Members

Directorship

Nandini Ramanujam – Co-Director & Director of Human Rights Programs (web page)

Professor Nandini Ramanujam. Photo by Lysanne Larose
Professor Nandini Ramanujam is the Co-Director and Director of Programs of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism at McGill University's Faculty of Law. She also directs the International Human Rights Internship Program. She is the McGill representative for the Scholars at Risk Network and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Scholars at Risk Network, Canada section.

Nandini Ramanujam’s research and teaching interests include Law and Development, Institutions and Governance, Economic Justice, Food Security and Food Safety. She is also interested in the role of civil society and the Fourth Estate (Media) in promotion of the rule of law, as well as the exploration of interconnections between field based human rights work and theoretical discourses. She also has extensive experience in human rights issues, strategic planning, governance and programming, with a particular focus on education and civil society.

She was named co-director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism in 2021.

Frédéric Mégret – Co-Director (web page)

Professor Frédéric Mégret. Photo by Lysanne Larose.
Frédéric Mégret is a Professor of Law and a William Dawson Scholar at McGill University. He held the Canada Research Chair on the Law of Human Rights and Legal Pluralism from 2006 to 2015.

Professor Mégret is currently co-authoring a book on Diasporas and International Law with Larissa van den Herik (Leiden University). He is the co-editor with Philip Alston of The United Nations and Human Rights: A Critical Appraisal (Oxford University Press, 2020); with Immi Tallgren of The Dawn of a Discipline: International Criminal Justice and its Early Exponents (Cambridge University Press, 2020), and, with Kevin Jon Heller, Sarah Nouwen, Jens David Ohlin and Darryl Robinson of The Oxford Handbook of International Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 2020). His research interests include international human rights law, legal pluralism, the laws of war, international criminal law, public international law, international legal theory and international relations.

He was named co-director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism in 2021.

Full members

Kirsten Anker – Faculty of Law (web page)

Kirsten Anker
Image by Lysanne Larose.
Kirsten Anker joins the Law Faculty in 2006 as Assistant Professor and was a Boulton Fellow at McGill in 2004. She teaches in the areas of property and Indigenous peoples and the law, and is completing a doctoral dissertation at the University of Sydney, Australia on legal pluralism in the context of the recognition of native title in Australia. Generally she is interested in studying law as a lived human practice, and has written about anthropological and social-scientific approaches to law, aesthetics in proof of native title, and the intersection of normative orders in colonial states. At McGill she is principal researcher in a project funded by Justice Canada investigating the inclusion of Aboriginal legal traditions in Transsystemic Legal Education.

Mark Antaki – Faculty of Law (web page)

Mark Antaki

Professor Mark Antaki teaches several courses related to ethics and human plurality. He has a doctorate in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California, Berkeley where he completed a thesis undertaking 'A Genealogy of Crimes Against Humanity'. The thesis traced the historical transformations that made the naming of crimes against humanity possible (e.g. the trial of Louis XVI and the transformation of tyranny into a crime against humanity, the thought of Rousseau and the transformation of the laws of war into humanitarian law). Professor Antaki is interested in the philosophical commitments as well as in the understandings of law and politics that come along with the transformation of "humanity" into a legal and political category.

Adelle Blackett – Faculty of Law (web page)

Adelle Blackett
Image by Lysanne Larose.
Professor Blackett is a William Dawson Scholar with expertise in labour law, trade law, and international development. A former official of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, Prof. Blackett has also been a visiting academic at the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

She holds a doctorate in law from Columbia University where she taught as an Associate in Law for two years. She is a research coordinator for the Inter-university Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT), the convener of the Labour Law and Development Research Network (LLDRN) and the recent recipient of a Canadian Foundation for Innovation award to construct a Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory (LLDRL).

Professor Blackett's current community service includes an advisory role to the ILO on standard setting for decent work for domestic workers (2008-2011) and membership in the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse du Québec (2009-2014 appointment).

Ongoing research projects include rethinking the relationship between trade regulation and labour law from a distributive justice perspective, examining the role of international persuasion in labour law reform in West Africa, and identifying regulatory vehicles to promote the citizenship at work of domestic workers.

Megan Bradley - Department of Political science / Institute for the Study of International Development (web page)

Megan Bradley is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Development Studies at McGill University. Her research focuses on the rights and wellbeing of refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as on questions of transitional justice, reconciliation, and accountability for human rights violations. She holds a doctorate in International Relations from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and is the author of Refugee Repatriation: Justice, Responsibility and Redress (Cambridge University Press, 2013). In late 2015, Megan published a book entitled Forced Migration, Reconciliation and Justice with MQUP which explores the harsh reality that more people were displaced globally in early 2015 by conflict and human rights violations than at any time since the Second World War.

Professor Bradley is a Non-Resident Fellow with the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC where she is affiliated with the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, and has also worked with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Development Research Centre. From 2007-2008, she served as a Cadieux-Léger Fellow with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. She has conducted fieldwork in countries including Haiti, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, and is undertaking a SSHRC-funded study on the right of return.

Angela Campbell – Faculty of Law (web page)

Angela Campbell
Image by Lysanne Larose.
Professor Angela Campbell has studied issues of human rights and legal pluralism in the contexts of Family Law, Health Law and Criminal Law. Her current projects include a study (funded by the SSHRC and the Borden, Ladner Gervais Fellowship) of how legal approaches to polygamous marriages in Canada compare with appreciations of law, rules, tradition and expectations within polygamous families.

In another project (funded by La fondation du barreau du Québec), she explores how Quebec family courts treat the matter of parental drug and alcohol dependence in cases pertaining to child custody and access. This project examines the specific question of whether addiction can and should be treated as a "disability" in juridical analyses concerning children's best interests. Other recent projects focus on the effects generated "on the ground" for social workers of child welfare legislation (this study is funded by Valorisation Recherche Québec), and on cultural and familial norms and expectations that shape individual choices that can ultimately affect health outcomes.

François Crépeau (web page)

François Crépeau
Image by Lysanne Larose.
François Crépeau is Professor of International Public Law at the Faculty of Law, McGill University. He also holds the Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law. He is a Trudeau Fellow 2008-2011.

He teaches international public law, international law of human rights, minority rights and international migration and refugee law. From 2004 to 2008, he held the Canada Research Chair in International Migration Law at the Université de Montréal.

He has published many articles and books on migration and human righs issues, including Les migrations internationales contemporaines – Une dynamique complexe au cœur de la globalisation, co-published with Delphine Nakache and Idil Atak (Montréal : Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2009); and “Critical Spaces in the Canadian Refugee Determination System: 1989–2002”, co-published with Delphine Nakache (2008, 20.1 International Journal of Refugee Law 50-122). He directed the CHRLP from 2015 to 2020.

Allison Christians - Faculty of Law (web page)

Allison Christians holds the Stikeman Chair in the Law of Taxation at the McGill University Faculty of Law. Her research and teaching focus on national and international tax law and policy issues, with emphasis on the relationship between taxation and economic development and on the role of government and non-government institutions and actors in the creation of tax policy norms.

She has written numerous scholarly articles, essays, and book chapters, as well as editorials, columns, and articles in professional journals, addressing national and international tax law and policy issues.

Irwin Cotler, P.C., O.C., O.Q.

Irwin Cotler

The Honourable Irwin Cotler is the Founder- Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, longtime Member of Parliament, international human rights lawyer, counsel to prisoner of conscience, and Emeritus Professor of Law at McGill University

He is the recipient of fourteen honorary doctorates, where he has been recognized as “a scholar and advocate of international stature” (as cited in his various honorary doctorates). He has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the National Order of Quebec, and is the recipient also of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

An international human rights lawyer, Professor Cotler has served as Counsel to prisoners of conscience from all over the world including Nelson Mandela (South Africa), Liu Xiaobo (China), Andrei Sakharov and Natan Sharansky (former Soviet Union), Jacobo Timmerman (Argentina), Professor Saad Edin Ibrahim (Egypt), Leopoldo López (Venezuela), and Nasrin Sotoudeh (Iran).  For his work representing political prisoners, he was characterized as “counsel for the oppressed” by Canada’s national magazine, Macleans, and “freedom’s counsel” by the Oslo Freedom Forum.

Armand de Mestral – Faculty of Law (web page)

Armand de Mestral
Jean Monet Professor of Law. As teacher of Constitutional Law, Public International Law, International Trade Law and European Union Law, Professor de Mestral has frequently worked on the human rights dimensions of these subjects. Publications in this field include The Limitation of Human Rights in Comparative Constitutional Law (1986) (editor, with Irwin Cotler) and “ Mobility Rights in the European Union and Canada” (2001) 46 McGill Law Journal 979 (with Jan Winter). As a member of the Board of Governors and President of the Canadian Red Cross Society, Professor de Mestral has been involved in the planning and oversight of Red Cross programmes on international humanitarian law, including a number of international conferences devoted to these issues. He currently serves as chair of the Canadian Red Cross Advisory Committee on international humanitarian law. In 2007, he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for his exceptional contribution to legal education and to the development of Canadian constitutional law and international economic law.

Myriam Denov (web page)

Myriam Denov
Myriam Denov is a Full Professor and holds the Canada Research Chair in Youth, Gender and Armed Conflict (Tier 1).  Her research and teaching interests lie in the areas of children and youth in adversity, and international child protection, with an emphasis on war and political violence, children in armed conflict, and gender-based violence. A specialist in participatory research, she has worked with war-affected children in Asia, Africa, and the Americas and has conducted research on the reintegration experiences of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone and Colombia, and war-affected youth living in Canada.  Denov has presented expert evidence in court on child soldiers, and has advised government and nongovernmental organizations on children in armed conflict, and girls in armed groups.  She currently leads a multi-institutional and multidisciplinary research team on children and global adversity.  Denov has authored five books, including Child Soldiers: Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (Cambridge University Press) and Children’s Rights and International Development: Lessons and Challenges from the Field (Palgrave Macmillan).   In 2014, she was awarded a Trudeau Fellowship to address the realities of children born of wartime sexual violence in Northern Uganda.  Denov holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar.

Bernard Duhaime (web page)

Bernard Duhaime

Bernard Duhaime is Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM, Montreal, Canada), where he teaches mainly international human rights law and specializes on the Inter-American System of Protection of Human Rights. He also serves as a Member and President- Rapporteur of the Working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances reporting to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Bernard Duhaime is a Fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (2017-2021). Pr Duhaime contributes to the defense and promotion of human rights since 1996. He has worked or collaborated with several international and national human rights agencies, advised many human rights and indigenous peoples’ organizations, and human rights defenders, as well as international organizations and States. He regularly represents or assists victims and human rights defenders in contentious cases before international institutions. He founded the Clinique Internationale de Défense des Droits Humains de l’UQAM and was its first director. Pr Duhaime has authored more than fifty publications and presented more than one hundred communications worldwide. In Quebec, Pr Duhaime is a member of various research centers such as the Centre d’Étude sur le Droit International et la Mondialisation (UQAM) and the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la diversité au Québec (UQAM) and the Centre d’Études Interaméricaines (Laval University).

Pearl Eliadis (web page)

Pearl Eliadis
Pearl Eliadis is a human rights lawyer in private practice in Montreal. She has successfully led complex, global projects dealing with national human rights institutions, capacity assessment, and women’s rights, and has worked in China, Nepal, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan and Timor Leste. With more than twenty years’ experience in human rights law and public policy, Pearl has been retained by human rights institutions, NGOs, the United Nations, and the European Commission. She is president of the Quebec Bar Association's Human Rights Committee, past president of Equitas, and extensively involved in civil society organizations.  She received her law degrees at McGill and Oxford, and has received the Canada 125 Commemorative medal, the 2006 Woman of Distinction award, and the 2013 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award.

She has published books and articles on human rights and public administration and is on the Editorial Board of PKI's Global Justice Journal. She is an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law at McGill and her book on Canada's human rights commissions and tribunals, Speaking out on Human Rights: Debating Canada's Human Rights System, was published by McGill-Queens University Press (2014) and won the 2015 Huguenot Society of Canada award.

Omar Farahat - Faculty of Law (web page)

Omar Farahat

Omar Farahat is an Assistant Professor at McGill University, Faculty of Law. His areas of interest include classical Islamic law, legal theory, theology, and ethics. His current research focuses on the concepts of time, generality, and personhood, and the intersection of legal and moral theories in classical Islamic thought.

Farahat’s first book, The Foundation of Norms in Islamic Jurisprudence and Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2019) presents a new way of understanding the work of classical Islamic theologians and legal theorists who maintained that divine revelation is necessary for the knowledge of the norms and values of human actions. Through a reconstruction of classical Ashʿarī-Muʿtazilī debates on the nature and implications of divine speech, Farahat argues that the Ashʿarī attachment to revelation was not a purely traditionalist position, but a rational philosophical commitment emerging from debates in epistemology and theology.

Farahat’s research on Islamic legal theory and ethics has also appeared in the Journal of Law and Religion, the Journal of Religious Ethics, and Oriens. Before to joining McGill, he completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University, following which he spent a year as a Research Fellow at Yale Law School. Prior to that, he obtained a dual law degree from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Cairo University, an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, and an interdisciplinary M.A. in the humanities from New York University.

Evan Fox-Decent - Faculty of Law (web page)

Evan Fox-Decent

Evan Fox-Decent is a Social Science and Humanities Research Council Post-doctoral Research Fellow, and will take up a position as Assistant Professor starting July 1st, 2005, at the Faculty of Law. He teaches and publishes in legal theory, administrative law, First Nations and the law, and human rights. His present work concerns the nature of public authority and the rule of law. He has worked on human rights and democratic governance reform in Latin America since 1987, beginning with advocacy and relief work in El Salvador under the auspices of Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Medardo Gomez. He has since served with the UN Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA 1996-99), and has consulted on behalf of numerous development and research agencies, as well as on behalf of legal institutions in Latin America, including the Supreme Court of Venezuela, the World Bank, the International Development Bank, USAID, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre. He is presently a Director of the International Institute on Law and Society.

Jane Glenn – Faculty of Law 

Jane Glenn

Jane Glenn is an Emeritus Professor in the Faculty of Law, and has a joint appointment in the School of Urban Planning and a cross appointment in the McGill School of Environment. She was a member of McGill University’s Institute of Comparative Law and an Associate Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. She has held visiting positions in France, Brazil, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Mexico, and most recently was a Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (2003-2004). Professor Glenn has an ongoing interest in development issues in Caribbean basin countries, which she pursues as a member of the Groupe interuniversitaire de Montréal “Villes et développement” , an interdisciplinary group financed by the Canadian International Development Agency, with present projects in Nicaragua and Honduras. Her current research focuses on the right to housing, which she is pursuing in Trinidad, St. Lucia and Costa Rica with the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and in Canada with the support of a Dobson Fellowship from the Faculty of Law.

David Howes – Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University (web page)

David Howes is Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Centre for Sensory Studies at Concordia University, Montreal. He has conducted field research on the cultural life of the senses in the Massim and Middle Sepik River regions of Papua New Guinea, Northwestern Argentina, and the Southwestern United States.

Professor Howes has taught several courses in the McGill Law Faculty on human rights and social diversity, as well as the Foundations of Canadian Law course. He is the editor of a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society on "Cross-Cultural Jurisprudence: Culture in the Domain of Law" (2005). Other research interests include: the globalization of the consumer society, dealt with in Cross-Cultural Consumption (Routledge, 1996); and, the sensorium as a focus for cultural studies, addressed in Empire of the Senses (Berg 2004) and Sensual Relations (Michigan, 2003). Current funded projects include research on multi-sensory marketing, following which he intends to resume his research on the constitution of the Canadian imaginary.

Sébastien Jodoin - Faculty of Law (web page)

Sébastien Jodoin is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law of McGill University. He is also a Faculty Associate of the Governance, Environment & Markets Initiative at Yale University and currently serves as the President of Génération d’idées.

His research seeks to understand law in the context of its relationship with processes of policy and social change, new and evolving forms of public and private governance, and the manifold forces associated with globalization.

Derek Jones – McGill Research Group on Health and Law

Derek J. Jones is a health lawyer, lecturer and scholar. A graduate of Harvard and Yale Universities, he works at the interface of human rights, science and ethics in the analysis of questions such as:

  • What international norms offer model privacy standards for health information? 
  • When, if ever, should human research be conducted without informed consent?
  • Does procreative liberty mandate access to reproductive health technologies?
  • To protect dignitary interests, should the law recognize bodily property rights in human cells and tissue?
  • How should human rights guide the evolving law on genetic testing?
  • How may equality and confidentiality standards reform mental health policy in our workplaces?

To help answer such questions, Derek Jones has collaborated as senior advisor to governmental, professional, university, international bodies, including Justice Canada, Health Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Law Reform Commission of Canada, and United Nations. He served on Canada’s drafting committee for the International Declaration on Human Genetic Data, and for UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. As founding Director of the Government of Canada Interagency Advisory Panel and Secretariat on Research Ethics, he also played a leading role in the recent revision of Canada’s national standards for the ethical conduct research involving humans.

At McGill, he has taught health law in bioethics, psychiatry and law, AIDS law, comparative medical law, nursing law and ethics. He is the author of studies or reports on the right to health; genetic testing and human rights; AIDS & disability discrimination; human research and international privacy laws; brain death and organ transplantation; confidentiality; tissue sales and procurement ethics; post-mortem insemination; democratic values and ethics frameworks for biotechnology.

A member of McGill’s Research Group on Health and Law, his current research projects include human rights and research ethics; mental health in the workplace; conflict of interest in health sciences; health, human rights and disability.

Alana Klein – Faculty of Law (web page)

Alana Klein

Alana Klein was a Boulton Fellow at the Faculty before joining it as Assistant Professor in 2008. She teaches and researches in constitutional law, human rights law, international law and criminal law and is currently completing a doctorate Columbia Law School focussing on social and economic rights and health care governance. The position of marginalized groups and individuals in decentralized and privatized systems and the role of accountability requirements in governance and decision-making are primary preoccupations in her research. Prior to joining the Faculty, she was a senior policy analyst with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, where she worked on HIV/AIDS and immigration, legal and other barriers to harm reduction programs for people who use illegal drugs, and law reform to promote the rights of women and girls in the context of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. She has taught at Columbia Law School and Columbia University and has interned with the International Refugee Program at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First) and with the Palestinian Ministry of Economy and Trade. In 2002-2003, she was a law clerk to former Supreme Court of Canada justice Louise Arbour and she was appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in 2006.

Matthew Lange – Department of Sociology (web page)

Matthew Lange

(PhD, Brown University, 2004). Lange has been a professor at McGill since 2004. His work focuses on state building, nationalism, ethnic violence, development, colonial legacies, and comparative-historical methods. In addition to his articles and chapters, he has authored Lineages of Despotism and Development: British Colonialism and State Power (Chicago, 2009), Educations in Ethnic Violence: Identity, Educational Bubbles, and Resource Mobilization (Cambridge, 2012), and Comparative-Historical Methods (Sage, 2013) and is a co-editor of States and Development: Historical Antecedents of Stagnation and Advance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and The Oxford Handbook of the Transformations of the State (Oxford, 2015).

Jacob Levy – Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts (web page)

Professor Levy is the Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Political Science, and an associate member of the Department of Philosophy. His areas of interest in contemporary political theory include liberalism, multiculturalism, and nationalism, and questions involving the status and rights of intermediate groups including associations, indigenous peoples, linguistic minorities, and religious bodies. In the history of political thought, he studies mainly French, English, Scottish, and American theorists from the seventeenth through the early nineteenth century, including Montesquieu, Constant, Tocqueville, Hume, Smith, and the American founding. In jurisprudence and philosophy of law his interests include legal pluralism, constitutional theory, federalism, and choice of law.

Catherine Lu – Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts (web page)

Catherine Lu

Professor Catherine Lu teaches in the areas of political theory and international relations, and has taught courses on international political theory; global justice; and problems of post-conflict justice and reconciliation. She is the author of Just and Unjust Interventions in World Politics: Public and Private (UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), and has published articles and book chapters on themes such as cosmopolitanism as an ethical perspective, reparations after war, emotions and reconciliation after war, and the concept of political friendship in world politics. She was a faculty fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University (2004-5). Currently she is the Vice-Chair of the International Ethics Section of the International Studies Association (2008-10), and the North American Co-Convenor of the Standing Group in International Political Theory of the European Consortium for Political Research. She is working on a book manuscript on the idea of settling accounts in world politics following war, atrocity and oppression.

Marie Manikis - Faculty of Law (web page)

Marie Manikis teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Sentencing. Her research interests include criminal law, criminal procedure, human rights, victims, sentencing, gender theory and criminal justice.

Professor Manikis’ scholarship is interdisciplinary and uses social science methodologies, proportionality theory in sentencing, and gender perspectives to advance the available knowledge in criminal law and criminal justice. Her work has been published in Canadian and British peer-reviewed journals and was presented at several conferences and seminars, including for judicial training seminars with the National Judicial Institute (Canada), the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, the British Association of Comparative Law, the World Society of Victimology, as well as Canadian, British and American Universities.

During her doctoral studies, she taught graduate tutorials in criminal justice at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford and was a Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School. In 2008-2009, she taught tutorials on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and judicial review at York University. Prior to this, she practiced law in Montreal and clerked for a Superior Court Justice. Finally, Professor Manikis has been interested in the development of evidence-based policies and has provided consultation reports based on her research to the Department of Justice in Canada, the Ministry of Justice in England and Wales and the Canadian Senate.

Víctor Muñiz-Fraticelli – Faculty of Law / Dept of Political science (web page)

Víctor M. Muñiz-Fraticelli
Image by Lysanne Larose.
Víctor M. Muñiz-Fraticelli is Assistant Professor of Law and Political Science. He received a Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico, where he also served on law review, and later clerked at the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico for the Hon. Antonio S. Negrón-García and the Hon. Federico Hernández-Denton. He earned a PhD in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago for a dissertation entitled "The Structure of Pluralism". His interests range across philosophy, politics, and law. Muñiz-Fraticelli is currently working on clarifying the idea of pluralism in meta-ethics, politics, and law, and developing a defense of the autonomy of associations and of the institutions necessary for that autonomy to flourish. He is also interested in the currents of contemporary liberal theory – with special emphasis on the work and influence of John Rawls – and on the theory of private law and its relationship to sovereignty and constitutionalism.

Vrinda Narain – Faculty of Law / McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women (web page)

Vrinda Narain
Image by Lysanne Larose.
Vrinda Narain was a Boulton Fellow at the Faculty of Law before becoming Assistant Professor in 2008. She is a Research Associate in the Department of Afroasiatic Studies at the University of the Free State, South Africa. During the 2006-2007 academic year she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Asian Institute at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. As a lawyer, she has practiced in the areas of family law, laws relating to women, constitutional law, corporate law and administrative law. Her current research and teaching interests include constitutional law, feminist legal theory, social diversity and law, postcolonial studies and law and critical race theory.

Ronald Niezen - Faculty of Law / Faculty of Arts (web page)

Ronald Niezen has held the Katharine A. Pearson Chair in Civil Society and Public Policy in the faculties of Law and of Arts since 2013. He is also a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in the Anthropology of Law, and a Professor and former Chair of the Department of Anthropology.

Ronald Niezen researches and teaches in the areas of political and legal anthropology, indigenous peoples and human rights. He is an anthropologist with wide ranging research experience: with the Songhay of Mali, the Cree communities of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, and the Sami of northern Europe. Among his research interests are political/legal anthropology; Indigenous peoples and human rights; the social study of new media; thehistory of anthropology/social theory; and social change in Africa.

His most recent books are The Rediscovered Self: Indigenous Identity and Cultural Justice (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009), Public Justice and the Anthropology of Law (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Truth and Indignation: Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools (University of Toronto Press, October 2013).

René Provost (web page)

René Provost
Image by Lysanne Larose.
Professor Provost teaches and conducts research in public international law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, legal theory and legal anthropology. He is particularly interested in human rights, international criminal law, the law of armed conflict, and the intersection of law and culture. In September 2015, he was awarded a fellowship by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation for his research project that aims to explore the possibility of convincing armed, non-state groups to apply justice by respecting minimum standards of international humanitarian law in conflict zones.

He is the author of  International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Cambridge University Press, 2002), the editor of State Responsibility in International Law (Ashgate/Darthmout, 2002), and co-editor of Public International Law Chiefly as Applied and Interpreted in Canada (Emond Montgomery, 2006). He is also the editor of Mapping the Legal Boundaries of Belonging - Religion and Multiculturalism from Israel to Canada (OUP, 2014).

He has acted as a consultant for DFAIT and CIDA on numerous occasions, and served as the president of the Société québécoise de droit international from 2002 to 2006.

Shaheen Shariff – Department of Integrated Studies, Faculty of Education (web page)

Shaheen Shariff
Dr. Shariff is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at McGill University, and international expert on cyber-bullying. Her research and teaching are grounded in the study of law as it impacts educational policy, pedagogy and practice. Specifically, her work addresses the emerging policy vacuum on parent and school responsibilities to supervise and intervene when children and teenagers engage in bullying at school and in cyber-space. Her work identifies limits on student free expression in school and cyber-space; privacy rights, cyber-safety, cyber-libel; and school supervision (in the physical school setting and on-line). She has developed guidelines for school administrators, teachers and parents regarding the extent of their legal responsibilities to address cyber-bullying in various contexts. Her work also focuses on human rights, constitutional and tort law as they inform institutional responsibilities to provide safe and productive school and work environments; censorship and diversity in schools.

Dr. Shariff has served on an international advisory committee working with UNESCO and CIDA as part of a group of consultants working with the International Institute for Educational Planning to develop a toolkit for drafting Teacher Codes of Conduct at the global level. She was also recently a panelist with the(US) First Amendment Center’s online symposium which featured her scholarship on the legal implications for educational institutions in relation to policy issues around cyber-bullying.

Colleen Sheppard (web page)

Colleen Sheppard

Professor Colleen Sheppard's teaching and research focus on human rights law, equality rights, comparative constitutional law and feminist legal theory. In addition to her teaching at McGill Professor Sheppard has been a visiting professor at Dalhousie Law School, the University of Maine, School of Law, and the Institut de droit comparé, Université Lyon III.

Colleen Sheppard served as Research Director for the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism from 2005-2009. Her recent publications include Inclusive Equality: The Relational Dimensions of Systemic Discrimination in Canada (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010) and "Reducing Group-based Inequality in a Legally Plural World", Working Paper, CRISE (Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity), Oxford University; published online, February 2010.

Beyond her teaching and research work in the domain of human rights, Professor Sheppard has been active in public service activities to promote and advance human rights in Canada and internationally. She served as a Commissioner on the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission from 1991-1996, is a board member of Equitas - International Centre for Human Rights Education, and has been a consultant with the Canadian International Development Agency, Justice Canada, the National Judicial Institute, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Ontario Métis Aboriginal Association and the International Labour Organization. Colleen was director of the CHRLP between 2010 and 2015. She was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada in 2016.

Mirja Trilsch (web page), Dép. des sciences juridiques, UQAM

Mirja Trilsch
Mirja Trilsch is a professor at the Department of Law at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) where she teaches Constitutional Law and International Human Rights Law. Since 2011, she is also the Director of UQAM’s International Clinic for the Defence of Human Rights (Clinique internationale de défense des droits humains de l’UQAM - CIDDHU in its French acronym). The CIDDHU was founded in 2005 and, at the time, was the first clinic of its kind in the francophone world.

Mirja has directed clinical projects in collaboration with numerous Human Rights organizations around the world, such as a parallel report on Sexual Violence against Children in Cambodia for the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), a research paper on the enforcement of the European Convention of Human Rights in Russia for the organization Sutyajnik, a guide on how to follow up on the recommendations of the UN Committee against torture for the Centre guinéen de Promotion et de Protection des Droits de l’Homme and a parallel report on Violence against women and girls for the Human Rights Association of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Her research focusses broadly on the issue of social justice under both Constitutional and International Human Rights Law. In 2014, she obtained a 50K SSHRC grant for a research project on social justice as a fundamental principle in Canadian Constitutional Law. She has published on the enforcement of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in several jurisdictions and, in 2014, she was the Canadian National Rapporteur on “Social and economic rights as fundamental rights” at the XIXth International Congress of Comparative Law in Vienna.

Born and raised in Germany, Mirja immigrated to Canada in 2007. She holds a law degree from the University of Düsseldorf (Germany) and a Master’s degree in International and Comparative Human Rights Law from McGill University (2001). In 2007, she obtained her PhD with distinction from the University of Düsseldorf (Germany), her thesis dealing with the justiciability of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Before joining UQAM, first as a lecturer and then as a professor, she taught at the University of Düsseldorf and worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. She is fluent in German, English and French.

Jon Unruh – Department of Geography, Faculty of Science (web page)

Professor Unruh teaches and researches in the areas of international development, land tenure, legal geography, and global environmental change. His particular emphasis is on post-war land and property rights as part of the peace process. He has worked with the UN and other donors and the governments of Mozambique, Somalia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, and Liberia on land policy reform in the context of post-war recovery. Professor Unruh is interested in the emergence of multiple, informal normative orders regarding land rights during and after armed conflict, and how these can be reconciled with land and property prescriptions in peace accords, and formal land policy reform in a peace process. His current interest focuses on the role that evidence for claim plays in this reconciliation. In an environmental change context, Dr. Unruh is interested in how land tenure problems lead to a ‘clearing to claim’ approach to land, which results in large-scale deforestation in the developing world; and the intersection of land tenure and biodiversity in Africa. He has published widely on issues of land tenure in the peace process, and the land tenure aspects of environmental change and international development. Professor Unruh has also worked as a consultant for FAO, the World Bank, USAID, and IDRC.

Shauna Van Praagh – Faculty of Law (web page)

Shauna Van Praagh
Image by Lysanne Larose.
Professor Shauna Van Praagh incorporates human rights and social diversity issues into her teaching of Extracontractual Obligations/Torts and Graduate Legal Methodology. She has also taught Social Diversity and Law, a course which explores interdiciplinary perspectives on law, identity and social orders, Children and Law, and Foundations of Canadian Law.

Professor Van Praagh's research interests focus on the rights, duties and needs of young people, on religious and cultural identities within family, community and school, on the challenges to governance structures posed by social diversity, and on the relationship between law and literature particularly in pedagogy.

Professor Van Praagh has acted as a research consultant to the Bouchard-Taylor Commission and to the Law Commission of Canada on its "Beyond Conjugality" project; has carried out research on the Hasidic Jewish communities of Montreal; and has led judicial education workshops exploring social diversity in the theory and practice of family law.

Daniel Weinstock – Faculty of Law (web page)

Daniel Weinstock

Daniel Weinstock studied Political Science and Political Philosophy at McGill University, where he received a BA and an MA, between 1980 and 1986. He received a DPhil in Political Philosophy from Oxford University, where he studied between 1986 and 1991. From 1988 to 1989, he was a visiting doctoral student at Harvard University. He completed postdoctoral work in the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University, before joining the faculty of the Department of Philosophy of the Université de Montréal in 1993. From 2002 to 2011, he was the Founding Director of the Centre de recherche en éthique de l’Université de Montréal. In 2012, he became a Professor in the Faculty of Law and in the Department of Philosophy of McGill University. He has held Visiting Appointments at Université Lyon III, at the Australian National University, at Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto, Japan), and at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, in Barcelona, Spain. His research interests span a wide range of topics in contemporary moral and political philosophy – from the just management of ethnocultural and religious diversity in modern liberal democracies, to state policy with respect to children, families, and educational institutions.

Associate members

 Payam Akhavan - Massey College; University of Toronto; Permanent Court of Arbitration

Payam Akhavan

Payam Akhavan, (payam.akhavan [at] mcgill.ca (email)) LLB (Osgoode), LLM SJD (Harvard), is Senior Fellow at Massey College, Distinguished Visitor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto, and Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. He was previously Full Professor at McGill University Faculty of Law, with prior appointments at Yale Law School, Oxford University, Université Paris Nanterre, European University Institute, and Leiden University.

He has published extensively on international criminal law and in 2017 he delivered the CBC Massey Lectures. Professor Akhavan was the first Legal Advisor to the Prosecutor's Office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and also served with the UN in Bosnia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda, and Timor Leste. He has served as counsel in notable cases before the European Court of Human Rights, the International Criminal Court, and the International Court of Justice, including the Application of Genocide Convention Case (The Gambia v Myanmar) regarding the persecuted Rohingya minority. His human rights work has been featured in the New York Times, BBC HARDtalk, CBC Ideas, Maclean's, and other media.

 Michael Brown - Institute for the Study of International Development

Michael J. Brown
Michael Brown (michael.j.brown [at] mcgill.ca (email)) is a Professor of Practice in Conflict Mediation at McGill University's Institute for the Study of International Development, and a regular consulting advisor to the United Nations (UN) on mediation, conflict and peacebuilding. His work focuses primarily on natural resource and land conflicts.

He was the UN's Senior Mediation Expert on Land and Natural Resource Conflicts for the Department of Political Affairs' (DPA) Standby Mediation Team, and a Senior Expert on Natural Resources, Environmental Diplomacy and Mediation for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). He has also held leadership and senior advisory positions with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN DPA, the World Bank, and UN peace missions. Among many professional and academic publications, Michael is one of the principal contributing authors of Natural Resources and Conflict: A Guide for Mediation Practitioners (United Nations, 2015).

His experience spans dozens of countries through Latin America, Asia, Africa and North America. His natural resource conflict expertise covers extractive industries, land and water disputes, particularly when local and/or indigenous communities are involved or affected. In Canada, he has worked on environmental and natural resources law, aboriginal law, policy development and alternative dispute resolution. He is now focusing his Canadian efforts on consensus building, mediation, and the design and strengthening of policy and institutional frameworks to promote conflict prevention and resolution. He was called to the Bar in the Province of Ontario, and is a Certified Mediator in the Province of Québec. He speaks English, Spanish and French.

Daniel Cere – Faculty of Religious Studies

Daniel Cere

Daniel Cere is the professor of Religion, Ethics and Public Policy in the Faculty of Religious Studies. He teaches courses in religion and public policy, sexual ethics, and social ethics. His main areas of research include religion and liberalism, religious freedom, religion and human rights, marriage and family law, religion and education.

In 2002 he founded the Institute for the Study of Marriage, Law & Culture, a non-partisan independent think-tank that tracks major developments and public debates relating to marriage and family in Canada. His publications include Divorcing Marriage (2004) and The Future of Family Law (2005) as well as journal articles in Public Interest, Theological Studies, and Louvain Studies.

Ian Hamilton - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Pierre Deschamps

Ian served as Executive Director of Equitas from January 2004 to June 2020. He first joined the organization in 1997. Before coming to Equitas, Ian worked for the Coordinating Committee of Human Rights Organizations of Thailand for 16 months in Bangkok, assisting their campaign for the establishment of a National Human Rights Commission. From 1992-1995, he worked in a number of positions, including Asia Program Officer, at the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights and Democracy) in Montreal.

Ian served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (now Cooperation Canada) from2017-2020, serving as the Chair of the Membership Committee. He is also a volunteer member of the Community Advisory Group of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and a member of the DIGNA Advisory Committee.

Ian graduated from the University of Toronto in 1990 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History.

Homa Hoodfar - Concordia University

Homa Hoodfar
Homa Hoodfar is a Professor of Anthropology, Emerita, at Concordia University, Montreal. Her field-based research and expertise are in political economy and legal anthropology; focusing on reproductive rights; Afghan women and youth refugees in Iran and Pakistan; women in formal and informal politics; hijab and dress codes as political institutions; gender and citizenship; Muslim women’s sports as politics; and gender and the public sphere in Muslim contexts. Describing herself as an academic in the service of civil society, Professor Hoodfar has also been actively involved in the Research and Publication Division of Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) Network’s whose mission is to promote gender equality and plural democracy, since the 1980s. Her books include Women’s Sport as Politics in Muslim Contexts WLUML (2015); Sexuality in Muslim Contexts: Restrictions and Resistance (edited with Anissa Hellie). London: Zed Books (2012); Electoral Politics: Making Quotas work for women London: WLUML (2011) (co-authored with Mona Tajali). The Muslim Veil in North America: issues and debates (Edited) with Sajida Alvi, and Sheila McDonough, Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press (2003). Between Marriage and the Market, Berkeley: University of California Press(1997); Development, Change, and Gender in Cairo: A View from the Household. (edited with Diane Singerman) Indiana University Press, and numerous articles based on her different research projects.

Yolanda Muñoz

Yolanda Muñoz
Yolanda Muñoz completed a Master and a Ph.D. in Japanese Studies from 1994–2003 as part of the academic excellence program in this field at El Colegio de México (Mexico City). She focused on Gender Studies and the Ainu people of Northern Japan. In 2004, her thesis “The Resistance Literature of the Ainu Women” (“La literatura de Resistencia de las mujeres ainu”) received the Mexican Academy of Science’s award to the best doctoral thesis in the category “Cultural Studies.” Her work was published by El Colegio de México in 2008 (Open Access via JSTOR). To complete her doctoral work, she was awarded a Sylff Fellowship and a scholarship of Ministry of Education of Japan to become a research student at the University of Tokyo (1998–2000). She also received financial support from the National Council of Science and Technology (Mexico) from 1994–1997.

Parallel to this work, as a full-time wheelchair user Yolanda Muñoz has accumulated significant experience in the advancement of human rights of persons with disabilities in Mexico, Quebec and at the international level. She published a research on the situation of Women with Disabilities in Mexico (INMUJERES, 2003), and has taught the course “Gender and Disability” at the McGill Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies since 2006. She has collaborated with the Japan Program at the Inter-American Development Bank (2004–2005) and served as Program Officer for the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund in 2010 and from January 2012 through December 2015. Her responsibilities included overseeing the grants of the LAC and MENA regions, as well as some projects of the Strategic Partnerships initiative. Since 2018, she has worked as an external consultant for Global Greengrants Fund, to promote anti-ableist practices in their grant-making strategies. She is currently co-investigator for the Disability-Inclusive Climate Action Research Programme, with the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism at the McGill Faculty of Law, together with Professor Sébastien Jodoin and Professor Nandini Ramanujam. She is a Senior Research Associate with the Canada Research Chair in Human Rights and the Environment and contributes to its research and policy activities on the intersections of disability and environmental justice.

Laura Madokoro - Carleton University (web page)

Laura’s research explores the history of global migration and its influence in the shaping of the modern world. I am especially interested in the histories of settler colonialism, refugees, humanitarianism, human rights and race relations.

A native of Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Laura rambled off along a series of different paths, including a teaching gig in Japan and a stint as an archivist at Library and Archives Canada, before making a return to academic life in 2007. She was a Trudeau Scholar in 2009. She completed her PhD in History at the University of British Columbia in 2012 and spent the following year with the History Department at Columbia University as a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow. She then moved on to pursue postdoctoral work at Columbia University, New York City.

Laura is currently preparing a manuscript on the history of refugees in Asia during the Cold War, looking specifically at the migration and resettlement of Chinese refugees to the white settler societies of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. She also has a number of articles in the works covering topics such as the creation of the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees Refugee, photography and Chinese exclusion in New Zealand and humanitarian relief efforts in colonial Hong Kong in the 1950s.

She has published in the Journal of Refugee Studies, the Canadian Historical Review, the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association and the Urban History Review. As someone who cares deeply about the political implications of the historical craft, particularly as they relate to contemporary events, Laura has also contributed a number of comment pieces to the Globe and Mail, the National Post and activehistory.ca.

Aristide Nononsi – Executive Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa

Dr. Aristide Nononsi was the Associate Director of the Centre for Developing Area Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Senior Boulton Fellow in International Development and the Law. He served as Executive Secretary of the Staff Appeals Committee and Head of the Appeals Committee Unit in the African Development Bank (AfDB).

He has been Executive Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa since 2012.

In November 2014, he was appointed as the UN's Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in the Sudan, for his extensive experience in technical assistance and capacity-building activities on human rights systems and procedures in the region.

From 2007-2011, he was the  Executive Director of the Centre for Developing Area Studies in the Institute for the Study of International Development (McGill University) and Senior Boulton Fellow in International Development and the Law, Faculty of Law.  In this capacity, he has taught and published on issues related to the law of international organizations, fragile states, international labour law and human rights, children’s rights and international development. From 1999-2007, Dr. Nononsi served as Head of the Appeals Committee Unit in the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia. He has also worked from 1992–1998 for the International Labour Office (ILO) on Child Labour, International Labour Standards, and Maritime Labour Law in Switzerland, Côte d’Ivoire and Algeria. Aristide Nononsi completed his doctoral studies at the Université Montesquieu, Bordeaux4, France, specializing in public international law. He also holds two DEA, one in political science from the Science Po Bordeaux and the other in Law, from Université Bordeaux I.

Cecilia Thompson

Cecilia Thompson
Cecilia Thompson (cecilia.thompson [at] gmail.com (email)) is a senior human rights consultant with over 25 years of experience with the United Nations, governments and civil society. She has developed a strong expertise in the implementation of international human rights standards and procedures. She has worked extensively in the field human rights education, and has proven advocacy, capacity-building and training experience.

She was Senior Program Officer with Equitas - International Centre for Human Rights Education where she contributed to the design, implementation and evaluation of multi-year human rights education programs; Human Rights Officer with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights working in the field of minority rights, the rights of persons with HIV/AIDS, as well as that of forced displacement, and the nexus between human rights and humanitarian law; and Program Officer with a number of NGOs, including the International Commission of Jurists and the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. Her overseas experience has included working in Papua New Guinea on health care issues, and in Vanuatu on development assistance with the British High Commission.  

As a consultant, Cecilia has worked with Global Affairs Canada, La Francophonie, Rights & Democracy and Development & Peace in Montreal, and the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Sri Lanka. This has included supporting States in implementing the Universal Periodic Review process of the Human Rights Council, drafting, implementing and evaluating human rights and development projects, designing human rights education manuals and toolkits, and undertaking human rights research. Furthermore, she has implemented human rights training workshops in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, and Tunisia.

She has published a number of articles on the protection of the rights of minorities, fundamental standards of humanity, and the human rights work of the United Nations.

She holds an LLM in International Law from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and a BA Honours in International Relations and Development from the University of Sussex, UK. She speaks English, French and German.

Coordinators & interns

 

Kimia Towfigh - Events and Seminars Assistant

Kimia Towfigh
Kimia is completing her final year of studies at McGill University Faculty of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Sociology from the University of Winnipeg. She recently served as Editor-in-Chief of the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law and worked at the Refugee Centre in Montreal as a legal intern. Her research interests include sustainable development, immigration law, and taxation.

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