Former Grad Students & Postdocs

Futsum Tesfatsion Abbay - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2002, DCL 2013

September 2019: we regret to announce that Dr. Abbay has passed away.

Futsum Tesfatsion Abbay was a distinguished legal scholar from Eritrea. He obtained his LLB (with distinction) from the University of Asmara in 1998, following which he was appointed as a graduate assistant in the law program of the university.

Futsum had the unique distinction of being the only visually impaired academic in the country. He received a USAID scholarship in 1999 that allowed him to pursue a LL.M degree at McGill. After obtaining his LLM in 2002, Futsum Abbay taught at the Faculty of Law of the University of Asmara. He returned to McGill Law in order to complete his doctoral degree and finished in 2013.

He committed his life to promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, particularly the rights of the visually impaired. In spite of numerous legal and political challenges, Futsum remained committed to carrying his advocacy work forward.

Romola Adeola - Steinberg Post-Doctoral Fellow - 2016-2017

Romola Adeola is a legal scholar with expertise in the field of international human rights law. She holds a masters (cum laude) and doctorate degree in law from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Prior to joining the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, she worked at the Centre for Human Rights in South Africa as a researcher on law and policy aspects of refugee and IDPs protection.

She has worked as a consultant on these issues with African governments at the level of the state and also the African Union.

Parisa Akbarimalkeshi – O’Brien Fellow - LLM 2018

Parisa obtained her bachelor degree in law at Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran. As a top student in Iran’s Public Universities Entrance Examination in 2011, she could start a second bachelor degree in French Language and Literature at the same time. Before moving to Canada, she has been involving in different humanitarian activities regarding women and children in Iran; such as participating as an executive member of “stop child labor” campaign in 2014.

Parisa’s research interests include international human rights law, law of international organizations and Islamic law in a comparative view. She is currently an LLM candidate at the Institute of Comparative Law at McGill University, pursuing a research project under the supervision of Professor Nandini Ramanujam on women’s economic empowerment in Muslim societies, including in her home country. As an O’Brien fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, she works as a research assistant with Professor Vrinda Narain in the area of women’s issues in the Muslim contexts.

Ayodele Akenroye - DCL 2018

Ayodele Akenroye obtained his LLB (with honors) from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, where he studied on an academic scholarship from Ondo State of Nigeria. He completed his Bar Examinations from the Nigerian Law School, winning the Sir Lionel Brett Prize for the overall best student in criminal procedure. He earned his LLM from University of Manitoba, Canada, where he studied on a full academic scholarship. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Law.

Before commencing his doctoral studies, Ayodele interned with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), worked as a Human Rights Officer for the Manitoba Human Rights Commission in Winnipeg, Manitoba and practiced law in his home country – Nigeria.

Ayodele is currently pursuing his doctoral degree under the supervision of Prof. Frédéric Mégret. His doctoral thesis will critically examine the construction of victimhood under international law. His research interests include international criminal law, international human rights law, law of international organizations, and transitional justice.

Rouba Essam Al-Salem - Steinberg Post-doctoral Fellow - 2017-2018

Rouba Al-Salem's research interests revolve around the Canadian Private Sponsorship of Syrian Refugees and drawing on potential parallels between the challenges and successes that many are facing in their integration experience with those of Syrian refugees in other host countries where private sponsorship has been implemented (ex: Germany).

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.

Florence Ashley - O'Brien Fellow 2019 - LLM’20

As an O’Brien Fellow, Florence Ashley (BCL/LLB’17, LLM’20 with specialisation in bioethics) studied the normative landscape of prescribing hormone replacement therapy to trans patients as a family physician. Their non-thesis work spaned across many areas of law and bioethics, but focused on the various legal and bioethical issues faced by trans people. Their 2018 University of Toronto Law Journal article “Don’t be so hateful: The insufficiency of anti-discrimination and hate crime laws in improving trans well-being” led to the first-ever special issue on trans law in Canadian history. They are a fellow of the McGill Research Group on Health and Law, as well as recipient of the Bourse Dorais-Ryan for graduate studies on LGBT-related topics.

As an activist, Florence Ashley frequently contributes to public discussions around trans issues in Canada, with bylines in the Globe and Mail, Montreal Gazette, CBC News, Journal de Montréal, and Journal Métro. They are frequently invited to give presentations and guest lectures on various topics relating to transgender people. They sit on the Trans Legal Clinic’s Advisory Board and on the Comité trans of the Conseil québécois LGBT.

Idil Atak - Postdoctoral fellow

Idil Atak was a postdoctoral fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism and a research associate at the Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in public international law and at the Chaire de recherche en immigration, ethnicité et citoyenneté of UQAM. She is now an associate professor in the Department of Criminology and Director of the Criminology and Social Justice MA Program at Ryerson. She is cross-appointed to the Faculty of Law of Ryerson University.

She holds an LL.D. of the Université de Montréal. In her doctoral thesis, which she did under the supervision of Professor François Crépeau, she explores the impact of the Europeanization of the fight against irregular migration on migrants’ human rights.

A member of the executive committee of the Canadian Association on Refugees and Forced Migration Studies, Idil is a lecturer in the area of international law of refugees and migration, international institutions and freedom of movement in Europe.

Idil Atak served as a legal expert for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara, then as deputy to the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Her research interests include the international and European human rights, the international law of refugees, irregular migration in Canada and in Europe, freedom of movement and the European citizenship.

Similoluwa Ayoola - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2021

Similoluwa Ayoola is a human rights lawyer and advocate. She obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree at the Obafemi Awolowo University and was called to the Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. She is an avid human rights advocate who has participated in notable litigations through the entire rung of the Nigerian court hierarchy.

For a number of years, she has contributed to the movement for the inclusion of the right to food as a legal and constitutional right under Nigerian laws. She provides legal, policy and strategic counsel to the Farm and Infrastructure Foundation's concerted effort to ensure the passage of the Nigerian Right to Food Bill, currently before the National Assembly.

She is currently an LLM Candidate and O’Brien Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Faculty of Law, McGill University, where she researches the tradeoffs between the international legal framework for climate change and the right to food.

Kims Banda - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2018

Kims Banda completed his LLM at McGill University, supported by the O’Brien Graduate Fellows Program as well as the Disability Rights Fellowship of the Open Society Foundations. He is a practising lawyer in Zambia, where he earned an LLB at the University of Zambia in 2008, and is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK).

From 2010 to 2014, Kims worked for the Legal Aid Board of Zambia as a defence attorney, where he represented indigent clients in both civil and criminal cases. In 2014, Mr. Banda joined the Human Rights Commission of Zambia, first as the Provincial Coordinator for Southern Province, then as Principal Legal Counsel, and finally as Chief of Investigations and Legal Services.

Over the last few years, Kims has developed a deep interest in disability rights. His Master’s research project focuses on the right to participation in political and public life by persons with disabilities in Zambia.

Tereza Bartova - O'Brien Fellow

Tereza Bartova is a Czech human rights lawyer. She is an LLM candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law an O’Brien Fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, and a Fellow of the Disability Rights Scholarship Program from the Open Society Foundations.

She holds a Master in Law and Legal Jurisprudence from Charles University in Prague, in Czech Republic. During her studies, she completed an exchange program in Tel Aviv University with a focus on International Human Rights Law, an internship at the European Court of Human Rights. She also worked as intern at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Prague. She cooperates with the Czech NGO Forum for Human Rights.

Tereza is focused on strategic litigation of cases before Czech domestic courts and international bodies, mainly in the area of human rights of LGBTI people, refugee and migrants, statelessness, disability rights and other vulnerable groups. She publishes in the Bulletin of the Czech Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.

Enrique Boone Barrera - DCL 2014

Enrique Boone Barrera obtained his law degree from the Tec de Monterrey, in Mexico, with honorific mention. He worked for the government of his home state having different responsibilities and positions. Enrique obtained a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution from York University in 2003 and, in 2006, an LL.M degree from Queen's University. His research project focused on the legal and socio-economic conditions that affect accountability mechanisms of public officials in the municipalities of his state. Enrique completed his a D.C.L degree under the supervision of Professors Víctor Muñiz-Fraticelli and Fabien Gélinas in 2014. He researched the effects that the interaction of different power players have on politics and society and their impact on the rights and freedoms of individuals in a federalized context. His interests are in law and development, human rights, law and politics, and law and economics.

Véronique Bergeron - LLM 2008

Véronique Bergeron received her LL.L. (cum laude) from the University of Ottawa in 1998. She is currently pursuing a Master's Specialization in biomedical ethics, an interdisciplinary academic program that emphasizes both the conceptual and the practical aspects of bioethics, under the supervision of Professor Angela Campbell. Her LL.M. (bioethics) thesis considers legal pluralism by looking critically at competing normative forces (law, ethics, a family's and community's expectations and values) that wield an impact on decisions about the health care of neonates. Véronique Bergeron lives in Ottawa with her husband and five children.

Pierre-Alexandre Cardinal - O'Brien Fellow

Pierre-Alexandre Cardinal was a doctoral candidate at the Faculty. After his LLM, also obtained from McGill, Pierre-Alexandre participated in a number of international conferences and events, and published a few works in the area of international legal history, and the relationship between international law and Empire. Developing from his LLM research project entitled “Islam Between Modernity and Coloniality”, his past work analyzed the very ambivalent relationship between European Modernity, colonialism and legal subjectivity in international normative forums.

Pierre-Alexandre’s work, supported by the O’Brien Foundation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, engaged in a critique of the continuing legacy of colonialism and imperialism. Under the supervision of Frédéric Mégret, his project engaged in the critique of public international law theory, but also in the reconstruction of lost histories and non-Eurocentric world visions. More specifically, his research looked at the historical formation of the European concept of the state, and how it was historically, and still is today, embedded with racial privileges and biases. He maintains side projects in environmental and animal law, the inspiration for which comes from his passion for ultra-distance running. He also organizes charity running events, and is very active in the Montreal running community.

Read his contributions to the CHRLP blog.

Sok Young Chang – O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2017

Sok Young Chang holds an LLB from Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea) and obtained her master’s degree from Korea University (Seoul, Korea) with a specialization in public international law. While at Korea University, she received a full scholarship and her thesis focused on exceptions to state immunity.

Before coming to McGill, Sok Young worked as a researcher at Korea National Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2014 to 2016. During this period, she has written a number of official reports and articles on various topics of international law, including North Korean human rights, cybercrime, climate change, and international criminal tribunals. 

Sok Young is currently conducting research under the supervision of Professor Frédéric Mégret; her research explores the relationship between jurisdiction and attribution in extraterritorial violation of human rights. Her broader research interests include public international law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and state responsibility.

Luis Chinchilla - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2021

Luis Chinchilla is a Honduran Attorney. He graduated as the second-best student of the Faculty of Legal Science, National Autonomous University of Honduras in 2015. He is a diplomat on Training of Trainers for the Prevention of Violence at the Local Level, and an O’Brien Fellow undertaking the McGill LLM in Environment.

Chinchilla has over 6 years of experience in human rights, first as a competitor in various Human Rights Moot Courts, such as the 18th Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition, then for three years he was a junior coach for the National Autonomous University of Honduras Moot Court teams. He also has four years of work experience as a Human Rights Official and Unit Coordinator within the Honduran Human Rights Secretary of State.

During these last four years, Luis Chinchilla participated in the development of a human rights monitoring system. He worked on strengthening the infrastructure for reporting the human rights situation to the UN treaty bodies and the Organization of American States human rights monitoring bodies, and elaborated national, follow-up and specialized reports to the UN treaty bodies and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He also helped elaborate the Honduran amicus curiae regarding two requests of advisory opinions to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and working as legal advisor in the case “Pacheco León y otros Vs. Honduras” at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

He also published two research articles: “Sustainable Development a Mainstay for the Protection of Human Rights” and “Integral remedy for victims focused on gender-based violence”, co-author of two amicus curiae to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights regarding other two advisory opinions.

Vanessa Clermont-Isabelle – O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2016

Vanessa Clermont-Isabelle a obtenu son Baccalauréat en droit (LLB) à l’Université de Montréal avec mention sur la Liste d’excellence de la Faculté. Son implication dans la communauté, particulièrement auprès d’un groupe aidant les travailleurs migrants, a été soulignée par le Prix d’implication communautaire McCarthy Tétrault ainsi que par une Bourse d’implication décernée par le Service aux étudiants de l’Université de Montréal. Suite au baccalauréat, elle a réussi avec succès les examens du Barreau du Québec dans le but de devenir avocate. Elle est présentement étudiante à la maîtrise en droit à l’Université McGill et récipiendaire de la bourse O’Brien.

Dans le cadre de sa thèse de maîtrise, Vanessa s’intéressera aux enjeux de la discrimination et plus particulièrement celle qui est vécue par les minorités culturelles au Canada. Elle tentera d’évaluer les limites des normes étatiques quant à la protection du droit à l’égalité de ces groupes et comment le pluralisme juridique pourrait prendre en compte la diversité culturelle de façon plus adéquate. Les autres champs de recherche qui intéressent Vanessa sont les droits des migrants ainsi que les droits humains en général. Elle travaille d’ailleurs à faire avancer ces droits de façon plus concrète par l’entremise de son implication à la Ligue des droits et libertés.

Maude Choko - LLM 2008, DCL 2015

Après avoir effectué un stage à l'Organisation internationale du travail et pratiqué en droit du travail dans un des cabinet d'avocats international, Maude Choko (maude.choko [at] (Email)) a choisi de poursuivre une carrière universitaire. Chargée de cours à l'Université de Montréal à la Faculté de droit, elle a obtenu son LL.B. à l'Université de Montréal et son LL.M. à l'Université McGill, et est actuellement inscrite au doctorat à la Faculté de droit de l'Université McGill.

Avec le soutien successif de bourses doctorales du Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la mondialisation et le travail (CRIMT) et du Centre canadien de recherche en sciences humaines du Canada (CRSH), ses recherches portent sur la liberté d'association et la promotion de l'autonomie collective des travailleurs autonomes.

Convaincue de l'intérêt du régime de rapports collectifs des artistes pour un plus grand nombre de travailleurs autonomes et soucieuse d'intégrer ses démarches artistiques et juridiques, Maude Choko a choisi d'orienter ses recherches doctorales vers le régime de rapports collectifs des artistes au Québec et les effets de la promotion de leur autonomie collective, par l'encadrement législatif, sur leur protection. En effet, en parallèle à sa formation juridique et à ses recherches académiques, Maude Choko a également exploré sa passion pour les arts dramatiques, en suivant plusieurs formations de jeu tant théâtral que devant la caméra. Persuadée du pouvoir de communication des arts dramatiques et de leur capacité de toucher un large public sur des questions de société, elle a fondé un organisme de bienfaisance, le Théâtre Misceo, voué à l'éducation du public quant aux arts du théâtre et offrant des représentations de nature théâtrale. C'est ainsi qu'avec le soutien de la Fondation du Grand Montréal, elle a produit et interprété un des personnages d'une pièce de théâtre, intitulée 5F.

L'implication sociale lui tenant à cœur, Maude Choko a également œuvré au sein d'Avocats sans frontière Canada à titre de Vice-présidente aux communications et participe aujourd'hui activement à la vie de l'École alternative Nouvelle Querbes, école primaire fréquentée par ses enfants.

Rokeya Chowdhury – O'Brien Fellow - LLM'13, DCL'21

Rokeya Chowdhury holds a teaching position in the Faculty of Law, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has a keen interest in human rights issues and most of her work addresses issues and concerns relating human rights. Rokeya obtained her LLB (Hons.) in 2009 and her LLM in 2011 from the Faculty of Law, University of Dhaka. She completed a LLM Thesis Program at the Institute of Comparative Law, McGill University in 2013. She is now working on her doctoral studies in the Faculty of Law, McGill University as an O'Brien Fellow.

Rokeya's research areas and interests involve women rights, indigenous rights, comparative law, law and society, law and literature. Rokeya’s proposed doctoral thesis examines the state religion and secularism stand-off in the Constitution of Bangladesh with a law and performing arts analogy. Rokeya has not limited her activities in traditional academic teaching and learning. As a member of Empowerment through Law of the Common People (ELCOP), a voluntary research organization run by law teachers and students in Bangladesh Rokeya has coordinated and facilitated events on human rights awareness. She has previously worked with Northern University Bangladesh, UNESCO Madanjeet South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (UMSAILS), Dr, Kamal Hossain and Associates, National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh and Relief International Bangladesh.

Alvaro R. Córdova Flores – O’Brien Fellow

Alvaro is a Peruvian lawyer and a O'Brian Fellowship recipient in Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. He is currently a student in the Doctoral Civil Law Program (DCL) at McGill University's Faculty of Law. He is conducting his research under the supervision of Colleen Sheppard, focusing on the intersections of the politics of identity, indigenous rights and legal realism. His ongoing research explores how non-indigenous judges resolve indigenous rights cases, and how certain judicial approaches can recreate cultural discrimination against indigenous peoples in Peru.

He started the LLM Program at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 2010 under the supervision of Jeremy Webber and Avigail Eisenberg. In his LLM thesis (The Right of Indigenous Self-Determination and the Right to Consultation in the Peruvian Constitutional Tribunal Jurisprudence [2005-2011]) Alvaro explored the relationship between the right of indigenous consultation and the right of indigenous self-determination in the Peruvian context.

Alvaro is a 2004 summa cum laude graduate from the University of Lima School of Law in Peru. He has extensive professional experience in areas of constitutional law and fundamental rights. Since 2004 he has worked at the Peruvian Constitutional Tribunal, and previously he worked at the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2002). He also taught constitutional law (Fall 2010) at the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (Lima, Peru).

Erin Crandall - PhD 2013

Erin Crandall received her MA in political science from the University of British Columbia in 2006.

Erin completed a Doctoral degree in political science (under the supervision of Professor Christopher Manfredi) at McGill in 2013. Erin’s thesis proposed to examine the correlation between rights reform and changes to the judicial appointment processes in Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. Her research interests include legal pluralism, constitutional law, and federalism.

Julie Cousineau - DCL 2011

Julie Cousineau completed a Doctor of Civil Law degree at the Institute of Comparative Law at McGill University under the supervision of Professor Angela Campbell in 2011. Her thesis work focuses on laws of anonymous gamete and embryo donations. In this context, Me. Cousineau is interested particularly in dialectic language, internormativity, and the relationship between ethics and law. Me. Cousineau is the recipient of an FQRSC Doctoral Research Fellowship, a McGill Graduate Studies Fellowship (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office), and a John Dobson Foundation Fellowship. In the Fall 2009, Me. Cousineau will be furthering her research at Centre de recherche Droit, Sciences et Techniques, l'UniversitÈ de Paris 1 PanthÈon-Sorbonne, under the supervision of Christine Noiville, on French law of assisted procreation, made possible through an International Internship Bursary offered by the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade. Me. Cousineau is a member of the Quebec Bar since 2002.

Maryse Décarie-Daignault - O’Brien Fellow - LLM 2017

Maryse Décarie-Daigneault is a Canadian lawyer, and member of the Québec Bar since 2014. As an O’Brien Fellow, she is currently completing her LLM at McGill University’s Faculty of Law with scholarships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture. Her thesis addresses the issue of State violence in South America, more particularly with regards to the crisis of enforced disappearances in the context of the “War on Drugs” in Mexico. Maryse’s research focuses on legal sociology of State violence, transitional justice and feminist and postcolonial approaches to international law. She is particularly interested in the connections between truth, memory and justice in the Americas.

Maryse Décarie-Daigneault has developed an expertise on sexual and reproductive rights, having worked for the protection and defense of indigenous’ women right to health in Chiapas, Mexico. Similarly, at UQAM's International Clinic for the Defense of Human Rights, Maryse has supervised teams of students working on reparations for victims of conflict-related sexual violence. She is also involved in the defense of refugee’s rights with Action Réfugiés Montréal and in the defense of women’s rights with the Association des Juristes Progressistes. She has previously worked as a legal researcher at the Quebec Court of Appeal.

Maureen T. Duffy - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2005, DCL 2013

Maureen T. Duffy is originally from the United States, where she obtained her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of the Bars of the State of Illinois and the Northern District of Illinois. She practiced law in Chicago for several years, first in private practice with Rudnick & Wolfe (now DLA Piper Rudnick), then as a specialist in the area of children’s rights, with the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian, and, more recently, as an administrator/attorney with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. During law school, she was a legal intern for the Legal Aid Bureau. She has extensive trial and appellate experience, as well as experience before administrative and legislative bodies, and she has published in the field of children’s rights. In addition to her legal experience, Maureen has experience as an editor and writer within the publishing field.

She completed her LL.M. degree, with Dean’s Honours, at McGill’s Institute of Comparative Law. Her thesis was written under the supervision of Professor Patrick Healy and addressed the use of the immigration system to detain terrorism suspects within the United States. During the LL.M. program, she worked as a legal researcher in the Special Court for Sierra Leone Clinic.

A recipient of the O’Brien Fellowship for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Fellowship, Maureen finished a doctoral degree in international law under the supervision of Professor René Provost. Her thesis explored shifting presumptions relating to criminal detentions, specifically focusing on these shifts in the context of terrorism detentions. She has diverse research interests, including domestic and international criminal law, constitutional law, human rights, media law, environmental law, and legal pluralism. She is currently a faculty member at the Faculty of Law of the University of Calgary.

Moushita Dutta - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2021

Moushita Dutta is an LLM student at McGill University’s Faculty of Law and an O’Brien Graduate Fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.

At McGill, the focus of her research is on the relationship between Human Rights and Climate Change. Her research project will explore and engage on the issue of climate change induced human displacement and migration and the need to better represent and incorporate human rights references, standards and obligations in international legal and policy responses to climate change.

She holds a Bachelor of Laws - BA, LLB (Hons) degree from National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam, in India. She was a Student Editor in the Editorial Board of the National Law University Assam Law Review (NLUALR) in 2018-2019. She was also involved as a Student Research Assistant in the Centre for Environmental Law, Advocacy & Research, NLU Assam, for its research and consultancy projects. Her publications and seminar & conference presentations are mostly focused on the areas of International Environmental Law & Human Rights Law.

Francesca Farrington – O’Brien Fellow - LLM 2017

Francesca graduated with a first class honours from Trinity College Dublin, where she was elected to the position of Scholar in her Senior Freshman year. During her undergraduate, Francesca conducted research for the Free Legal Advice Centre and held a senior position on the editorial board of the Trinity College Law Review.  She is currently engaged in policy research for the Canadian Council for Refugees and works as an occasional writer/editor for the Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.

Francesca's LLM thesis explores the changing conception of development and its effect on the rule of law. In particular, she is interested in how these changes will aid marginalised groups to assert their socio-economic rights.

Andrew Foster - LLM 2008

Andrew Foster obtained a B.A. (Honors) in Philosophy from the University of Alberta and an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia before coming to McGill. He is currently in the process of completing an LL.M at McGill in Comparative Law. A member of the Law Society of Alberta, Andrew articled with the Alberta Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.

Andrew has a diverse set of interests, including public international law, legal theory, comparative law, property law, human rights and constitutional law. Under the supervision of Professor Robert Leckey, he is conducting research on the use of public international law in the interpretation of rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He is also taking part in the McGill Clinic for the Sierra Leone Special Court under the supervision of Professor Frédéric Mégret.

Edit Frenyó - Steinberg Postdoctoral Fellow - September 2018 - June 2020

Edit Frenyó’s teaching and research experience revolve around the areas of Transnational Family Law, Migration Studies, Human Rights and Children’s Rights. After having completed her undergraduate legal studies with distinction at the University of Szeged's Faculty of Law, she practiced civil law as a full time notarial clerk in Budapest, Hungary. Ms. Frenyó earned an LL.M. at Boston College Law School in 2010, where she spent the subsequent year as a visiting scholar/teaching assistant, co-developing and -teaching a new course, International Human Rights: Semester in Practice.

As an SJD candidate at Georgetown University Law Center, she applied perspectives of law and the social sciences in her doctoral research, to explore the contemporary phenomena of transnational families. Her dissertation, entitled “Transnational Family Migration and the Right to Family Life in the Age of Global Migration”, focuses on the multiple challenges to childcare faced by families of labor migrants, primarily within the European Union, as key to improving the regulatory framework and other strategies surrounding them.

Previously, Ms. Frenyó co-taught the Family Law course at GULC in 2013 and 2014 as an Adjunct Professor working with Professor Judith C. Areen. In 2016, Ms. Frenyó served as an Adjunct Professor at McDaniel College Budapest teaching a course entitled “Children on the Move and the European Migrant Crisis – Status and Rights of Unaccompanied Minors in the European Union”.

In 2018, Ms. Frenyo contributed a chapter entitled "Transnational Families and the Right to Family Life in the Age of Global Migration" to Barbara Stark, Jacqueline Heaton, eds. Routledge Handbook of International Family Law (2019).

Carlos Iván Fuentes - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2007, DCL 2014

Carlos Iván Fuentes obtained his Law and Political Sciences degree (summa cum laude) from the Universidad Católica Santa María La Antigua (Panama City, Panama) in 2005. His thesis, supervised by Dr. Jaime Franco, was recommended for publication by the jury. In the same year he was granted the certification to practice law in Panama. He received his LL.M. degree from McGill University in 2007. Under the supervision of Prof. Evan Fox-Decent, he studied Canadian Aboriginal title and proposed its redefinition using the doctrine of Indigenous right to land of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights. During his master studies he worked as a legal researcher for the Special Court for Sierra Leone Clinic, and received American University’s 2006 Human Rights Award (Spanish) for his essay “Protegiendo el Derecho a la Salud en el Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos”.

Before returning to McGill to pursue his doctoral studies, Carlos Iván briefly worked for the US-based management consulting firm Casals & Associates, Inc. as a legal advisor and grant manager in USAID’s Central America Transparency and Accountability Program. He was also a seasonal lecturer on philosophy of law at the Universidad Latina de Panamá. Carlos Iván is currently an O´Brien Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. Under the supervision of Prof. Mark Antaki, he is exploring the normative plurality within the international legal order, particularly international human rights law. His interests include inter-american human rights law, international humanitarian law, sustainable development and public governance. Recent publications can be found at the American University International Law Review and the Revista Colombiana de Derecho Internacional.

Carlos Iván is a member of the Centro de Iniciativas Democraticas (CIDEM), a Panamanian NGO dedicated to the promotion of human rights and democracy. He was recently selected through the United Nations’ national competitive recruitment examination, for future placement in the UN Secretariat-Office of Legal Affairs.

Katy Sakina Frattina - LLM 2009

Sakina Frattina is a graduate of the Pantheon Sorbonne University (International Law) with a mention "bien" and Business School in ESC Marseille, France.

She is currently working towards her Masters degree in law at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. Her research is centered on the concept of dignity as a right and its meaning in the context of an armed conflict.

Her research will soon take her to the field to conduct research in Israel and Palestine. Women's rights are part of her broader interests.

Marika Giles Samson – O'Brien Fellow - DCL 2020

Marika is a British-born, Canadian-trained lawyer with an interest in international criminal justice, international human rights and the rule of law. The O’Brien Fellowship will afford her the opportunity to explore the phenomenon of judicial persecution, that is, the use of the courts to undermine political opposition and individual human rights, under the supervision of Professor Frédéric Mégret. 

Marika grew up in Montreal, and obtained her B.A. in Communication Studies from Concordia University before turning her attention to the law. During LL.B. studies at Osgoode Hall Law School, she spent two years working on a thematic study of the six major United Nations human rights treaties and attended the inaugural Summer Course on the International Criminal Court at the National University of Ireland Galway, as a result of which she submitted an independent research paper on US. objections to the ICC. 

After graduating, she clerked for the Federal Court of Canada, articled at Fasken Martineau LLP in Vancouver and then practiced civil litigation for six years before returning to the bosom of academia, and the UK, in 2008. Marika obtained her LLM with a specialisation in Public International Law, with distinction, from University College London, submitting a dissertation proposing a framework for the evaluation of amnesties in international criminal law, under the supervision of Professor Philippe Sands QC. She then spent a year as an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) researching immunities in international criminal law and European refugee law. While living in London, Marika also had two beautiful children and was a key strategist on the campaign to save her local library.

Kate Glover - O’Brien Fellow - DCL 2016

Kate Glover earned her B.A. in Philosophy (with great distinction) from McGill University in 2003. She went on to study law at Dalhousie University, graduating in 2006 with more than a dozen awards for her academic achievements and community involvement. After being called to the Bar of Ontario in 2007, Kate earned an LL.M. in public international law and comparative law from the University of Cambridge, where she studied as the recipient of the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin Sr. Scholarship, rowed for her college crew and spearheaded a sexual assault awareness and fundraising campaign.

Upon returning to Canada, Kate practiced law with Borden Ladner Gervais, representing clients in a variety of public law and commercial litigation matters. In 2009-2010, she served as a law clerk for Madam Justice Abella at the Supreme Court of Canada.

A past recipient of the O’Brien Fellowship in Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Kate Glover now holds a Vanier Scholarship. Kate’s doctoral research focuses on the ways in which theories of law shape how society designs and conceives of its legal institutions. To explore this relationship, she is assessing the present and future significance of the Supreme Court of Canada. Her research uncovers the theoretical underpinnings of mainstream accounts of the Court and proposes an alternative analytical framework that more fully reflects the Court’s relationship to law. She argues that the Court is not the legal institution it is commonly thought to be – it is both much less and much more.

Kate’s primary research interests include topics in legal institutions and procedure, legal theory (especially legal pluralism), legal education, legal scholarship and methodology (including interdisciplinarity), law & society, and law/constitutional reform.

Sepideh Golzari - LLM 2010

Sepideh graduated in 2006 from King's College London with an LLB and the Law School Prize in Jurisprudence. She was selected for the British Government's Fast Stream program that year and has since been working at the intersection of law and policy at the Ministry of Justice in the area of international and domestic human rights. At the same time Sepideh held a position as visiting tutor at King's College London Faculty of Law, teaching Jurisprudence and Legal Theory to final year law students. She is currently on career break, pursuing her LLM thesis under the supervision of Professor Frédéric Mégret, having been generously awarded the Provost's Graduate Fellowship and the BUNAC Educational Trust Scholarship to pursue her studies. Sepideh's research interests include Legal Pluralism, Law and Geography and International Human Rights, Humanitarian and Trade Law. She is currently pursuing work in the field of International Trade Law for submission to the Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence. Since arriving at McGill she has worked as a researcher at the McGill International Criminal Law Clinic and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law.

Arthur Green - PhD 2013

Arthur Green received his MS (cum laude) in Natural Resource Management from North Carolina State University in 2005. As a McGill Major Fellow and USINDO Fellow, he completed his PhD under Dr. Jon Unruh in the Department of Geography in 2013. His research examines how land reforms in post-conflict and legally pluralistic contexts impact access to resources and subsequently the dynamics of resistance, conflict, and peace. His dissertation focuses specifically on conflict transformation and land reform in Aceh, Indonesia. His general research interests include land reform; legal pluralism; evolutionary economics; uneven spatial development; spatial statistics; and resistance, conflict, and peace studies. He combines his academic work with applied practice through consulting in Africa (Cameroon) and SE Asia and management of a non-profit organization, Green Consensus.

Helen Rose Grogan - LLM 2009

Rose Grogan graduated from Oxford University in 2008 with First Class Honours. She is now an LL.M. candidate specialising in human rights law and comparative law. Studying at McGill has allowed her to expand on her interest in human rights law and to develop an interdisciplinary approach to the field. Ms. Grogan's reasearch concentrates on children's rights, disability rights and dignity discourse in human rights law. Supervised by Prof. Shauna Van Praagh, her LLM research project will analyse the emerging concept of the dignity of groups with a specific focus on the parent-child relationship.

Xiaoming Guo - Postdoctoral Fellow - 2017-2018

Dr. Xiaoming Guo was a 2017-2018 post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Faculty of Law, McGill University. He is also currently a research fellow at the Center for Human Rights Studies at the Renmin University of China, one of the eight National Human Rights Education and Training Bases in China.

Prior to joining the CHRLP, Xiaoming received his LL.B. and LL.M. from the Capital University of Economics and Business School of Law, and LL.D. from the Renmin University of China Law School, where he was conferred an outstanding doctoral dissertation award (2014-2016). Between 2015 and 2017, he was a visiting scholar at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, the East Asian Legal Studies Center at the University of Wisconsin Law School, and a visiting researcher at the Center for Asian Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Xiaoming is the author of Multidimensional Studies of the New Law and Development: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry toward Comprehensive Development (Law Press China 2016). He is also the translator of The Human Rights Culture: A Study in History and Context (China University of Political Science and Law Press, forthcoming 2018) and Law, Culture and Society: Legal Ideas in the Mirror of Social Theory (Peking University Press, forthcoming 2018).

His research interests mainly cover the fields of human rights law, law and society, law and development, and rule of law and public policy. During his stay at the Centre, he will conduct concentrated research on the new right to development in the post-2015 development agenda and the politics of expertise in the field of rule of law assistance. 

Hanna Haile - Steinberg Postdoctoral Fellow - 2017-2018

Hanna Haile’s research and writing interests lie in the fields of international human rights, migration, environmental law, sustainability and intellectual property rights, with a particular focus on the question of how cultural phenomena shape and are shaped by law. Recently, she has been working on a project on the impacts of the activities of copper mining companies on communities living on the Copperbelt of Zambia. Prior to joining the McGill Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, she has worked for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Cornell University, the University of Asmara and the High Court of Asmara.

Alexandra Harrington - DCL 2015

Alexandra R. Harrington graduated cum laude from New York University with a BA in Politics and a BA in History. She received her J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2006. During her studies at Albany Law School, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Albany Law Journal of Science & Technology. In 2007 she graduated summa cum laude from Albany Law School with an LL.M. in International Law.

She is currently a DCL student at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. Her doctoral thesis, conducted under the supervision of Professor Frédéric Mégret, will examine the transformation of territory in international law. She has published over fifteen law review articles on a variety of topics including human rights law, military law, criminal law, corruption law, international trade law, food law, constitutional law, privacy law, international and comparative law, religious law, aviation law, international organizations, international and regional environmental law, health law and international policing.

Bethany Hastie - O'Brien Fellow - DCL 2015

Bethany Hastie was an O’Brien Fellow in Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, and doctoral student with the Institute of Comparative Law at the Faculty of Law, McGill University.

Her doctoral research, under the supervision of Professor François Crépeau, examined the status of migrant worker programs in Canada, with a particular focus on the institutional and pragmatic gaps that enable exploitation and forced labour trafficking to occur.

Bethany completed her J.D. at the University of British Columbia (2009), and LL.M. at McGill University (2012). She has worked with the BC Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, the Canadian Council for Refugees, and as part of the UBC Human Trafficking Working Group.

Róisín Hennessy – O’Brien Fellow - DCL 2016

Róisín is currently a DCL student at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. Her doctoral thesis is titled "A Critical Examination of the Role of Rule of Law Development Cooperation Programming in Combatting Gender Based Violence in Developing States in Transition from Conflict."

Róisín holds a European Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation (2003) along with an. LLM (2001) and a BCL (2000) from University College Cork, National University of Ireland.

From 2008 to 2010, she was a Policy and Legislative Review Officer with the Irish Human Rights Commission, National Human Rights Institution of Ireland. Previously, from 2003 to 2006, she was a Policy and Legislative Review Officer with the Irish Human Rights Commission, National Human Rights Institution of Ireland.

Edin Hodžić – O’Brien Fellow - DCL 2014

Edin Hodžić graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Sarajevo and obtained his Master's Degree in international human rights law (with Distinction) from the University of Oxford, for which he was supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Open Society Institute joint scholarship scheme.

From 2002 to 2005, Edin worked as a project coordinator at Media Center Sarajevo, following which he took up a post of an analyst at the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he worked until mid-2007. He was engaged as a consultant on a number of occasions and participated in several research projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since May 2006 he has been engaged as the Human Rights Editor for Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina’s The Pulse of Democracy, a bi-monthly online publication aimed at featuring critical analysis of the current policy issues in BaH.

Edin came to Montreal in September 2007 as an O’Brien Fellow to work on his doctoral research under the supervision of Professor Mark Antaki, which he completed in 2014. His doctoral thesis is devoted to a human rights analysis of the possible approaches to constitutional engineering in, and legal recognition of ethno-cultural groups within, societies characterized by deep cleavages along ethno-cultural lines. His research interests are mostly related to constitutionalism and international human rights law, respectively, with a particular focus on theory and practice of collective and minority rights, international criminal law and transitional justice in general.

John Hursh – O’Brien Fellow - LLM 2014

John Hursh was named an O’Brien Fellow in 2012. He is pursuing a LL.M. at McGill University’s Institute of Comparative Law, where his thesis will focus on the various and overlapping legal traditions that shape women’s rights and women’s land rights in North Africa.

Before attending McGill, Mr. Hursh worked as a Research Associate for Landesa, a nonprofit legal organization based in Seattle that works to secure land rights for the world’s poorest people. His responsibilities included completing legal and policy research to support the organization’s work, especially within Kenya and Rwanda.

A member of the American Bar Association’s Africa Committee and the Missouri Bar, Mr. Hursh’s research interests include Islamic law – particularly within the Maghreb, critical appraisals of international law, and land tenure reform in Africa. His most recent article, Advancing Women’s Rights through Islamic Law: The Example of Morocco, appeared in the BERKELEY JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW, AND JUSTICE earlier this year.

Mr. Hursh holds a J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a M.P.A. from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He also holds a M.A. and B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. He has completed a research fellowship at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge and served as Executive Editor of Volume 84 of the INDIANA LAW JOURNAL.

Buschra Jalabi - LLM 2009

Buschra Jalabi obtained her LL.B. degree from Université de Montréal. She was called to the Québec Bar in 2006 and worked as an attorney for the Québec Public Curator’s Office during 2006-2007. She is currently pursuing an LL.M. degree at the McGill Faculty of Law. Her research interests include public law, international human rights, health law and medical liability. Buschra is interested in exploring the legal dimensions of health law in regard to protection mechanisms of human rights with a focus on incompetent persons. Her research project, under the supervision of Professor Lara Khoury, proposes to examine the specific issue of the protection of incompetent persons in the context of medical experimentation. Buschra is an active member of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism where she also works as a coordinator of various public events and academic initiatives.

Graciela Jasa-Silveira - DCL 2013

Graciela Jasa-Silveira (graciela.jasa-silveira [at] (Email)) received her Licenciado degree from the University of Sonora in Mexico. After a brief experience working in the civil law section of the Public Defender’s Office, she went on to complete her LL.M. in International Trade Law at the University of Arizona, writing her thesis “Parallel imports in the NAFTA Region” under the direction of Prof. David Gantz. Graciela has been a full time professor at the University of Sonora for 7 years, where she has taught mainly in the areas of international public and private law. She has also collaborated with the NACLE network in the Family Law Module. Her research interests include legal education, family law and international trade law. Graciela is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in the area of comparative law under the supervision of Prof. Patrick Glenn. Her thesis research centered on a pluralist perspective of Mexican family law.

Philipp Kastner - LLM 2008, DCL 2014

Philipp Kastner obtained his first law degree (Mag. iur.), from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Francophile since an exchange year at Sciences-Po Paris, he moved to Montreal in 2006, where he earned an LL.M. with a focus on international criminal law and international humanitarian law from McGill University. He wrote his doctoral thesis (“International Criminal Justice in bello? The ICC between Law and Politics in Darfur and Northern Uganda”) for the University of Innsbruck while pursing internships with Human Rights Watch in New York, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, and an Arabic course in Damascus, Syria.

Philipp completed his DCL at McGill University under the supervision of Professor René Provost in 2014. His thesis, “Law – Unrest in Peace? Legal Normativity in the Resolution of Armed Conflicts”, explores the normative dynamics of peace negotiations and aims to contribute to a better understanding of the creation and role of legal norms in the context of the peaceful resolution of internal armed conflicts. In 2010/2011, Philipp was also a Teaching Fellow at the Faculty of Law.

Philipp’s broader research interests include peace and conflict studies, international criminal law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law, legal theory and legal pluralism as well as legal education. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Western Australia's Law School.

Sabaa Khan - O'Brien Fellow - DCL 2015

Sabaa Khan is an O'Brien Fellow in Human Rights and Legal Pluralism at the Faculty of Law, and a DCL candidate within the Institute of Comparative Law. She holds an LL.M. in International Law from the Université de Montréal (2010, Liste d'excellence) and a Licentiate in Civil Law from the University of Ottawa (2000). She is a Member of the Barreau du Québec and has clerked at the International Labour Office, Freedom of Association Branch (Geneva).

Khan's current research explores interactions between international trade, labour and environmental regimes on the issues of electronic waste and urban ore mining. She has lectured at the 2010 CÉRIUM European and International Environmental Law Seminar (Montréal) and spoken at the 2011 World Resources Forum (Davos), on behalf of the StEP E-waste Summer School initiative of the United Nations University, Institute for Sustainability and Peace.

Her work on human rights and migrant caregivers has been published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society and her comparative research on the waste dimension of pervasive computing has been featured in the Lex Electronica. Khan is also a pianist and published composer, the author and illustrator of two children's books, and she holds a 1st dan black belt certified by the Japanese Karate Federation.

Amar Khoday - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2008, DCL 2014

Amar Khoday earned his J.D. from the New England School of Law in Boston and his LL.M from McGill University’s Faculty of Law. Amar completed his LL.M thesis under the supervision of Professor Ronald Sklar in 2008. He previously obtained his M.A. (South Asian History) and B.A. (Double Major in History and Southern Asian Studies) from Concordia University. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the state bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Amar worked as an associate (and prior to that, as an articling student) at Shell Lawyers, a progressive labour and employment law firm located in Toronto. During his LL.M, he worked as a researcher for the McGill Clinic for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone.

A recipient of both the O’Brien Fellowship for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship, Amar completed his doctoral degree under the supervision of Professor Frédéric Mégret in 2014. His research explores the ways that refugee law legitimizes and in some ways legalizes otherwise illegal acts of resistance when such conduct is waged against oppressive regimes and/or normative legal systems that undermine human rights, democracy and the rule of law. He is now assistant professor at the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Law.

Vanessa Lentz - MSc 2007

Vanessa Lentz completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) at the University of Winnipeg in 2005, before enrolling in the Master’s Specialization in Bioethics here at McGill University. She has considerable volunteer experience in community health, having volunteered at HIV/AIDS clinics in both Winnipeg and Montreal, and as an HIV Prevention and Education volunteer with an NGO in Belize, Central America. Within her master’s degree, Vanessa has been able to further develop her interest in HIV/AIDS. Working under the supervision of Professor Angela Campbell, her dissertation examined the ethical and legal issues related to the utilization of assisted reproductive technologies by HIV-positive couples, focusing on the professional role responsibilities of the providing physician. Recently, she also served as a small group discussion leader for second-year medical students at McGill, in the context of the Faculty of Medicine’s Medical Ethics and Health Law course. She finished in 2010.

Eunice Leyva García – O’Brien Fellow 2018 – LLM’19

Eunice Leyva García is a Mexican human rights defender; she is an O’Brien Fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and a Fellow of the Disability Rights Scholarship Program from the Open Society Foundations.

She holds a B.A. in Law from Tecnológico de Monterrey, in Mexico. She has participated in different human rights programs, including at the American University, WCL, in Washington DC, the National University of Ireland, Galway, and the Central European University, in Budapest, Hungary and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Since the age of 21, Eunice has collaborated with several NGOs in the advocacy, research and strategic litigation areas, including the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, Documenta, and Instituto de Justicia Procesal Penal. She also worked for the Mexican Federal Judiciary in a Constitutional Court for Criminal Matters, in Mexico City. The main areas of her work have been about torture, enforced disappearance, violence against women, disability rights, people deprived from their liberty, and the criminal justice system. She has been invited, several times, to train judges, prosecutors and public defenders in human rights matters. She has also been invited as a lecturer to different public and academic forums and has collaborated with several articles for human rights publications.

Nelcy López Cuéllar - DCL 2012

Nelcy López Cuéllar is interested in understanding the role of judges in the construction of a constitutional democracy. Her research focuses on the Colombian case from 1991 to date. As a previous clerk of the Colombian Constitutional Court for several years, and currently a DCL candidate at McGill Law Faculty, she has a rich understanding of the Colombian Constitutional story. To retell this story, Nelcy has embraced a critical discourse analysis of several paradigmatic decisions of the Colombian Constitutional Court. She graduated from Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Law Faculty, with meritorious thesis (2000); she obtained her Masters in Public Law from Universidad Externado de Colombian and published her master’s dissertation (2004); recently, she pursued her LLM at Yale Law School (2007). Nelcy received her DCL from McGill Law in 2012.

Isabelle Martin - DCL 2012

Isabelle Martin (isabelle.martin [at] (Email)) completed a B.A. (honours) in economics at McGill University before studying law at Université de Montréal (LL.B. and LL.M.). Her LL.M thesis (La justice distributive et le droit aux services socio-sanitaires à travers la jurisprudence québécoise) was written under the supervision of Pr. Andrée Lajoie. She is a member of the Quebec Bar and has clerked at the Quebec Court of Appeal for Justice Baudouin and Justice Rothman. Before beginning her doctoral studies, she worked at Melançon Marceau Grenier Sciortino, a firm specialized in labour law. A SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholar, she is now working on her thesis under the supervision of Pr. Jean-Guy Belley. Her thesis examines the regulation of the tension between dignity and efficiency in firms. Three particular problems are studied: the nature of the relationship between shareholders and the firm, the duty to accommodate workers, and the regulation of marketing.

Isabelle Martin is mainly interested in the interaction between law and economics, particularly in labour, corporate and health law. She seeks to study the relationship between the discourses of economics and law while being attentive to their social and institutional contexts.

Melissa Martins Casagrande - DCL 2011

Melissa Martins Casagrande obtained her BA in Law and Master of Sciences in Public Law from the Universidade Federal do Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil. Her Master’s thesis is entitled “The Principle of Self-Determination of Peoples: its applicability, its instrumentality in international human rights law and its contextualization in the Latin American conjuncture”. Presently pursuing a doctoral degree under the supervision of Professor Colleen Sheppard, Melissa’s thesis proposes to address issues related to the legal status of indigenous peoples in Brazil in connection with the recognition of their right to self-determination. She holds a Macdonald Graduate Fellowship in Law and has worked as a researcher with the Special Court for Sierra Leone Clinic. Melissa’ s research interests include legal pluralism, constitutional law, sociology and the law, human rights, international humanitarian law, international criminal law and legal research methodology.

Matthew McKillop – O’Brien Fellow - LLM 2021

Matthew McKillop's research interests involve the tension between national legal systems and disability rights discourse in international law. He has practised as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand, and is a graduate of the University of Otago (LLB (Hons) and BSc (Pharmacology), 2010).

Matt is currently on leave from his role as Crown Counsel in the Constitutional and Human Rights team at Crown Law, the New Zealand Solicitor-General’s department. In that role he has represented New Zealand’s police, correctional services and health department in a variety of judicial review and human rights claims brought against the state, including claims about the consistency of legislation with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. He recently advised the Attorney-General on consistency of a proposed abortion law reform bill with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, under a statutory vetting process analogous to that required by the Canadian Bill of Rights and the Department of Justice Act.

Previously Matt worked at the New Zealand Ministry of Health, as an advisor in the Office of the Director of Mental Health. He contributed a chapter to New Zealand’s Mental Health Act in Practice (Victoria University Press, 2013). In 2016 Matt was a recipient of a Pegasus Scholarship, allowing him to shadow barristers practising in London for six weeks.

Thomas McMorrow - LLM 2008, DCL 2012

Thomas McMorrow obtained his LL.B. from Trinity College, University of Dublin. Enrolled at Trinity in the Law & French programme, he spent his junior sophister year studying French constitutional law and legal theory at the Université de Poitiers in Poitiers, France. In 2007 he completed his LL.M. thesis, "Law at L'Arche: Reflections from a Critical Legal Pluralist Perspective". The thesis is based on participant field work Thomas carried out at a community serving persons with intellectual disabilities in Montreal called L'Arche and it was nominated to the Dean’s Honour List.

Currently he is pursuing doctoral work involving empirical research into the role students play in the creation of laws governing everyday life within secondary schools. He is working under the supervision of Professor Roderick A. Macdonald. Thomas is a Dobson and McDonald Fellow as well as a graduate student member of The Major Collaborative Research Project on Indigenous Peoples and Governance. Thomas’ broader research interests include legal theory, legal pluralism and social justice. Thomas received his DCL from McGill Law in 2012.

Tanya Monforte – O’Brien Fellow

Tanya Monforte is a graduate fellow at the McGill Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.

She was previously a professor of law and the director of the Human Rights M.A. at the American University in Cairo. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, a M.A. in the sociology of law and a B.A. in philosophy. Tanya Monforte has been a visiting professor at Brown University, Addis Ababa University, and the University of Texas.

Her areas of research include the intersection of critical security studies and human rights, women's rights and the law of treaties. 

Bwighane Mwenifumbo - O'Brien Fellow

Bwighane Mwenifumbo was an LLM candidate with the Institute of Comparative Law at McGill University and an O’Brien Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. She holds an LLB (Honours) from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. Her work as a Legal Aid Advocate serving underprivileged people in Malawi opened her up to the challenges faced by people with disabilities during the court process, in the correctional system and society in general. The majority of her clients are women and children, and this has influenced her particular interest in their plight in Malawian society.

Gaëlle Missire - LLM 2009

After one year as an exchange student at McGill (Erasmus program), Gaëlle Missire completed her law degree with merits at Pierre-Mendès France University in Grenoble, France. She came back to McGill to do a Master degree at the Institute of Comparative Law. In her thesis, she intended to study the empowerment of women during armed conflict and the possibility for the international community to further this process. More broadly, she is interested in the reconstruction of societies affected by war and the role that the international community should play.

Bekithemba Mlauzi - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2015

Bekithemba Mlauzi (Zimbabwe) is an LLM student at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, and he is on a Disability Rights Scholarship Programme. His primary interests are to develop Disability Rights jurisprudence, assist in the review of the Disabled Persons Act (Cap 17:01) in Zimbabwe; ensure that all Zimbabwean Disability laws are in sync with the CRPD and the impending African Disability Protocol; challenging disability rights violations, being an amicus curiae, advocating, training and mentoring of lawyers and stakeholders involved in the justice delivery system on disability rights.

He has been a Legal Researcher at Venturas & Samukange Legal Practitioners, Harare, Zimbabwe. He has served in the Zimbabwe Republic Police where he did legal work, human resources and administration management and general policing. He served in Liberia and East Timor as an advisor to the peace negotiator and a peacekeeper respectively. Bekithemba has also served on the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and was instrumental in the implementation of the Access to Justice for Children Program in the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

For his LLM, Bekithemba intends to carry out an in-depth study on disability related statistics. His studies are made possible by the O’Brien Fellowships, James and OSF funding.

After his studies, Bekithemba intends to introduce a legal clinic for disabled persons at no cost subject to donor funding; establish a Traffic law Centre to research on traffic accidents and disability in Southern Africa amongst other things. He has published several legal articles on the Outpost (Zimbabwe Republic Police) magazine. He has organised and facilitated a number of International Humanitarian Law/International Human Rights workshops with the International Committee of the Red Cross; Access to Justice for Children workshops with the Legal Resources Foundation (Zimbabwe) and other stakeholders; Family Law workshops for police officers’ spouses and a number of legal training seminars and workshops for the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

Rodziana Mohamed Razali - Steinberg Postdoctoral Fellow - September 2018 - June 2019

Dr. Rodziana Mohamed Razali has researched statelessness since 2013 and completed her PhD at the National University of Malaysia in 2017. Her thesis, entitled “Protection against Statelessness at Birth: International and Domestic Legal Frameworks of ASEAN Member States with a Special Case Study on Kota Kinabalu, Sabah,” was awarded ‘Excellence’ by the Faculty of Law, the National University of Malaysia.

She was previously in the Malaysian Judicial and Legal Service before leaving for her Masters of Laws at the University of Melbourne. She is currently a senior lecturer at the Islamic Science University of Malaysia, Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya (Non-practicing), member of Statelessness Network Asia Pacific (SNAP) and committee member of Refugee Support Group (Malaysia). Her research interests include legal frameworks governing childhood statelessness, international standards on and comparative analysis of birth registration and nationality frameworks of ASEAN Member States and the right to legal identity and prevention of statelessness.

Dr. Razali has worked closely with UNHCR Malaysia and its regional office in Bangkok and was invited to present her research findings at local, regional and international workshops, meetings and conferences. She also helped provide input to UNHCR’s Regional Office for Southeast Asia and ASEAN Commission for the Promotion and the Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) in developing a research project concerning the right to a nationality for women and children by reference to relevant international standards, focusing on existing international human rights treaty obligations of ASEAN Member States.

She coordinated several workshops addressing among others, the setting of statelessness common research agenda in the Malaysian context and participated in a similar workshop at the Asia Pacific level hosted by UNHCR, Melbourne Law School and Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne. On behalf of her Law Faculty and Refugee Support Group (Malaysia), she initiated and coordinated a workshop addressing family formation and marriage management of the Rohingya in Malaysia and presented her research findings with other invited panellists at the said workshop.

Her published articles have appeared in several journals, including Scopus-indexed journal and Research Paper Series published by the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion.

Shimelis Mulugeta Kene - O'Brien Fellow - DCL 2020

Shimelis Mulugeta Kene was a Doctor of Civil Law Candidate at the Institute of Comparative Law and an O’Brien Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. His doctoral research, supervised by Professor Payam Akhavan, explored the interplay between authoritarianism, counterterrorism and law by drawing on socio-legal perspectives.

Prior to joining McGill, Shimelis worked in a variety of roles and settings: as Law Clerk at the Ethiopian Federal First Instance Court; as a Senior Trainer at Organization for Social Justice in Ethiopia (a prominent human rights and social justice organization in the country); as a Human Rights expert at the Human Rights Office of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE); and as a Child Rights Officer at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

He completed his LLM in International Human Rights with Honors at Northwestern University’s School of Law in 2010, for which he was awarded a graduate legal studies fellowship. Following his graduation, as a Postgraduate Assistant at Northwestern, he conducted field research and wrote an assessment report on the Liberian Juvenile Justice System under the auspices of UNICEF Liberia. While at Northwestern, Shimelis served as a board member and the LLM students’ representative at the Amnesty International USA Northwestern University School of Law Chapter.

Prior to graduate studies, Shimelis earned an LLB from Addis Ababa University, producing a thesis entitled “Civil Trial on Trial: A Critical Evaluation of the Ethiopian Practice of Civil Trial”. While studying for his law degree, he also volunteered for a number of community organizations, teaching basic Ethiopian law and human rights, and contributed a number of book reviews to local papers.

In 2007, Shimelis was a recipient of the Outstanding Applicants Scholarship and participated as a delegate from Ethiopia in the Third Intergenerational Leadership Forum convened by the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.

Delphine Nakache - DCL 2009

Delphine Nakache, a SSHRC & FQRSC Doctoral Fellow, is currently completing a Ph.D thesis in International Human Rights Law at the McGill Faculty of Law under the supervision of Prof. Provost. Her thesis is on the control of irregular migration and the need to reconcile state security concerns with the international obligation to respect the human dignity of involuntarily displaced persons. The research involves an analysis of some core protection provisions found in human rights law, refugee law, humanitarian law and criminal law, in order to bring out similarities and reinforce the forced migrants' fundamental rights under international law (non-discrimination and equality provisions, the right not to be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the right to family reunification).

Ugochi Nnadozie - LLM 2011

Ugochi Nnadozie received her LLB from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Her undergraduate work focused on the environmental and human rights challenges in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Her recent activities cover local and international developments that affect the rights and welfare of children, including making presentations at workshops and seminars on behalf of UNICEF Quebec on these issues. Her LLM thesis (2011), under the supervision of Prof Kirsten Anker, explored the intersection between Culture, Literature and Human Rights. Her thesis uses a literary rendition of the socio-cultural realities of the Igbo society as told in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart as a backdrop to investigate the role, perceptions and, therefore, "the rights" of a child in an African context and how these roles and perceptions interface, and how they correspond with the concept of "best interest of the child" as postulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Taking this approach her intention is question the credibility of the CRC as a universal instrument in light of Africa traditional cultures and customary norm.

Her research interests cover issues related to Legal Pluralism, Children's Rights, Multiculturalism, Culture and Cultural Defenses, and Social Justice. Ms Nnadozie is on the Board of Directors of Art of Raising Children (ARC), a non-profit organization that aims to enhance parent-child and family interaction as well as help strengthen family interpersonal relationships through education, support groups and mobilization of resources.

Yvana Novoa Curich - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2018

Yvana is a young lawyer from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP) and a graduate of the Graduate program in Public Law and Good Governance from the same university, where she discovered a passion for human rights, criminal law and good governance. For the past few years, she has researched and worked in these areas. During her last year in the PUCP law program, she developed a deep interest in the study of corruption-related crimes and their negative impact on human rights. She's worked for over five years now in the corruption research team of the PUCP Institute of Democracy and Human Rights, an important Peruvian think-tank in the field of human rights.

She has been a teaching assistant in international law, criminal law and anti-corruption at PUCP's Faculty of law. From 2016 to 2017, she worked at Liber, an NGO specializing in transparency and freedom of expression, where she was in charge of litigating and bringing cases against the Peruvian State, with a particular focus on the violation of access to public information rights and freedom of expression.

Currently, Yvana works for the Centre of Human Rights and Legal Pluralism of McGill as an Events and Seminars Assistant, and she also works as a Research Assistant at McGill's Faculty of Law.

Sarah O’Mahoney - LLM 2009

Sarah O’Mahoney obtained her LL.B. degree from Trinity College Dublin, with a focus on human rights and comparative law. A McGill Graduate Studies Fellow, Sarah is currently pursuing an LL.M. in the field of human rights under the supervision of Professor Colleen Sheppard. Drawing from comparative perspectives, her graduate research agenda focuses on the impact of nationalist ideology and discourse on women’s reproductive rights in both Ireland and Iran. Seeking inspiration from feminist theory, her thesis critically explores how different religious nationalisms appear to adversely affect women’s autonomy in strikingly similar fashions. Sarah has diverse research interests, including human rights law, international law, comparative law, feminist theory, environmental law and public interest law.

James Pender - LLM 2008

James Pender obtained his BaLLB (cum laude) from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and is currently studying at Mcgill University as a graduate research project student, completing his LLM in International Law. James’ research interests include international criminal law, human rights, dispute resolution and international relations. Having obtained experience at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, James is currently working as a member of the McGill University Clinic for the Special Court of Sierra Leone.

Mario Prost - DCL 2009

Mario Prost is a graduate of Université Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne), with an LL.B. and an LL.M. (cum laude) in international law and institutions. A McGill Major Fellow, Mario is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in international law under the supervision of Professor Stephen Toope. His dissertation proposes to address issues of unity/fragmentation of international law from a critical perspective, with particular emphasis on how the rhetoric of unity contributes to the depolitisation and overscientification of the discipline.

Mario's areas of research and publication include international legal theory, international trade law, international environmental law, human rights law, peaceful resolution of international disputes and international institutional law. His contributions are forthcoming in the Chinese Journal of International law, the German Law Journal, and the Revue Belge de Droit International.

Anna Purkey - BCL/LLB 2005, DCL 2015

Anna Purkey obtained her BCL/LLB with great distinction from McGill University in 2005. Her LLM thesis (Whose Rights to What Justice: The Administration of Justice in Refugee Camps) was written under the supervision of Professor Audrey Macklin at the University of Toronto. Anna is a member of the Quebec Bar and worked as legal counsel at the Department of Justice Canada and as a contract instructor at Carleton University in Ottawa.

A recipient of the Tomlinson Doctoral Fellowship, Anna is completed a doctoral degree in international law under the supervision of Professor François Crépeau. Her thesis explored the importance of access to justice and legal empowerment in the context of protracted refugee crises and the relationship between legal empowerment and human dignity.

Rapti Ratnayake – O’Brien Fellow - LLM 2018

Rapti Ratnayake is completed her LLM at McGill’s Faculty of Law. Previously, she completed her LLB at the University of Edinburgh in 2014.

In 2015, she was awarded The Asia Foundation’s LankaCorps Fellowship to work in Sri Lanka during a critical part of the country’s post-war recovery. Her work involved examining the main barriers to female economic empowerment in the war affected areas of the country. She also conducted research on the re-intergration of ex-combatants where she recommended a multidimensional reintegration process involving economic recovery and social political reconciliation, and examined the support structures for child soldiers and former female combatants.

Prior to starting her master's, she worked as a Legal Researcher for a think tank advising the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She conducted research on issues of Asian foreign policy, effective immigration policies in promoting diaspora relations, urbanisation and transitional justice.

Rapti recently released a publication titled ‘Post-war realities: Barriers to female economic empowerment in the north of Sri Lanka.’ She has also written for the London School of Economics South Asia Center on how diplomatic ties between Asian cities can combat the pitfalls of rapid urbanisation.

Rapti grew up in South Africa and is of Sri Lankan origin. Her main research interests in transitional justice and international human rights law stem from her exposure to post-Apartheid South Africa and her work experience in Sri Lanka. She has broader research interests in the field of migration, international criminal law, trade law and international dispute resolution.

Hassan Razavi - postdoctoral fellow

Hassan Razavi (hassan.razavi [at] (Email)) is a postdoctoral fellow and course lecturer at the McGill University, Faculty of Law where he conducts his research under the supervision of Frédéric Mégret (Canada Research Chair in Human Rights) and teaches “International Trade Law and Human Rights”. He holds a PhD in law from the University of Neuchatel, Faculty of Law, in Switzerland and he wrote his doctoral thesis on international trade under the supervision of Petros Mavroidis (Columbia Law School).

In Iran’s Public Universities Entrance Examination in 2001, he came second out of a field of 550,000 candidates. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Law at the University of Tehran, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences and he was awarded “Dr. Vahedi Memorial Award,” which is granted to the best law student in each year. Hassan also holds a Master’s degree (LL.M.) in private and Islamic law obtained from the University of Tehran, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences where he studied the impact of law and economics on contract law.

During his studies in Iran, Hassan practiced as a lawyer and member of the Iran Central Bar Association for two years and acted as a legal advisor or in-house legal counsel for some business entities and institutions in Iran. He has also served as a legal and compliance officer in Switzerland, and acted as an adviser for the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law. He is a winner of the Justice Makers Fellowship award from International Bridges to Justice-Geneva, and he is currently a member of the Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA). Hassan provides legal advice on banking, economic sanctions, international trade law and human rights.

Muhammad Rezaur Rahman - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2017

Muhammad Rezaur Rahman holds a teaching position at Northern University Bangladesh. He has received intense training in legal research and pedagogy from different institutions. He is immensely interested in constitutional law and constitutional theory. Most of his research work focuses on constitutionalism and its application in upholding human rights especially in the context of secularism and freedom of religion.

Rezaur completed his LLM from Northern University Bangladesh in 2012 and was immediately invited to come back as a lecturer. His graduate dissertation focused on the imposed constitutional identity of indigenous population and the constitutional crisis in Bangladesh. He is also a graduate of the prestigious Human Rights Summer School, a one of its kind residential human rights training program in Bangladesh.

Rezaur is actively engaged in multifarious research projects in Bangladesh. He has prepared two national reports for the National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh (JAMAKON). As a member of the CLR Team (Community Law Reform), he conducted an intensive research on the socio-economic rights and labor conditions of the handloom weaver community of Bangladesh. This research formed part of a publication by ELCOP, a research and training organization in Bangladesh. Rezaur is now one of the Supervisors of the current CLR projects.

As an O’Brien Graduate Fellow at McGill, Rezaur worked on the infusion of secularism and State Religion in the post-colonial constitutional structure in countries risking religious radicalization with a specific focus on Bangladesh.

Salman Rana - LLM 2009

Salman Rana received his LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. His research at McGill focusses on the intersection between youth culture and law, in particular the sub-culture of hip-hop. He is particularly interested in mapping out normative traditions regulating youth relations within particular sub-cultural paradigms.

Prior to attending McGill, Salman was working with the Uganda Law Society in Kampala, Uganda. His research interests are diverse and include international human rights law, children, youth and the law, critical race theory, poverty law, Islamic law, legal pluralism, East African legal systems and hip-hop scholarship. He is an artist with the Toronto hip-hop collective the Circle whose members have garnered numerous awards and award nominations. He has received a Much Music Videofact Award and Grant for Canadian Talent and has appeared on national television and radio broadcasts concerning issues related to hip-hop and Islam.

Salman, along with several Osgoode professors have been conducting research into inner-city youths' notions of access to justice and the justice system, funded by the Law Commission of Canada and Canadian Bar Law for the Future Fund.

He volunteers his free time to work with inner-city children and youth in Toronto. He is also involved with The Bavubuka Foundation, a Ugandan based organization employing hip-hop as a means to promoting issues and empowering children and youth in Uganda.

Jeffrey Sachs - PhD 2015, Arts (Islamic Studies), McGill

Jeffrey Sachs received his MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago in 2007, where he studied religion and Islamic activism in contemporary Egypt. Presently pursuing a doctoral degree in Islamic Studies at McGill under the supervision of Professor Khalid Medani, Jeffrey’s dissertation proposes to explore the process of Islamization in Sudan and Egypt, with a concentration on issues of secularism, law, and human rights. His research interests include codification of religious law, education reform, and religion in the public sphere.

Raymond Savadogo – O’Brien Fellow

Raymond O. Savadogo holds an LLB with first class distinction in Law, an LLM with distinction in International and Transnational Law. He acted both as a Teaching Assistant in International Criminal Law (LLM course) with Professor Fannie Lafontaine at the Faculty of Law, Laval University (Canada), and as a Professional Researcher of the Canadian Research Chair on International Criminal Justice and Human Rights. A former student of Laval University, Brussels University – ULB/Solbosch (Belgium) and Catholic University of West Africa (Burkina Faso), he has been accredited as a pro bono member of the Defence Counsel of Callixte Mbarushimana, an Executive Secretary of a rebel armed group in the North of the DRC until his immediate release by the International Criminal Court (ICC). By means of the Clinic of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, he served as a contractual worker on the ICC Legal Tools Database and assisted the team of victims before the Extraordinary African Chambers established within the Senegalese courts to try the former Chadian President, Hissène Habré.

At the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), he also assisted the Counsel for the Defence of Callixte Nzabonimana (Minister of Youth in the Rwandan interim government) as well as the Counsel of acquitted persons namely André Ntaguerura (Minister of Transport and Communications in the Rwandan interim government), Jerome Clément Bicamumpaka (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in the Rwandan interim government), Gratien Kabiligi (Head of military operations of the Rwandan Armed Forces then General Brigadier during the genocide) and Casimir Bizimungu (Health Minister in the Rwandan interim government) as part of their post-acquittal relocation.

Received in 2010 as an intern of the Centre for Democratic Governance in Africa and later appointed as an "Associate Field Investigator" of the Afrobarometer Survey on citizens' education to democracy and human rights, Raymond is passionate about procedural and substantive International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, Legal Theory, African system of Human Rights protection as well as constitutional, judiciary and political reforms in Africa. He is also recipient of several distinctions and honours both in Canada and Burkina Faso, and took part, on behalf of Laval University, to the 25th edition of the Jean-Pictet Moot Competition held in Thailand.

Perpetua Senkoro - O'Brien Fellow - LLM 2020

Perpetua Senkoro is a Tanzanian human rights defender. She is an LLM candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, an O’Brien Fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, and a Fellow of the Disability Rights Scholarship Program from the Open Society Foundations.

She holds an LLB from the University of Dar-es-salaam where she was an active leader for students with disabilities.

In 2015, she joined Under The Same Sun (UTSS), a Canadian NGO advocating for the rights of people with albinism (PWA) as a volunteer for five months where she was involved in raising public awareness and understanding of albinism in urban and rural Tanzania, in response to violence against PWA, including killings and mutilation of their body parts.

To date, she continues to work for the non-profit through developing PWA human rights reports, lobbying and following-up on implementation of recommendations from United Nations Treaty bodies and African Union Human Rights mechanisms, as well as engaging other non-profits, development partners, academicians, mass media, faith based institutions, parliament and the government of Tanzania.

Mohamed Sesay - PhD 2017, Dept of Political Science, McGill

My research work focuses on security sector reform, disarmament demobilization and reintegration (DDR), transitional justice, and peacebuilding processes in post-war Sierra Leone. I presented a paper in the 2011 ISA conference in Montreal titled "Externally led Military Reform in Africa: Lessons from Sierra Leone."

I have also collaborated with Dr. Megan MacKenzie of the Victoria University of Wellington in a number of research projects culminating in conference presentations and journal articles on transitional justice processes. We are working on a project titled "Measuring Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: Lessons from Sierra Leone" with preliminary fieldwork conducted in 2009. Also, we have co-authored an article that has been provisionally accepted for publication by the International Studies Perspectives journal, titled "No Amnesty from/for the International: the Production and Promotion of TRCs as an International Norm in Sierra Leone."

As a researcher with the Centre for Development and Security Analysis (2004-09), I was actively involved in a nationwide study on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone (2007). In 2008 I participated in a graduate student exchange programme between the University of Sierra Leone and the University of Alberta, funded by the Department for Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), Canada.

Mourad Shalaby - MA 2012

Mourad has a Bachelor's degree in Human Environmental Geography from the Université de Montréal, where he conducted multiple studies on urban issues in Third World countries, field assessments of land management, Environmental Impact Assessments and Natural Resources managements. Some of his work included the analysis of air pollution in the city of Cairo, the history of transport policy and planning in the city of Montreal and the evaluation of quality of life in the city of Montreal, with the University of Montreal and the help of the cities of Cairo and Montreal. He has a certificate in Trade, Development & the Environment from the London School of Economics, where he conducted research on the issue of Climate Change and the role of the United States. He is currently enrolled in the Geography Masters program at McGill University, where he is preparing a thesis on Climate Change, Development and Adaptation in the Congo Forest Region. During the summer of 2009, he will be working for the World Bank collecting data for his research.

Marina Sharpe - Banting Post-doctoral Fellow

Marina Sharpe, BCL/LLB'05, is a Banting Post-doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, where she was previously a Steinberg Fellow in International Migration Law and Policy.

Marina is called to the bars of England & Wales (Inner Temple) and New York, and spent time in private practice at Cravath. She has also worked for Global Canada and the International Refugee Rights Initiative. Marina has undertaken consultancy work for NGOs including Amnesty International and EuroMed Rights, and for international organizations including the African Union and UNHCR. She has taught at the universities of London, Oxford and Sherbrooke, and has guest lectured widely, including at Georgetown and Yale.

Marina’s scholarly work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and edited collections and her book, The Regional Law of Refugee Protection in Africa, was published by OUP in 2018. Marina holds a DPhil in law from Oxford, where she studied as a Trudeau Scholar, an MSc (international development) from the London School of Economics, and LLB, BCL and BA (economics) degrees from McGill.

Efrat Shemesh Idelson - LLM 2009

Efrat obtained her LL.B. degree from The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel. She did her internship in the legal department of the Office of the Prime Minister, where she participated in legal procedures in the Israel Supreme Court of Justice and in Military Courts. Efrat passed her Israeli Bar in 2004. Upon her arrival in Montreal she worked for a student organization as a program coordinator and director of advocacy focusing on educating students about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and coexisting on campus while promoting dialog. Efrat is currently pursuing her LLM in the Institute of Comparative Law. Her research project deals with the right to self determination of geographical sub-groups, mostly with regard to Palestinian groups.

Alain-Guy Sipowo - SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow - 2015-2017

Alain-Guy Sipowo, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, has studied civil law and political science at the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon, where he holds a LLB and a postgraduate degree in public law. Having passed with first class honours the competitive examination for entrance at the International Relations Institute of Cameroon, he completed with honours a D.E.S.S. (advanced specialized postgraduate degree) in International disputes settlement in 2008. In 2007, he was awarded an allowance by the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie to attend Masters studies in International and European Human Rights Law at Nantes University in France, which he completed with first class honours. Alain-Guy joined Laval University in Quebec City in fall 2008 and completed his doctoral studies after an accelerated passage from LL.M to LL.D. In line with his previous research on international criminal liability and process during his studies at the International Relations Institute of Cameroon and Nantes, Alain-Guy’s doctoral thesis studied the phenomenon of secrecy in the proceedings of the International Criminal Court, analysing how the abundance of confidentiality risk jeopardizing the cathartic and pedagogical functions of the ICC’s as well as its own affectivity, accountability and legitimacy. His thesis was publicly defended in fall 2014 with first class honours and unanimous recommendation to publish. The jury was composed of such distinguished scholars as William Schabas (Middlesex, London), Pacifique Manirakiza (Ottawa), Pierre Rainville, Fannie Lafontaine and Julia Grignon (Laval, Quebec).

Alain-Guy has combined his education with a flourishing work experience. During his studies, he gained traineeship positions with the division of legal affairs of the Cameroonian ministry of foreign affairs, the service of legal affairs and international cooperation of the African Organization for intellectual property, the Registry of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Division of Victims and Council of the International Criminal Court. At Laval University, he was several times research assistant to many professors at the Faculty of Law and at the Institut des Hautes Études Internationales in the area of international and national criminal/security law as well as civil and public law. In 2010-2011, he served as human rights officer with the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, leading many monitoring missions in conflict zones and drafting reports and legal advices on human rights abuses. Alain-Guy assisted professor Fannie Lafontaine as she founded the International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic at Laval University. He successively acted as supervisor of the ICC Legal Tool Project, helping to build a database on ICC jurisprudence, and as deputy director to the Clinic. Since 2010, Alain-Guy has taught several courses in the discipline of International Law at Laval University, including public international law, international refugee law, international criminal law and international human rights law.

Alain-Guy was awarded the Canadian Council on International Law John Peters Humphrey fellowship in human rights and international organizations consecutively in 2009 and 2010 for his doctoral studies at Laval University. He is the 6th from a Canadian university to be awarded the prestigious diploma of The Hague Academy of International Law (2011). In 2010, he won the Charles-Rousseau Moot competition in public international law with Laval University, distinguishing himself as the best litigator in the final.

His research interests include public international law, international disputes settlement, international relations, international criminal law, international human rights law and international refugees and migration law. He is developing expertise in the theory of global law and legal pluralism as applied to such issues as refugees, human rights and environment. He has published law articles and book chapters in Canada and abroad on international criminal justice, collective security, transitional justice and humanitarian law. At the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Alain-Guy will work with professor René Provost on the implications of the doctrine of responsibility to protect for multinational corporations. He has also taught a seminar entitled “The African Human Rights System in Perspective”.

Harini Sivalingam - LLM 2009

Harini Sivalingam obtained her LL.B. at Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006. Harini is currently an LL.M. Candidate in the International Comparative Law at McGill University, under the supervision of Prof. Evan Fox-Decent. Harini’s thesis explores the discourses of fear and victimization in the national security context and how these discourses impact on community groups. Pursuing her passion for human rights, Harini has interned at he International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, monitoring United Nations meetings and drafting analytical reports on human rights issues. Harini is involved in anti-racism activism and community organizing. She has a diverse set of research interests including; immigration and refugee law, international and domestic human rights, and national security law. After completing her LL.M. Harini hopes to continue to work towards the advancement of social justice through academia, non-governmental organization involvement and the practice of law.

Nargess Tavassolian - LLM 2008

Nargess Tavassolian received her Bachelor degree in both Civil and Islamic Law in Iran form Shahid Beheshty University. She was called to the Bar in Iran in 2005. She is currently an L.L.M candidate at McGill University. She is conducting her research under the supervision of Dr. Payam Akhavan on the inhuman punishments in Iran and the possibilities for their reform in Iran. Nargess Tavassolian has worked for several NGOs in Iran including: Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child, Mine collaboration Campaign and Center for Defenders of Human Rights. Nargess Tavassolian has a diverse set of research interests including international law, human rights, international criminal law and international humanitarian law.

Flore Valluis - LLM 2008

Flore Valluis obtained her undergraduate degree (equivalent to a B.C.L) in International and European Law (cum laude) and her master degree (equivalent to an LL.M) in International Private Law and International Trade (cum laude) from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne (Paris, France). While at Pantheon Sorbonne, she wrote her thesis under the supervision of Professor Vincent Heuzé, exploring the relationship between the European liberties and the methods of conflict of law. Flore is currently pursuing a master degree (LL.M) in Human Rights and cultural diversity at McGill Law Faculty in Montreal. She wrote her research project under the supervision of Professor Shauna Van Praagh. Her dissertation explored the relationships between Islam, women and the law, with particular emphasis on the situation of immigrated Muslim women in Quebec.

Flore has a diverse set of research interests, including sustainable development, international environmental law, humanitarian law, international trade law and legal theory. She was involved in the McGill legal clinic for The Special Court of Sierra Leone. She was also vice president of a French humanitarian non-profit association for education and development in West Africa, Senegal, which aims at eliminating illiteracy.

Maria del Pilar Vanegas Guzman - LLM 2011

Maria is a Colombian lawyer, who holds graduate law degrees from the London School of Economics and Universite de Paris II Pantheon-Assas. She obtained an LL.M. in International Business Law and a degree in Public International Law respectively, and did her law degree in Colombia at Universidad del Rosario. She has worked as delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross for several years, covering Rwanda, Central Asia, Guinea, the Balkans, Israel and the Occupied Territories, Peru and Ecuador.

She is currently doing research on the discourse of the International Committee of the Red Cross for the promotion of International Humanitarian Law, with particular focus on the role of moral, legal diversity and human behaviour as key factors for compliance and adherence to the law, in contrast with legal positivism.

Her research includes the vision of a common humanity as an emerging narrative in law. This research is integral part of the Master of Law she is doing at McGill to specialize further in the areas of International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights and Legal Traditions of the World.

Other than humanitarian work, Ms. Vanegas Guzman has varied experience in the private and public sectors. She was a corporate lawyer in Colombia and in-house legal counsel for the Colombian State Oil Company ECOPETROL, as well as for Coca-Cola's subsidiary in Bogota. She worked in reinsurance brokerage in London and Bogota and did internships at the Constitutional Court and the Ministry of Finance of Colombia.

Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer - LLM 2008, Postdoctoral fellow

Jean-Baptiste conducts interdisciplinary research on the theory and ethics of international relations and on international public law. In particular, he studies the ethics and laws of war, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law.

Jean-Baptiste holds degrees in three different disciplines: philosophy (BA, MA, PhD), law (LLB, LLM), and political science (PhD). He has studied at the Sorbonne, the Université de Montréal, Oxford University, McGill University, Yale University, the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris). His doctoral thesis, Au nom de l'humanité ? Histoire, droit, éthique et politique de l'intervention militaire justifiée par des raisons humanitaires (2009), has received three awards in Canada and France.

He has taught at the Université de Montréal and Sciences Po Paris. Before coming to McGill, he was a Lecturer in international relations at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. He has published a dozen of books on topics including reparations to victims before the International Criminal Court (PUF, 2009), the dilemma of peace and justice and the relations between the International Criminal Court and the Security Council (Presses de Sciences Po, 2011), humanitarian intervention (PUF, 2012, prefaced by Hubert Védrine) and the ethics of international relations (PUF, 2012, prefaced by Stanley Hoffmann). A former Attaché to the French embassy in Turkmenistan, he is also the author of two books on this central asian dictatorship.

He also held a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, under which he conducted research on the ethical and legal consequences of the changing nature of war in the 21st century, and in particular on autonomous military robots.

Jon Waind - PhD 2016

Jon Waind received his Master of Theological Studies degree from Trinity Western University (Langley, BC) in 2007. He completed a PhD in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, under the supervision of Professor Daniel Cere in the area of religion and culture. Jon’s main area of interest resides in the intersection between religion, human rights, and the institution of the family. Growing out of this interest, his thesis research will focus on how to approach the vulnerability of children in a pluralist society. It will be the aim of this research project to articulate a way of doing justice to children that takes into account the pluralism of our contemporary social context. Jon also has research interests in Christian ethics, political theology, political theory, and the interface between religion and globalization. 

Chen Wang-Dufil - U. Ottawa Law

Chen Wang-Dufil (LLB, BA, MA, LLM) completed her a doctoral degree (2020) at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa. She is a socio-legal researcher committed to the following areas of research: immigration and refugee law, public international law, feminist legal theory, social justice, and qualitative research methodology. From 2019 to 2010, she had the opportunity to teach graduate-level courses, such as international humanitarian law and legal theories, in the faculty of law and faculty of social sciences at the University of Ottawa.

Her doctoral project adopted the Institutional Ethnography approach to reveal how social relations within the Canadian immigration system produce differences and inequalities for immigrants. Her research focuses on the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, and immigration status with regards to highly skilled immigrant women’s situation in Canada. She also works with the Refugee Hub at the University of Ottawa on research projects investigating the challenges and opportunities for Rohingya refugees to reunify with their families in Canada.

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.

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

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.

Camille Marquis Bissonnette

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. 

S. M. Morsalin Hider

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

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

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.

Vishakha Wijenayake

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.

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