Events 2007-2008

La haute autorité de lutte contre les discriminations et pour l’égalité: Contexte et Enjeux

March 6, 2008, 16:00-17:00

Annie MacDonald Langstaff Workshop with Me. Sophie Latraverse, Directrice juridique adjointe de la haute sutorité de lutte contre les discriminations et pour l’égalité, France

Faculty of Law, Chancellor Day Hall, 3644 Peel Street, Room 16

Islam and Human Rights – A Talk by Shirin Ebadi

March 7, 2008 14:00-15:30, Moot Court, Faculty of Law

Shirin Ebadi, 7 mars 2008

Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer, human rights activist and founder of Children's Rights Support Association in Iran. Her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women's and children's rights, led to her being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.

In her research, and as an activist, she is known for promoting peaceful, democratic solutions to societal problems. She takes an active part in the public debate and is well-known for her legal defense of victims of attack on freedom of speech and political freedom.

The writer of a number of academic books and articles focused on human rights, she has had several books translated into English, including The Rights of the Child: A Study of Legal Aspects of Children's Rights in Iran, published with support from UNICEF, and History and Documentation of Human Rights in Iran. In 2006, Random House published her memoir, Iran Awakening, which she wrote with Azadeh Moaveni.

Afghanistan in Focus: A Week of Images and Discussion on Canada's Role

March 3-7, 2008, McGill Faculty of Law

Stories from Afghanistan: Revisiting Canada's Role

March 4, 2008 at 6pm in Moot Court, 3644 Peel St

Benoit Turcotte - International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association; private practice lawyer in Montreal

Nafay Choudhury - law student; intern at the Women's and Children's Legal Research Foundation in Kabul

Alex Dobrota = law student; reporter for the Globe and Mail in Kandahar

Photo Exhibit - Reconstructing Trust?

March 3 - Friday March 7th, Atrium, Faculty of Law, 3644 Peel St

Photos by Alex Dobrota

Lecture - Should Canada Stay? Human Security in Afghanistan

March 6, 2008, 15:00, Moot Court

Ashraf Haidari - Counselor for Political, Security and Development Affairs at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C.

Presented by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Human Rights Working Group


Delivering Hope in Eastern Congo
Photographic Exhibit

March 10 - 20, Law Faculty Atrium

Delivering Hope - Photographs [.pdf] Exhibition Handout [.doc]

The conflict and violence that has consumed the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for nearly a decade, has killed more people every six months than were killed by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Estimates place the total deaths at four million, although some experts say the figure is far higher. Misrule, dictatorship, corruption and conflict has left DRC among the poorest countries in the world, yet it has not received the attention it deserves, either from the media or the public.

Civilians continue to live in crisis conditions in many parts of the country. The eastern regions - Ituri, Katanga, North & South Kivu and Maniema - are still plagued by armed conflicts. Sexual violence perpetrated by different armed factions involved in the conflict is on the rise and displacement of rural populations due to insecurity, burning of fields and food stocks are recurrent. While the eastern provinces used to be the major food producers of the country, repeated looting of crops by armed groups continues to force farmers into subsistence farming.

Eastern Congo is one of the most expensive and complicated regions in the world to deliver aid. In DRC, the World Food Programme focuses particularly on internally displaced persons and returnees, responding to nutritional requirements, school feeding activities, integrated support to victims of gender-based violence (with UNFPA and UNICEF) and support to people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Eddie Gerald took these photographs in May 2007, in North Kivu, DRC. The images document some of the experiences of displaced Congolese people in the eastern regions, where they have sought refuge in camps and received assistance from the World Food Programme.

This exhibition was brought to McGill by the World Food Programme and the Canadian International Development Agency.

The Newly Adopted International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Instrument of Change?

February 13, 2008 at 13:00-14:30
Moot Court, Faculty of Law, McGill University

Disability and the Law presented a panel discussion on the recently adopted International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The panelists will address the creation of this major new legal instrument, as well as its promises and implications for the future of persons with disabilities within Canada and internationally.

The panel discussion featured:
Prof. Nora Groce (Yale University) & Laurie Sargent (Department of Justice Canada, Human Rights Law Section)
Chairperson: Prof. Mégret, McGill Faculty of Law.

This event was brought by Disability & the Law. With the help and support of: the Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, the Law Students Association, Students Society of McGill University, the Dean’s Discretionary Fund, the McGill Alumni Association and the Office for Students with Disabilities. e-mail: [at]

Talk by Rapporteurs on Violence against Women and Women's Rights
'Sexual violence in war time: its causes and its consequences' and 'The role of the African Commission in defence of Women’s Rights'

January 22, 2008
11:30, Room 201, NCDH

Soyata Maïga, 22 January 2008

Yakın Ertürk, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, discussed violence in wartime, its causes and consequences. She has been on the faculty of the Department of Sociology since 1986 and the Gender and Women’s Studies Programme since 1994 at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. Between 1997 and 2001 she served as Director of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) in Santo Domingo, then as Director of The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) at United Nations Headquarters in New York. On 1 August 2003, Yakın Ertürk was appointed as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women. Within this context, she undertakes fact finding missions to various countries; receives complaints regarding violations of women’s human rights from around the world; and prepares thematic reports on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

Soyata Maïga, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, gave a talk on “The role of the African Commission in defence of Women’s Rights.” Ms Maïga discussed the Commission, the protection mechanism and the role of the Special rapporteur on Women’s Rights. As well as being a Commissioner, Ms. Maiga serves as member of the Board of Directors of Media Foundation for West Africa. She is a human rights activist and a strong advocate of the promotion and protection of rights.

Annual Wallenberg Lecture - Aryeh Neier
Assessing International Justice: Successes, Failures and the Path Ahead

Arieh Nieier, 23 January 2008

January 23, 2008
17:00 Moot Court, Faculty of Law

UPDATE: you can listen to Mr Neier's lecture online!

Mr Neier discussed the five international criminal tribunals established in the past fifteen years (for ex-Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Cambodia and the permanent International Criminal Court) and assessed their accomplishments and how they have done in meeting the goals of their proponents and the bodies that established them. In closing, he went over what further development of international justice we might expect over the next fifteen years.

Aryeh Neier is President of the Open Society Institute, a private operating and grantmaking foundation founded by George Soros, which aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, as well as economic, legal and social reform. Prior to joining OSI in 1993, Aryeh Neier served for 12 years as Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. Before that, he spent 15 years at the American Civil Liberties Union, including eight years as national Executive Director.

Mr. Neier has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University for more than a dozen years. He is a frequent contributor to The Nation and The New York Review of Books, and has published in periodicals such as The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and Foreign Policy. Mr. Neier has contributed more than a hundred op-ed articles in newspapers including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and The International Herald Tribune. He has written six books, including Taking Liberties: Four Decades in the Struggle for Rights (2003), and numerous book chapters. He has lectured at most of the country’s leading universities, and has appeared frequently on such television shows as “Nightline,” the “Mc-Neil-Lehrer Newshour,” and the “Today Show.”

Mr. Neier, a naturalized American, was born in Nazi Germany and became a refugee at an early age. He is the recipient of six honorary doctorates and the American Bar Association’s Gavel Award.

Dialogues on Human Rights and Legal Pluralism: Dr Christine Black
An Indigenous Jurisprudential perspective on the Inuit's 'right to be cold'

January 24, 2008, 16:00-17:30 in Room 16, NCDH

Dr Christine Black of Griffith Law School in Australia opened a discussion on the Inuit petition that the U.S. is violating the human rights of Inuit by refusing to sign any international treaties to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. The petition and a subsequent hearings have been placed before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Dr Christine Black is a descendant of the Kombumerri and Munaljahlai clans of South-East Queensland, and a visiting fellow to the McGill Law Faculty whilst writing a book on Indigenous Jurisprudence entitled Land is the Source of the Law. Her present fields of specialization and research interests include climate change impact, intellectual property, traditional stories, and biodiversity. She has carried out extensive research in Indigenous communities throughout Australia in relation to media and intellectual property issues.

She is a former producer/presenter for Australia's ABC Radio National. She was also the guest editor for Literature in the Encyclopedia of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. She has participated as an expert panelist in the UN’s Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) meetings on issues relating to genetic technology, traditional knowledge and access and benefit sharing. She has also advised the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) on economic and cultural policy issues.