McGill Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism

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In Memoriam: Sally Engle Merry (1944-2020)

Professor Sally Engle Merry receiving her hood from Professor Ronald Niezen during the Faculty of Law's Spring 2013 Convocation ceremony, with Chancellor Arnold Steinberg attending. Photo by Lysanne Larose.

The Centre fondly remembers Sally Engle Merry,  who was the Julius Silver Professor of Anthropology at NYU and an affiliated faculty member at NYU Law. She also served as co-director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU Law, and as director of NYU’s Law and Society Program. 

An outstanding scholar and a generous friend of the Centre, Professor Merry received a Doctor of Law degree, honoris causa, from McGill University in 2013.

She passed away on September 8, 2020. We offer our condolences to her family and friends.

November 28, 2018: Human Rights Limits to Privatization: A Fiscal Illusion

Philip Alston speaking in the Moot Court on November 28, 2018.
Image by Lysanne Larose.

This talk is available on McGill's Lecture Recording System (.mp3, .mp4, or .wmv). Also, see pictures of the event on Facebook.

This year's Humphrey Lecture in Human Rights was presented by Philip G. Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor at the New York University School of Law and moderated by Alana Klein, Associate Professor at McGill University’s Faculty of Law.

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.

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