Éloge C. Butera (BCL/LLB 2012, McGill) is a human rights activist with an active involvement in Canadian public life. Éloge has worked in Parliament as a research and legislative assistant to Senator L.Gen. Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d) and as an articling student to Professor Irwin Cotler P.C., O.C., Member of Parliament (Mount Royal) and former Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada. Éloge’s research interests centre on international human rights law, transitional justice, conflict resolution, and truth and reconciliation processes around the world.
As an Honorary Witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Éloge bears witness to the harm inflicted by Canada’s residential school system on generations of aboriginal Canadians. During his fellowship with the Centre, Éloge is focused on the legacy of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was set to conclude its work in the fall of 2015.
As a survivor of the 1994 genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda, Éloge has spoken to dozens of audiences across Canada about his experience during the genocide and the role that an informed citizenry can play in preventing future mass atrocities and genocides. As an Associate Fellow, he works on recommendations to improve the United Nations' capacity for the prevention of genocide and mass atrocity crimes.
Edin Hodžić (DCL 2014) is co-founder, Director and Head of Public Law Program at Analitika – Center for Social Research from Sarajevo, a leading think-tank in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He holds a DCL from McGill University, LLM from the University of Oxford and BA in Law from the University of Sarajevo. Previously, among his several professional engagements, Edin worked on war crimes cases at the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was Editor-in-Chief of The Pulse of Democracy (Puls demokratije), an online publication on legal and policy issues in BiH published by Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina. He worked on a number of research projects and published several books, papers and research reports in the broad field of public law, including a co-edited volume on media and minorities in South-East Europe, and a book on constitutional reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He acted as a consultant on numerous occasions, advising the government and international organizations alike. Recently, Edin advised UNDP and the BiH Council of Ministers in the course of drafting a comprehensive transitional justice strategy for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Edin’s research interests mostly lie in the fields of constitutional law and international human rights law, but he also remains committed to combining insights from political science and political theory. He is particularly focused on exploring the theory and practice of collective and minority rights and complexities of transitional justice.
Mulry Mondélice is professor of international law, human rights and diplomacy in Glendon College's Department of International Studies, at York University. Prior to joining Glendon, he was a lecturer in international law at the Faculty of Law of Université Laval, and a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the McGill Faculty of Law's Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.
A guest lecturer of the Fondation René Cassin at the Haitian École de la magistrature, his research interests include humanitarian assistance, the rule of law standards in international relations, the roles of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in international cooperation and social justice, the international system of human rights. In particular, he has published « L’internationalisation du rôle des institutions nationales dans la promotion de l’État de droit sur la base des Principes de Paris », in Mélanges en l’honneur du Professeur Emmanuel Decaux, Pedone, 2017, « La coordination des mécanismes internationaux des droits de la personne...», RQDI, 2013, « L’action américaine et européenne en Haïti, in Loïc Grard (dir.), L’Union européenne et les Amériques, Pedone, 2015, « L’action humanitaire de l’Union européenne dans le cadre du conflit syrien », Études internationales, 2016, « l’Accord Cariforum-UE et la migration dans la Caraïbe » (à paraître).
Professor Mondélice holds four masters degrees in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Public Law, Private Law and Didactique du français from Université Panthéon-Assas and Université des Antilles and a bachelor in philosophy from the Université d’État d’Haïti. Dr Mondélice has given lectures in Canada, France-Martinique and Haiti where his academic excellence and leadership in the community have been recognized. His LL.D thesis, Le droit international et l’État de droit : enjeux et défis de l’action internationale à travers l’exemple d’Haïti (cotutelle Universités Panthéon Assas et Laval) will be published soon. A Haitian lawyer, he is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Jean Monnet Chair (Université Laval), of the Société québécoise de droit international and of the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques.
Noam Schimmel earned a PhD in Media and Communication from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in January, 2014. He has an MSc in Philosophy, Policy and Social Value from the LSE. His interdisciplinary doctoral research examined American Democratic presidential healthcare reform rhetoric, American healthcare reform policy and politics, and the human right to healthcare. Noam Schimmel was in residence September-December 2014, and remained as a visiting fellow until May 2015. Noam was awarded a Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship by the Humanity in Action Foundation. The fellowship will take place in June of 2015 and will examine human rights issues in the United States, France and Germany and how they impact national and international policy and diplomacy.
He served on the faculty of the School for International Training’s comparative human rights study abroad program from January – April of 2014, teaching courses on human rights and facilitating discussion and experiential learning in the three countries in which the program takes place in addition to the United States: Nepal, Jordan, and Chile.
He researches restorative justice post mass atrocity at the Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, with emphasis on restorative justice for survivors of the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi. He has published on a range of human rights topics including the rights of children, indigenous people, and genocide survivors as well as on development efforts to alleviate poverty and engender and sustain human security. His most recent articles have appeared in the Journal of Human Rights and Human Rights Review. He has also published in Development, Development in Practice, the International Journal of Children's Rights, the International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, and Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, amongst others.
Noam Schimmel has particular interests in the ethical dimensions of human rights law, the politics of human rights and humanitarian aid, and the role of rhetoric and communication in both advancing and limiting human rights. Schimmel was an O'Brien Fellow in Residence during the summer and fall of 2014 and a Visiting Fellow from January to May 2015.
O'Brien Fellows in Residence
Zelalem Kibret Baza - September 2018 - April 2019
Zelalem Kibret is an Ethiopian scholar and blogger. Previously, he was a Scholar-at-Risk fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, at New York University School of Law. Among other things, his research focuses on transitional politics and justice, traditional justice, individuals in International law, counterterrorism, and New Social Movements and Liberation Technology. By training, Zelalem is a lawyer specialized on Public International Law. He was a Professor of law at Ambo University in Ethiopia until April 2014.
Besides his teaching activities, Zelalem is a blogger at the Zone Nine Blogging platform, a collective which blogs and campaigns on Human Rights, Constitutionalism, and Democracy in Ethiopia. To mention a few, Zelalem is the co-recipient of the 2015 Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) International Press Freedom award and the 2015 Reporter Sans Frontieres’ (RSF) Citizen-Journalist award.
Zelalem earned his LL.M degree from Addis Ababa University in Public International Law. In June 2016, he was selected as one of the Mandela Washington Fellows — a flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) – and spent six weeks at the University of Virginia, The College of William and Mary, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Monroe’s Highland and at James Madison’s Montpelier — under the civic leadership track.
Nivedita Narain - September - December 2018
Nivedita Narain is a pioneer in the Indian self-help group movement. Over the last 30 years she has held various leadership roles in the NGO PRADAN, which works towards livelihoods development and gender justice in India’s poorest regions. She has built HR and institution development systems. She has built programmes that mobilised young professionals to work with poor communities in rural India including a Masters programme in Development Practice with the Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). She established the engagement with research partners from India, U.S.A., Australia, U.K. and the Netherlands to develop new pathways for socio-economic development and gender justice.
Her doctoral work explored the roles and competencies of social change professionals. Nivedita is interested in exploring how group rights impinge on those of individuals, especially women in indigenous communities. She is researching the dynamics of collective action at the intersectionality of class, ethnicity, caste and gender. She aims to document the history of the SHG movement as a vehicle of social change.
Dr. Narain was an Erasmus Mundus Fellow at the University of Gottingen. She was a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Development Practice at the Ambedkar University Delhi, and an Atlantic Visiting Fellow at the Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Nivedita has a PhD in Management from IIT Delhi, a Masters in International Development Policy from Cornell University, an MBA from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand; and a Bachelors in Mathematics from Delhi University.
Saeed Parto - September - December 2018
Saeed Parto holds a PhD in Human Geography from University of Waterloo and specializes in policy analysis. His academic and consultancy work has centred on analyzing policy in a wide array of areas including environmental policy at the organizational and regional scales (Canada), waste management at the national scale (the Netherlands and the United Kingdom), energy policy at the national scale (Afghanistan), transitions toward sustainability through technological change at the national and regional scales (Europe and Japan), institutional capacity building through development aid programs at the sub-national and national scales (Afghanistan, India, Ghana, Nigeria, and Vietnam), integration at the regional scale (Turkey and the European Union, Afghanistan and Central Asia), industrial greening at the sub-national and national scales (Canada), and industrial clustering at the sub-national scale (South Africa, Egypt, and Afghanistan).
He has carried out academic and applied research, published, and lectured extensively on these topics to an audience that has included undergraduate and graduate students, operations laypersons, NGOs, donor organizations, and private and public sector decision makers. The two key questions that have guided this work over the last 20 or so years are:
- Why are policy outcomes often different from policy objectives?
- How can the gap between policy outcomes and policy objectives be minimized?
To answer these questions he focuses on the modes of governance and the formal and informal institutions through which governance is exercised, emphasizing the links between governance and policymaking at different jurisdictional and territorial scales. Utilizing this systemic perspective, he has trained students and professionals from diverse disciplines and professional practice areas including urban planning, environmental and natural resource management, regional economic development, and policy and government studies, introducing them to the rich institutionalist literatures in economics, human geography, innovation economics, political science, and sociology.
He is co-founder and Director of Research at Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization (APPRO – www.appro.org.af) based in Kabul, Afghanistan and APPRO-Europe (www.appro-europe.net) based in Brussels, Belgium. He also acts as Director – Academic for Center for Good Governance, Gender Analysis, Applied Social Research, Public Administration, and Development (GRAD – www.GRAD.edu.af) with a mandate to strengthen state-civil society relations toward good governance in Afghanistan through cross-certified training of candidates from government, civil society organizations and businesses in partnerships with reputed European and North American academic institutions and professional associations.
Fatemeh Sadeghi Givi - September 2018 - February 2019
Fatemeh Sadeghi is a researcher and lecturer of Political Science and Gender Studies in Iran. She is specialized in Political Thought, Gender Studies, Islamic Political Thoughts, and Iranian Politics. She obtained her PhD in Political Thought in 2004 from Tarbiat Modarres University in Tehran. From 2003 until 2008, she taught as assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science of the Islamic Azad University of Karaj. She was also a co-editor of Goftogu, the Iranian journal of culture and society from 2003 and 2010, and a member of International Center for Dialogue among Civilizations in 2000-2001.
In 2007, she was granted a post-doc fellowship by SEPHIS and became an ISIM research fellow in Leiden. From 2009 to 2010, she worked as a research member of the Faculty of Social and Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. Currently she is working as independent scholar, researcher, translator and lecturer in Iran.
She has published several books and academic articles in both English and Persian. Her book in English, The Sin of the Woman: The Interrelations of Religious Judgments in Zoroastrianism and Islam (2018) was published by Claus-Schwartz Verlag in Berlin. Her books in Persian include Gender in Ethical Doctrines: From 3 to 9th Century Iran (2013), The Unveiling of the First Pahlavi: Rereading of a Modern Intervention (2013), Women, Power and Resistance in Post-revolutionary Iran (2012), Gender, Nationalism, and Modernity in the First Pahlavi (2006). Her translations from English into Persian include Leila Ahmad’s Women and Gender in Islam: The Historical Roots of a Modern Debate, Agnes Heller’s A Theory of Modernity, Asef Bayat’s Life and Politics, Reza Aslan's Zealot, and Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique.
See our page on Current Graduate Students to see which students currently hold O'Brien Fellowships.
- Edit Frenyó (See her bio on Grad Students & Postdocs)
- Rodziana Mohamed Razali (See her bio on Grad Students & Postdocs)
Rouba Al-Salem - 2018-2019
Rouba holds a PhD in Law from Montreal University's Faculty of Law (2016), where she researched the role of judicial review in a situation of prolonged occupation. She also obtained a Master of Arts in Middle East Politics from Exeter University and a Master of Law in Public International Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
In the past, Rouba Al-Salem has worked in and on human rights issues as they relate to the Middle East region, including for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; the International Organization for Migration, the Ford Foundation as well as for local and regional human rights organizations. She has also conducted research and evaluation based consultancies for the UNDP-Bahrain and the International Center for Transitional Justice (New York) amongst others. From 2017-2018, she was a postdoctoral Steinberg Fellow in International Migration Law and Policy at the Faculty of Law, McGill university.
Dia Dabby - January 2018 - January 2019
Dia Dabby is a visiting fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. She holds a Doctorate in Civil Law from the Faculty of Law at McGill University (2016), where her dissertation explored the place of religion in public schools in Canada. She also holds degrees from Université de Montréal (LL.B, LL.M.) and McGill University (B.A.). She has been a member of the Québec Bar since 2008.
Dia’s teaching and research interests focus on comparative constitutional law, religious diversity, education law, governance and legal methodology.
Her current research seeks to examine transnational religious practices and their place in public institutions.
Hanna Haile - September 2018 - August 2019
Hanna Haile is a visiting fellow at the Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. Her research and writing interests lie in the fields of international human rights, migration, sustainability and intellectual property rights. She is also interested in the question of how cultural phenomena shape and are shaped by law. She was a Steinberg Postdoctoral Fellow at the McGill Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism in the academic year 2017-2018. Her current project explores the experiences of Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees in Canada, with a particular focus on their interactions with the Canadian Legal System to understand the role of law in aggravating or mitigating the precariousness of their situation.
She is also involved in a UNRISD project on the human rights implications of the financialization of transnational business on rights and livelihoods, using the local impacts of the activities of copper mining companies on communities living on the Copperbelt of Zambia as a field study. Prior to joining the McGill Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, she worked for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Cornell University, the University of Asmara and the High Court of Asmara. She holds a J.S.D. and an LL.M. from Cornell University and an LL.B. from the University of Asmara.
Marie-Eve Loiselle - 2018-2019
Marie-Eve Loiselle is an ARC Research Fellow at UNSW Law School for the Discovery project Leveraging power and influence on the United Nations Security Council. Concurrently, she is a PhD scholar at the Australian National University, where she explores the relationship between law and border walls through the framework of legal materiality.
Previously, Marie-Eve worked on issues related to the UN Security Council as a Research Officer on the ARC linkage project Strengthening the rule of law through the United Nations Security Council, a collaborative research project between the Australian National University (ANU) and the Australian Civil-Military Centre. In 2014, she was an Australian Endeavour Executive Fellow with the New York-based NGO Security Council Report. Marie-Eve has also worked at international organisations (ILO, NATO) on issues related to international law and human rights.
She is an affiliate of the ANU Centre for Law, Arts & the Humanities, an executive member of the Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand (ACSANZ), and a member of the Quebec Bar.
Marina Sharpe – September 2017-August 2018
marina.sharpe [at] mail.mcgill.ca (email)) is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Faculty of Law, McGill University, where she was previously (2016-17) one of two inaugural Steinberg Fellows in International Migration Law and Policy. She is also currently the Senior Research Fellow at Global Canada, an organisation focused on bolstering Canada’s impact in international affairs.Dr Marina Sharpe (
Marina received her doctorate in law from the University of Oxford, where she was a Trudeau Scholar. Her thesis, supervised by Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill, was about refugee protection in Africa. Marina is called to the bars of England & Wales (Inner Temple) and New York, and spent time in private legal practice at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York and London. Prior to this, she worked as a legal advisor with the Refugee Law Project of Makerere University in Kampala, and later returned to Uganda as legal officer of the International Refugee Rights Initiative. Marina has undertaken consultancy and advisory work for organizations including Amnesty International, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and UNHCR. She has taught at the Universities of London, Oxford and Sherbrooke and has guest lectured widely, including at Georgetown, the University of Tripoli and Yale.
Marina’s scholarly work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and edited collections, as well as by UNHCR. In addition to her doctorate, Marina holds common and civil law degrees from McGill, an MSc in development studies from the LSE and a BA in economics and international development studies from McGill. See her SSRN and Academia.edu pages. She recently reviewed Jason M. Pobjoy's "The Child in International Refugee Law" in the Yale Journal of International Law.
María Belén Cardona Rubert (July-August 2018)
María Belén Cardona Rubert is a Professor of Labor and Social Security Law (Faculty of Law, University of Valencia) and a founding member of the Human Rights Institute of the University of Valencia. She is the Director of the research group INCLUSIVE (Public Instruments of Social Protection and Inclusion Policies). She is the former Director of the Employment Department of the University of Valencia and the first President of the APEP (Spanish Professionals Association of Privacy). She is the author of many books, handbooks and articles published by prestigious publishing houses: Aranzadi, Dyckinson, Bomarzo, Lex Nova, La Ley, Thomson-Civitas, Tirant lo Blanch, and Ministerio de trabajo, among others. She also currently supervises 3 PhD theses, two of them with the European Label.
Belén’s research interests mostly lie in the fields of human rights in the employment contract framework, gender, social and labor policies, employment and vulnerable work, right to privacy, data protection and ICT. Currently she leads and collaborates in different working groups related to such subjects.
Belén currently coordinates a research project granted by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, entitled « Fundamental Rights before the change in labour relationships in the digital era», as part of a national coordinated project with the universities of Seville, Vigo and San Sebastian. She previously directed other research projects granted by the Spanish Ministry of Economy: «Employment and Social Exclusion: Minimum Income Schemes and Other Instruments of Employment Policy », and « Public instruments of social protection in the management of labour change », this last as part of an integrated national coordinated project (Seville, Vigo and San Sebastian).
Samanta García Fialdini - 2018-2019 Coordinator
Samanta is a second-year law student at the McGill Faculty of Law. She holds a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she focused on Migration and Development.
Before joining the Faculty of Law, Samanta worked for over 7 years towards programs and policies that respect the rights of refugees and other vulnerable migrants in Canada and around the world, including through policy reform and awareness-raising. For most of that time, she particularly specialized on measures to improve access to services and strengthen the legislative protection of trafficked persons and migrants in situations of exploitation across Canada.