Current Graduate Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows

Laura Baron-Mendoza - O'Brien Fellow


A Colombian lawyer trained at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana; Laura Baron-Mendoza specializes in conflict resolution. She holds an LLM in International Humanitarian Law from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. 

She has been involved with international and national entities throughout her professional career. Previously, she was the legal coordinator at Avocats Sans Frontières Canada (ASFC) and served as a consultant for the High Commissioner for Peace in Colombia during the peace talks between the government and the FARC-EP. In December 2021, she joined MADRE as a human rights advocacy officer.

She has published for the Colombian journal El Espectador - Colombia2020, commenting on the non-international armed conflict and the concomitant Transitional Justice system created by the Habana Peace Agreement of 2016. 

As a DCL candidate and O’Brien Fellow, her research is focused on the socio-legal challenges posed by the coexistence of normative orders in contexts of ongoing armed violence. This subject derives from her work with former members of non-State armed groups in Colombia, mainly in the Urabá antioqueño Region (North-west of Colombia). 

Maria Adelaida Ceballos-Bedoya - O'Brien Fellow

Maria Adelaida Ceballos-Bedoya
Maria Adelaida (maria.ceballos [at] (email)) is a doctoral (DCL) candidate at McGill's Faculty of Law and an O’Brien Fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. She is a Colombian lawyer with a master’s degree in sociology from the National University of Colombia. Her doctoral project, supervised by Professor Shauna Van Praagh, examines gender inequalities in the Colombian judicial system. More specifically, she is studying the factors that facilitate or hinder the entry of women to different levels of the judiciary in the context of state weakness, as found in Colombia. In 2020, she received the National Scholarship Vanier awarded by the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Before coming to McGill, Maria worked as a researcher at the Centre for the Study of Law, Justice, and Society (Dejusticia), a Colombian think tank dedicated to human rights research and strategic litigation in favor of vulnerable groups in Latin America. During her time at Dejusticia, Maria co-authored two books on justice and the legal profession with Dr. Mauricio García-Villegas. She also gained extensive teaching experience at EAFIT University (Medellin, Colombia), where she taught courses on the Sociology of Law and Constitution and Citizenship.

Read her contribution to the CHRLP blog.

Luisa Castaneda Quintana - DCL student

Luisa Castaneda Quintana
Luisa Castaneda Quintana is a DCL candidate at McGill University's Faculty of Law. She is conducting her research under the supervision of Prof. Victor Muniz-Fraticelli, focusing on legal pluralism, extractive industries, resistance, and Indigenous Peoples' identity. Specifically, she analyzes how the Wiwa people's interactions with different normative orders in the context of extractivism have transformed their identity and forged various forms of resistance. In 2021, she received the National Scholarship Vanier awarded by the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Her main research areas are legal pluralism, legal anthropology, Indigenous Peoples, conservation, extractivism, and judicial activism.

Luisa is a Colombian lawyer specialized in human rights with an emphasis on Indigenous Peoples' rights. She holds a master's degree in Law from the Libre University in Colombia and an LLM in Comparative Law and Economics from the University of Turin and IUC in Italy.

Before her doctoral studies, she gained extensive experience working for international cooperation organizations and civil society. She has been an international consultant at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in the Indigenous Peoples Unit, headquarters. She also worked in Colombia with Indigenous Peoples in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Amazon on environmental, territorial management, and governance issues, orienting her work on strategic litigation.

Daniel Del Gobbo - Banting Postdoctoral Fellow

Daniel Del Gobbo
Daniel Del Gobbo is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the McGill University Faculty of Law. His research and teaching fall at the intersection of civil procedure, access to justice, human rights, and critical theory, with a focus on issues of gender and sexuality. Publishing widely in these areas, Daniel has a book forthcoming with the University of Toronto Press, Negotiating Feminism: Charting a Path through Law, Sex, and Violence, which traces the reflection of the feminist "sex wars" from the late 1970s to the early 1990s in contemporary debates about the role of law in addressing the problem of campus sexual violence. Previously, Daniel earned his S.J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2021, where he was a Trudeau Scholar, SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, and CBA Viscount Bennett Fellow. He earned his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2015 and J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2011.

Cynthia Kelechi Eboson - O'Brien Fellow

Cynthia Eboson
Barrister Cynthia Kelechi Eboson is a poised legal professional and researcher with a successful academic and career record.

Barrister Cynthia graduated from the University of Exeter, Faculty of Law in England, United Kingdom in 2018. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2019 after completion of studies at the Nigerian Law School. A member of the Nigerian Bar Association, she has worked as a Lawyer and Human Rights Activist with various law firms and NGOs in Nigeria.

Barrister Cynthia is a young professional whose primary interests are related to Human Rights with special regard to Gender equality and promotion of Women’s rights. This led to the establishment of her own NGO targeted at sensitizing communities in Nigeria on the importance of gender equality and promotion of human rights among communities in Nigeria.

Her proposed research topic which is titled “Navigating Entrenched Customary Law and Human Rights: A case study of Inheritance rules and Gender rights in Nigeria” aims to add to the body of literature on the promotion of gender equality. Barrister Cynthia hopes to build a community of professionals with similar interests and set to impact knowledge and influence around the International Community.

Pranoto Iskandar – O’Brien Fellow

Pranoto Iskandar
Pranoto Iskandar is the Founding Director of the Institute for Migrant Rights. Iskandar had lectured at several universities, including the Peking University's School of Transnational Law, Monash University Malaysia, and some Indonesian law schools.

Previously, he worked at some Jakarta-based law firms. He is the Inaugural Fellow for The Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies, Malaysia of the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus and has been a visiting scholar at University of Oslo's Norwegian Centre for Human Rights.

He has written, edited and translated a number of books and articles on international law, constitutionalism, human rights, and migration. His most recent publishing initiative through the Institute is The Indonesian Journal of International and Comparative Law. He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, and is Advising Editor for Borders and Migrations Studies Online, a multimedia database on human migration.

Some of his most recent scholarly publications can be found in Social & Legal Studies, Oxford University Comparative Law Forum, and the Journal of Contemporary Asia.

S. M. Morsalin Hider – O’Brien Fellow

S. M. Morsalin HiderS. M. Morsalin Hider is an LLM Thesis candidate in the Faculty of Law, McGill University. Prior to McGill, he has completed a specialized Post-Graduate Diploma in Genocide Studies from the University of Dhaka. He has an LLB (Hons) and an LLM Degree from the University of Asia Pacific, Bangladesh.

His experiences related to human rights started from 2018 while participating in the Human Rights Summer School, a one-of-a-kind residential human rights training program in Bangladesh. He has also worked in several NGO’s projects (with vulnerable communities, such as transgendered people and Dalit) for the promotion and protection of human rights in Bangladesh. Furthermore, Morsalin has participated in a number of moot court competitions, including the Phillip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, and he has won a number of best mooter awards.Morsalin is immensely interested in the fields of Human Rights Law, Humanitarian Law and Public International Law. He regularly publishes in the peer-reviewed journals and other academic forums on the issues of human rights and international law. Most of his research work focuses on the implication and uplifting of the norms of human rights. As an O’Brien Graduate Fellow at McGill, Morsalin will be working on one of the core human rights i.e.; the freedom of speech and expressions. His research mainly focuses on the restrictions imposed in the global instruments of human rights and the laws governing freedom of speech and expression in Bangladesh.

April Amanda Nutakor - O'Brien Fellow

April Amanda Nutakor
April Amanda Nutakor is currently an LLM candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. In 2020, she graduated from the University of Ghana School of Law as the Valedictorian of the 2020-year group, with a First-Class Honours and a 3.84 FGPA. From September 2019 to May 2021, she was a participant of an intercultural human rights project organized by the Harvard Law School in collaboration with the University of Ghana School of Law. The project focused on the right of the girl child to education in the Northern region of Ghana.

Previously, Amanda also worked at the Legal Resources Centre (the ‘LRC’), a non-governmental organization in Ghana, which focuses on development work and provides legal aid services. During her time at the LRC, she participated in human rights trainings and worked on the Prisons’ Project which was designed to increase awareness of the rights of prisoners and to provide legal aid to indigent persons in prisons awaiting trial or appealing against wrongful conviction.

Amanda is currently working part-time at an international UK-Ghana based law firm 'Egality Law'. The firm serves a range of clients from multinationals to non-profits and Amanda supports the team with legal research and analysis with a particular interest in human rights, criminal justice and defamation matters.

Her areas of research at McGill include juvenile and criminal justice, and human rights.

Jeanne Pérès - O'Brien Fellow

Jeanne Pérès
Après avoir complété un baccalauréat en droit à l’Université de Montréal (UdeM) et son examen du Barreau à l’hiver 2021, je suis heureuse d’entamer une maîtrise en droit autochtone à l’Université McGill. Mon implication au sein du comité en droit autochtone de l’UdeM, ma participation au Kawaskimhon Moot, de même que mes expériences de travail dans des régions éloignées du Nord et du Grand Nord québécois aux côtés d’Innus ont contribué à faire de la cause autochtone ma vocation. C'est à travers mon parcours universitaire que j’ai pris goût à la recherche et à la rédaction juridique, notamment à titre d’assistante de recherche, d’étudiante en droit au sein d’un cabinet privé, mais également dans le cadre de concours de rédaction et de séminaires de recherche. Ces apprentissages ont renforcé ma volonté de faire du droit un moyen efficace de rendre justice. Soutenue par le Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines (CRSH) du Canada grâce à la bourse Joseph Armand-Bombardier et par le Centre pour les droits de la personne & le pluralisme juridique de l’Université Mc Gill avec la bourse O’Brien, je souhaite rédiger une thèse qui reflète la collision entre notre régime juridique et les traditions juridiques autochtones et leur possible réconciliation.

Yuri Alexander Romaña-Rivas - O'Brien Fellow

Yuri Romana-Rivas

Yuri Alexander Romaña-Rivas  (yuri.romana-rivas [at] (email), LinkedIn), an Afro-Colombian lawyer, is a current doctoral (Ph.D.) student in the Comparative Law concentration of the Doctor of Civil Law (DCL-Comparative Law) program at McGill's Faculty of Law and an O’Brien Fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. He is a recipient of the 2022 National Scholarship Vanier awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Yuri also received the 2022 John Peters Humphrey Fellowship in International Human Rights or International Organization awarded by the Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL). 

Yuri holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Law and Legal Studies from American University, Washington College of Law in Washington DC, where he studied with a Fulbright Scholarship. He obtained his Law degree (LLB) at the “Diego Luis Córdoba” Technological University of Chocó (U.T.CH) in Colombia. Yuri has significant legal experience in International Human Rights Law and transitional justice mechanisms. Between 2018 and 2021, he worked as a specialized lawyer at the Chamber for Amnesty and Pardon of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) in Colombia, a transitional justice tribunal established in 2018 as a result of the 2016-Peace Agreements between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia- People's Army (Las FARC-EP) to investigate, prosecute and try the most serious crimes committed in the context of the more than 50-year armed conflict in Colombia. Previously, Yuri worked for more than five years as a Human Rights Specialist at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an autonomous international human rights body of the Organization of American States (OAS) based in Washington, D.C, where he worked within the Precautionary Measures Mechanism and the Individual Petitions and Cases System. Additionally, Yuri has researched and published on different human rights-related topics such as transitional justice, structural racism, and standards of due process guarantees under International Human Rights Law.        

His doctoral research, under the supervision of Professor René Provost, focuses on the need for transitional justice to address the underlying causes of the disproportionate impacts of armed conflicts on racialized communities by incorporating transformative measures with a racially-sensitive approach. 

    Isabella Spano - DCL student

    Isabella is a DCL candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. She obtained her combined Bachelor and Master of Laws degree (cum laude) at the Faculty of Law of the University of Bologna, where she graduated with a thesis on the criminalization of Holocaust denial and hate speech in Europe and North America.

    Isabella has collaborated with the EU-sponsored MELA (Memory Laws in European and Comparative Perspective) project, under the supervision of Prof. Emanuela Fronza, and she is Cultrice della Materia in International and European Criminal Law at the University of Bologna.

    Her research interests include international criminal law, human rights, and the interactions of the law with new technologies.

    Edward van Daalen – Postdoctoral Fellow

    Edward van Daalen
    Edward van Daalen is a critical socio-legal researcher specialised in international human/children’s rights law and social movements. He holds a PhD (summa cum laude) in international public law from the University of Geneva, for which he studied the role of organised working children in the development of international child labour law. As certified university lecturer he has designed and thought courses on international law, human rights, children’s rights and social movements at the University of Geneva and at the Sciences Po Law School where he resided as visiting fellow (2018-2020). He published various innovative chapters and articles published in leading human rights journals, including the International Journal of Human Rights and the International Journal of Children’s Rights. He is a core member of the Children and Work Network and founder of the Law and Cinema Club at the Sciences Po Law School. His current postdoctoral research project (2021-2022) at the McGill University Faculty of Law is entitled “Targeting ‘Target 8.7’: A Socio-Legal Study on the Interrelations between the SDGs, the Global Legal Child Labour Regime, and Domestic Law and Policy”, for which he was awarded a Postdoc Mobility Grant by the Suisse National Science Foundation.

    Vishakha Wijenayake – O’Brien Fellow

    Vishakha Wijenayake
    Image by Lysanne Larose.
    Currently a DCL candidate at McGill's Faculty of Law, Vishakha Wijenayake completed her LLB (Hons) at University of Colombo. She obtained her LLM from University of Michigan Ann Arbor, where she was a Fulbright scholar and a Hugo Grotius Fellow.

    She was a lecturer at the Department of Law, University of Jaffna and a visiting lecturer at University of Colombo. She also worked as an associate in the legal division of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva and as a legal adviser in the ICRC delegation in Sri Lanka.

    Vishakha has published in the fields of human rights, international humanitarian law and transitional justice.

    Emmanuel Charles Moshi - O’Brien Fellow

    A Black man wearing a grey blazer with a blue tieEmmanuel Charles Moshi is a DCL candidate at McGill University's Faculty of Law. Prior to McGill, he obtained his LLB from Mzumbe University (2014), an LLM from the Center of Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland (2018) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (PGDLP) from the Law School of Tanzania (2019). 

    Emmanuel is a 2018 alumni of the prestigious Open Societies Disability Rights Scholarships Program under which he pursued his LLM. In Tanzania, he has been working as an Assistant Lecturer at the School of Law, the University of Dodoma since 2016 where he has taught Property Law, Human Rights Law, Disability Rights Law, Legal and Professional Ethics, Civil Procedure Law and Health Law to undergraduate students. He is also a Practicing Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and the Courts Subordinate thereto, Notary Public and Commissioner for Oaths, a registered member of the Tanzanian Bar Association, also referred to as the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS), since 2019. 

    Emmanuel’s research interests include the right to legal capacity, access to justice, independent living, individual autonomy and freedoms for persons with disabilities. His doctoral research focuses on how Tanzania realizes the right to Legal Capacity to persons with Mental, Intellectual and Psychosocial Disabilities as provided under Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). His LLM's work focused on how East African Community (EAC) adopts and implements the standards and measures set out in the UN-CRPD. 

    Leanna Katz - O’Brien Fellow

    A white woman with long brown hair standing at the beach, smiling and wearing a navy jacket.Leanna Katz is a DCL candidate at McGill University Faculty of Law. Her dissertation will focus on emerging forms of organizing among childcare workers. Leanna’s research is motivated by questions about how law can enable meaningful access to decent work and welfare conditions, particularly through collective action. Her interests include labour and employment law, social welfare law, contract law, administrative law, and critical and feminist legal theory. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal, the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, the Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues, and the Commonwealth Judicial Journal. Leanna holds an O’Brien Graduate Fellowship at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship.  

    Leanna previously clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, and was a litigator at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. She earned an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, a J.D. from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, and B.A.Sc. from McMaster University’s Arts and Science Program.  

    Soorya Balendra - O'Brien Fellow

    A south Asian man standing with his arms crossed. He has short black hair and is wearing a black and grey blazer Soorya Balendra is an LLM Thesis candidate and O’Brien Fellow at the Faculty of Law, McGill University. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws Degree (summa cum laude) from the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, where he graduated with a thesis on ‘The necessity of introducing cyber defamation law to Sri Lankan Legal System’. Prior to McGill, Soorya was a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, where he taught courses on Information Technology Law, Private International Law, and International Investment Law.

    He also gained extensive research experience since he was assigned as a researcher at Democracy Reporting International (DRI), a think tank based in Berlin actively engages in research and advocacy on ‘Digital Democracy’. Soorya has published in the fields of Information Technology Law, Digitalization, and Digital democracy. As an O’Brien Graduate Fellow at McGill, His research primarily focuses on social media regulations, and their impacts on digital democracy from a Global South perspective giving special attention to the Sri Lankan jurisdiction while exploring a comparative analysis

    Camille Marquis Bissonnette - Postdoctoral Fellow 

    A white woman with long blond hair wearing a blue shirt.Camille Marquis Bissonnette (Camille.marquisbissonnette [at] (Email)) is a postdoctoral fellow in Law at McGill, for which she received an SSHRC fellowship. She completed a Ph.D in Law within the Canada Research Chair in International Criminal Law and Human Rights at Université Laval, under the supervision of Professor Fannie Lafontaine.  She wrote her thesis, “Terrorisme: le mot qui blesse. L’indétermination du terme «terrorisme» et ses incidences sur la protection de la personne en droit international”, on the intersections of international security law and the legal protection of human beings. Camille also completed a LL.M at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and interned at the United Nations International Law Commission. Her research interests lay principally in public international law, international security, criminal law and human rights, fields in which she has published book chapters and articles. Her postdoctoral research focuses on the impacts of the indeterminacy of terrorism on the protection of refugees. Camille is a lecturer in the fields of international human rights law and international criminal law. She has also been working as a consultant for the Canadian federal government. She is very active in human rights education and outreach, and she is dedicated to making a difference for human rights at every level, both within and outside academia. 


    Giusto Amedeo Boccheni - DCL student

    A white man with short brown hair wearing a white shirt and black blazerGiusto Amedeo Boccheni (LinkedIn; giusto.boccheni [at] (Email)) is a doctoral student in the Comparative Law Concentration of the Doctor of Civil Law (DCL). He holds an M.S. and an LL.M. “With Distinction” in Comparative Law, Economics and Finance from the International University College of Turin (IUC) and a Law degree (Laurea Magistrale a Ciclo Unico in Giurisprudenza) “Summa cum Laude and Honourable Mention” from Università degli Studi di Torino. Giusto Amedeo’s research engages with complex issues at the intersections of critical jurisprudence, comparative constitutionalism, and ecological governance. He is currently studying sovereignty theory in connection to freshwater law and governance in the Columbia and Mekong river basins, focusing in particular on the claims to and against sovereignty raised by and on behalf of Indigenous Peoples, non-present generations, non-human beings, and property-owners. 

    In collaboration with CHRLP and the Indigenous Law Association / Association du Droit Autochthone (ILADA), Giusto Amedeo has been a co-organizer of the “Dialogues on Indigenous Peoples' Territories: Stories of Resilience.” Giusto Amedeo is the Graduate Students Representative for McGill Law's Sustainability Committee, as well as a graduate fellow of the Research Group on Constitutional Studies (RGCS) and a member of the Canadian Water Resources Association. 

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