Dr Shaheen Shariff is a James McGill Professor at McGill University. Her work is grounded in the intersection of law and education, with a focus on human rights and constitutional issues, diversity, legal pluralism and civil society. She is an Associate Member of McGill’s Law Faculty, and its Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and Affiliate Scholar at Stanford University Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. She is a founding Director of the Institute for Human Development and Wellbeing in McGill’s Faculty of Education.
Shariff is best known for her expertise on institutional responses and legal obligations to address intersecting forms of discrimination and reduce toxic learning environments that foster cyberbullying and sexual violence in institutional contexts, including social media. Her research and teaching are centered in law as it impacts educational policy and practice, critical legal and media literacy.
Dr. Shariff has served as expert witness at several Canadian legislative House of Commons committees. She testified at the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights in 2012, and Quebec’s Premier Philippe Couillard’s task force on cyber-intimidation in 2015. She was invited to serve on a panel on cyber-hate at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, chaired by then Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Shariff currently holds a $2.5 million partnership grant from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) with additional partner contributions totaling $3.7 million for a 7-year term with 15 universities, 3 community colleges and 25 community partners and collaborators comprising art galleries, theatre groups, social media entities and non-profit advocacy groups. The project is developing strategic models and guidelines for public institutions especially universities and government bodies, legal and corporate organizations. She was appointed Chair of McGill’s Ad Hoc Panel to Conduct a Climate Study on Sexual Violence at McGill towards improving the university’s policy. Two of her five books were translated into Portuguese and Italian and are used in Brazilian and Italian schools. Her international scholarship contributed to a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in Canada.