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McGill Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism

Celebrating our first decade

On the Rights Track

In the decade since it was founded, the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism at McGill’s Faculty of Law has probed the challenge and meaning of securing human rights in a legally diverse world.

Victoria Leenders-Cheng pens an article for McGill Headway Magazine on the work the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism has been doing in the past ten years.

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2014 Annual Report

As we move towards the Centre’s tenth anniversary, we are exhilarated by the presence of a rich and dynamic community of scholars, human rights practitioners, and advocates from around the world. Our work is informed and enriched by a diversity of perspectives brought to us from Fellows and visitors from the global North and South. We also have the privilege of being surrounded by outstanding graduate and undergraduate students, a great source of innovation and creativity to our programs and initiatives. The Centre’s success in creating a vibrant space for conversations around pertinent human rights issues and collaborations on innovative initiatives is evident by the rich array of our events calendar.

As this annual report attests, 2014 was memorable on many levels. Never has the intellectual and scholarly exploration at the Centre been more important, nor has there ever been a time when it was more exciting to be part of the CHRLP community. We know that you share our enthusiasm in looking forward to the next chapters in the Centre’s bright future.

Download the 2014 full report [2 MB, pdf]


Daniel Firth and Jane Mappin gave a moving live dance performance in the Moot Court on February 9, 2015, titled Lewis et Lucie, Une évocation poétique de la marginalité, de la solitude et des petites cassures de la vie. It was presented as part of the Disability and Human Rights Law seminar series.

More photos on Facebook.


4 February 2015, the Faculty hosted a conference on Venezuela in Crisis: The Decline of Democracy and the Repression of Human Rights. The Moot Court was packed as people came to listen to two key witnesses of state repression in Venezuela and the incarceration of opposition leader Leopoldo López: Carlos Vecchio, a Venezuelan lawyer and political exile, and Diana López, Director of “Accion por la Libertad”, a human rights group in Venezuela and sister of Leopoldo López. They were joined by Irwin Cotler.

More photos on Facebook.


28 January 2015: Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada, spoke on Confronting a Human Rights Scourge: Canada and the Global Struggle against Torture to a packed room 312. Mr Neve has made his speech for download: 2015-january-alex-neve-stop_torture.pdf


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.