutional Court for several years, and currently a DCL candidate at McGill Law Faculty, she has a rich understanding of the Colombian Constitutional story. To retell this story, Nelcy has embraced a critical discourse analysis of several paradigmatic decisions of the Colombian Constitutional Court. She graduated from Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Law Faculty, with meritorious thesis (2000); she obtained her Masters in Public Law from Universidad Externado de Colombian and published her master’s dissertation (2004); recently, she pursued her LLM at Yale Law School (2007). Nelcy received her DCL from McGill Law in 2012.
After one year as an exchange student at McGill (Erasmus program), Gaëlle Missire completed her law degree with merits at Pierre-Mendès France University in Grenoble, France. She came back to McGill to do a Master degree at the Institute of Comparative Law. In her thesis, she intends to study the empowerment of women during armed conflict and the possibility for the international community to further this process. More broadly, she is interested in the reconstruction of societies affected by war and the role that the international community should play.
Melissa Martins Casagrande obtained her BA in Law and Master of Sciences in Public Law from the Universidade Federal do Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil. Her Master’s thesis is entitled “The Principle of Self-Determination of Peoples: its applicability, its instrumentality in international human rights law and its contextualization in the Latin American conjuncture”. Presently pursuing a doctoral degree under the supervision of Professor Colleen Sheppard, Melissa’s thesis proposes to address issues related to the legal status of indigenous peoples in Brazil in connection with the recognition of their right to self-determination. She holds a Macdonald Graduate Fellowship in Law and has worked as a researcher with the Special Court for Sierra Leone Clinic. Melissa’ s research interests include legal pluralism, constitutional law, sociology and the law, human rights, international humanitarian law, international criminal law and legal research methodology.
Thomas McMorrow (thomas [dot] mcmorrow [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)) obtained his LL.B. from Trinity College, University of Dublin. Enrolled at Trinity in the Law & French programme, he spent his junior sophister year studying French constitutional law and legal theory at the Université de Poitiers in Poitiers, France. In 2007 he completed his LL.M. thesis, "Law at L'Arche: Reflections from a Critical Legal Pluralist Perspective". The thesis is based on participant field work Thomas carried out at a community serving persons with intellectual disabilities in Montreal called L'Arche and it was nominated to the Dean’s Honour List.
Currently he is pursuing doctoral work involving empirical research into the role students play in the creation of laws governing everyday life within secondary schools. He is working under the supervision of Professor Roderick A. Macdonald. Thomas is a Dobson and McDonald Fellow as well as a graduate student member of The Major Collaborative Research Project on Indigenous Peoples and Governance. Thomas’ broader research interests include legal theory, legal pluralism and social justice. Thomas received his DCL from McGill Law in 2012.
Delphine Nakache, a SSHRC & FQRSC Doctoral Fellow, is currently completing a Ph.D thesis in International Human Rights Law at the McGill Faculty of Law under the supervision of Prof. Provost. Her thesis is on the control of irregular migration and the need to reconcile state security concerns with the international obligation to respect the human dignity of involuntarily displaced persons. The research involves an analysis of some core protection provisions found in human rights law, refugee law, humanitarian law and criminal law, in order to bring out similarities and reinforce the forced migrants' fundamental rights under international law (non-discrimination and equality provisions, the right not to be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the right to family reunification).
Sarah O’Mahoney obtained her LL.B. degree from Trinity College Dublin, with a focus on human rights and comparative law. A McGill Graduate Studies Fellow, Sarah is currently pursuing an LL.M. in the field of human rights under the supervision of Professor Colleen Sheppard. Drawing from comparative perspectives, her graduate research agenda focuses on the impact of nationalist ideology and discourse on women’s reproductive rights in both Ireland and Iran. Seeking inspiration from feminist theory, her thesis critically explores how different religious nationalisms appear to adversely affect women’s autonomy in strikingly similar fashions. Sarah has diverse research interests, including human rights law, international law, comparative law, feminist theory, environmental law and public interest law.
James Pender obtained his BaLLB (cum laude) from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and is currently studying at Mcgill University as a graduate research project student, completing his LLM in International Law. James’ research interests include international criminal law, human rights, dispute resolution and international relations. Having obtained experience at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, James is currently working as a member of the McGill University Clinic for the Special Court of Sierra Leone.
Mario Prost is a graduate of Université Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne), with an LL.B. and an LL.M. (cum laude) in international law and institutions. A McGill Major Fellow, Mario is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in international law under the supervision of Professor Stephen Toope. His dissertation proposes to address issues of unity/fragmentation of international law from a critical perspective, with particular emphasis on how the rhetoric of unity contributes to the depolitisation and overscientification of the discipline.
Mario's areas of research and publication include international legal theory, international trade law, international environmental law, human rights law, peaceful resolution of international disputes and international institutional law. His contributions are forthcoming in the Chinese Journal of International law, the German Law Journal, and the Revue Belge de Droit International.
Salman Rana received his LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. His research at McGill focusses on the intersection between youth culture and law, in particular the sub-culture of hip-hop. He is particularly interested in mapping out normative traditions regulating youth relations within particular sub-cultural paradigms.
Prior to attending McGill, Salman was working with the Uganda Law Society in Kampala, Uganda. His research interests are diverse and include international human rights law, children, youth and the law, critical race theory, poverty law, Islamic law, legal pluralism, East African legal systems and hip-hop scholarship. He is an artist with the Toronto hip-hop collective the Circle whose members have garnered numerous awards and award nominations. He has received a Much Music Videofact Award and Grant for Canadian Talent and has appeared on national television and radio broadcasts concerning issues related to hip-hop and Islam.
Salman, along with several Osgoode professors have been conducting research into inner-city youths' notions of access to justice and the justice system, funded by the Law Commission of Canada and Canadian Bar Law for the Future Fund.
He volunteers his free time to work with inner-city children and youth in Toronto. He is also involved with The Bavubuka Foundation (www.bavubuka.com), a Ugandan based organization employing hip-hop as a means to promoting issues and empowering children and youth in Uganda.
Efrat obtained her LL.B. degree from The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel. She did her internship in the legal department of the Office of the Prime Minister, where she participated in legal procedures in the Israel Supreme Court of Justice and in Military Courts. Efrat passed her Israeli Bar in 2004. Upon her arrival in Montreal she worked for a student organization as a program coordinator and director of advocacy focusing on educating students about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and coexisting on campus while promoting dialog. Efrat is currently pursuing her LL.M in the Institute of Comparative Law. Her research project deals with the right to self determination of geographical sub-groups, mostly with regard to Palestinian groups.
Harini Sivalingam obtained her LL.B. at Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006. Harini is currently an LL.M. Candidate in the International Comparative Law at McGill University, under the supervision of Prof. Evan Fox-Decent. Harini’s thesis explores the discourses of fear and victimization in the national security context and how these discourses impact on community groups. Pursuing her passion for human rights, Harini has interned at he International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, monitoring United Nations meetings and drafting analytical reports on human rights issues. Harini is involved in anti-racism activism and community organizing. She has a diverse set of research interests including; immigration and refugee law, international and domestic human rights, and national security law. After completing her LL.M. Harini hopes to continue to work towards the advancement of social justice through academia, non-governmental organization involvement and the practice of law.
Nargess Tavassolian received her Bachelor degree in both Civil and Islamic Law in Iran form Shahid Beheshty University. She was called to the Bar in Iran in 2005. She is currently an L.L.M candidate at McGill University. She is conducting her research under the supervision of Dr. Payam Akhavan on the inhuman punishments in Iran and the possibilities for their reform in Iran. Nargess Tavassolian has worked for several NGOs in Iran including: Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child, Mine collaboration Campaign and Center for Defenders of Human Rights. Nargess Tavassolian has a diverse set of research interests including international law, human rights, international criminal law and international humanitarian law.
Flore Valluis obtained her undergraduate degree (equivalent to a B.C.L) in International and European Law (cum laude) and her master degree (equivalent to an LL.M) in International Private Law and International Trade (cum laude) from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne (Paris, France). While at Pantheon Sorbonne, she wrote her thesis under the supervision of Professor Vincent Heuzé, exploring the relationship between the European liberties and the methods of conflict of law. Flore is currently pursuing a master degree (LL.M) in Human Rights and cultural diversity at McGill Law Faculty in Montreal. She wrote her research project under the supervision of Professor Shauna Van Praagh. Her dissertation explored the relationships between Islam, women and the law, with particular emphasis on the situation of immigrated Muslim women in Quebec.
Flore has a diverse set of research interests, including sustainable development, international environmental law, humanitarian law, international trade law and legal theory. She was involved in the McGill legal clinic for The Special Court of Sierra Leone. She was also vice president of a French humanitarian non-profit association for education and development in West Africa, Senegal, which aims at eliminating illiteracy.
Jean-Baptiste conducts interdisciplinary research on the theory and ethics of international relations and on international public law. In particular, he studies the ethics and laws of war, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law.
Jean-Baptiste holds degrees in three different disciplines: philosophy (BA, MA, PhD), law (LLB, LLM), and political science (PhD). He has studied at the Sorbonne, the Université de Montréal, Oxford University, McGill University, Yale University, the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris). His doctoral thesis, Au nom de l'humanité ? Histoire, droit, éthique et politique de l'intervention militaire justifiée par des raisons humanitaires (2009), has received three awards in Canada and France.
He has taught at the Université de Montréal and Sciences Po Paris. Before coming to McGill, he was a Lecturer in international relations at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. He has published a dozen of books on topics including reparations to victims before the International Criminal Court (PUF, 2009), the dilemma of peace and justice and the relations between the International Criminal Court and the Security Council (Presses de Sciences Po, 2011), humanitarian intervention (PUF, 2012, prefaced by Hubert Védrine) and the ethics of international relations (PUF, 2012, prefaced by Stanley Hoffmann). A former Attaché to the French embassy in Turkmenistan, he is also the author of two books on this central asian dictatorship.
He now holds a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, under which he is conducting research on the ethical and legal consequences of the changing nature of war in the 21st century, and in particular on autonomous military robots.
Personal website: www.jbjv.com