Past Events

2017-2018 academic year

Third-World Approaches to International Law Scholarship

poster detail

26 Apr 2018, 14h-15h30, NCDH 609

A talk by O'Brien Fellow in Residence Dr Radha D'Souza, University of Westminster.

Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) has emerged as a particular type of critique within Public International Law. This approach has become popular among students and young researchers who are turning to TWAIL critique to address a wide range of issues in the international arena. This presentation examined the TWAIL critique, what is distinctive about it and the challenges it faces going forward. Find out more...

Round table: Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics

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9 Apr 2018, 12h-13h, Stephen Scott Room (OCDH 16)

A roundtable discussion on Professor Catherine Lu's book Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Speakers included Arash Abizadeh, Ryoa Chung, Paolo Gilabert, Vincent Pouliot, and the author, Catherine Lu. Find out more...

Renewing the Relationship between Canada and the Indigenous people

6 Apr 2018, 13h-14h, NCDH 312

The McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism organized a conversation on the Indigenous issue with Honorable Marc Garneau, Federal Minister of Transport, Member of the Cabinet and MP of the Federal Parliament. Respondent: Raymond Savadogo, O’Brien Fellow, Faculty of Law, McGill University. Find out more...

Pursuing a career in human rights – O’Brien Fellow in Residence talk by Vicki Prais

Vicki Prais speaking

4 Apr 2018, 13h-14h30, Stephen Scott Room (OCDH 16)

O’Brien Fellow in Residence Vicki Prais gave a talk titled Pursuing a career in human rights – All you wanted to know but were afraid to ask. Vicki , a London-based human rights lawyer, offered up some candid and personal advice, and shared some of her experiences as a practitioner in the field. Find out more...

On Spaces and Rights: Refugee Hosting and Settlement Policies in Lebanon and Turkey

Syrian children marching in a refugee camp in Jordan. By IMB

16 Mar 2018, 12:00-14:30, NCDH 202

Refugee populations are often perceived as an unexpected, disruptive, and temporary burden. This perception often drives countries of asylum to adopt short-term and exclusionary policies regarding refugees’ rights and settlements strategies. This presentation compared refugee hosting and settlements policies in Turkey and in Lebanon. It sought to demonstrate that in Lebanon, restrictive policies, adopted 70 years ago vis-à-vis the Palestinians, are being applied today to Syrian refugees. These policies are based on institutional, social, economic and spatial exclusion.

This panel, with Rouba Al-Salem, Faten Kikano, Semuhi Sinanoğlu and Nandini Ramanujam, highlighted the importance of long-term planning and development strategies for refugees. It examined the benefits of integrative approaches and refugee empowerment for both refugee and host populations. Find out more...

Warnings from the Rohingya

Rohingya refugees leaving a boat

1 Mar 2018, 17:00-18:30, NCDH 100

We hosted a conversation between the Hon. Bob Rae, Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, and Professor Payam Akhavan. Find out more...

Law and Lawyering: Inuit Perspectives

26 Feb 2018, 13:00-14:30, NCDH 312

Elizabeth Zarpa and Joseph Murdoch-Flowers talked about their personal and professional experience of practicing law in Inuit territories. The discussion was moderated by Professor Sébastien Jodoin. Find out more...

Non-State Laws in a Modern State Context:
Indigenous and Islamic Perspectives

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16 Feb 2018, 13:00-16:00, OCDH 16

This panel explored the commonalities and divergences in the experiences of Indigenous and Islamic law scholars and participants vis-à-vis the State. The panelists also looked at the multiplicities of Islamic and Indigenous law traditions, and how the State might contend with these complexities. Find out more...

Disability and Work: Inclusion and Integration in the Labour Market

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9 Feb 2018, 13:00-14:30, NCDH 316

This event explored the barriers facing people with disabilities when entering the labour market. Find out more...

Indigenous Rights as Colonialism: UNDRIP and Canada’s Constitution

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31 Jan 2018, 13:00-14:30, NCDH 100

We welcomed Distinguished Visiting Tomlinson Professor John Borrows for the 2018 John Humphrey Lecture in Human Rights. Find out more...

6 Dec 2017: Human rights, exploitation and international taxation

An O’Brien Fellows in Residence seminar with Professor Laurens van Apeldoorn (Leiden U., The Netherlands).

Organized in collaboration with the H. Heward Stikeman Chair in the Law of Taxation. Read More

4 Dec 2017: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Join us on December 4, 2017, for the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We will have activities, resources, snacks and a short film screening in the atrium. Click to find out more.

29 Nov 2017: Migration and Climate Change: Legal and Practical Challenges

Migration and Climate Change: Legal and Practical Challenges - poster detail

Join us for a CHRLP/Oppenheimer Chair talk with Steinberg Post-Doctoral Fellow Hanna Haile, who will explore legal and policy responses to address the phenomenon of human movement related to environmental change, including creative interpretation of existing international law.
Read more.

23 Nov 2017: The Labouring Subject of Refugee Economies

The Labouring Subject of Refugee Economies - poster detail

A talk by O'Brien Fellow in Residence Ranabir Samaddar. We share the article he discussed here [.docx]
Read more.

24 Nov 2017: Henry James’s “Obscure Hurt” - Chronic Pain as Figurative Being

Henry James’s “Obscure Hurt” - Chronic Pain as Figurative Being - detail

The Disability and Human Right Initiative initiative welcomed Michael Snediker (University of Houston),  a well-known poet and a scholar of American literature and disability theory, who examined Henry James’s obscure ordeal of chronic pain in relation to the privative subject of his sexuality.
Read more.

16 Nov 2017: Canada’s Private and Government Sponsorship of Syrian Refugees: Successes, Challenges, Prospects

Panel on Syrian Refugee Sponsorship in Canada

The Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism held a panel on Canada’s Private and Government Sponsorship of Syrian Refugees with Adnan Al Mhamied, Audrey Macklin, Janet Dench, and Sarwat Dalal Bashi. Professor François Crépeau moderated.
Read more.

13 Nov 2017: Wallenberg Lecture with Supreme Court of Canada Justice Rosalie Abella

Justice Rosalie Abella giving the 2017 Wallenberg Lecture.

This year, the Wallenberg Lecture was given by Judge Rosalie Silberman Abella, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. She was introduced by the Hon. Irwin Cotler. Read more. See our Facebook photo album or listen to her talk on SoundCloud.

7 Nov 2017: Recent Developments in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The Katharine A. Pearson Chair in Civil Society & Public Policy and the Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism welcomed Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, Chair of the UN's Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Read more.

3 Nov 2017: Women as Drivers of Solutions in Displacement

Women as Drivers of Solutions in Displacement

Moderated by Sally Armstrong, this conversation between High Commissioner Filippo Grandi and poet-activist Ketty Nivyabandi explored the leadership of women in finding solutions to displacement. Read more.

New (5 December 2017): listen to the recorded talk on SoundCloud.

27 Oct 2017: Governance of Inclusive Cities: Realization of Disability Rights

Governance of Inclusive Cities

The Disability & Law Initiative held their first event this year, which explores disability in the built environment through planning, design and public policy. For this talk, our panellists were McGill Law doctoral candidate Stephanie Chipeur, Jaccède Montréal founder Omar Lachleb, and RAPLIQ president Linda Gauthier. Read more.

20 Oct 2017: Civil Society at Risk? Three International Perspectives

Civil Society at Risk? Three International Perspectives

The Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, in collaboration with the Voices-Voix coalition for civil society, held a public conference on the risks currently faced by civil society with François Crépeau, Françoise Girard and Alex Neve. Read more. You can also view a FB live feed of the talk (warning: low rez and a bit wobbly).

13 Oct 2017: A Venue for Justice or an Occupation Accomplice? The Israeli High Court of Justice and the Israeli Settlements in the Occupied West Bank

The Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Oppenheimer Chair in International Law welcomed Rouba Al-Salem, Steinberg postdoctoral fellow in international migration rights and policy, who examined how the Israeli Supreme Court of Justice (HCJ) has interpreted and applied principles of the international law of occupation in adjudicating petitions that were filed by Palestinians. Read more.

18 Sep 2017: Israel-Palestine: Is it Apartheid, or is a boycott legal and justified?

Professor Robert Wintemute, King's College, London, asked if situation in Israel-Palestine is one of apartheid (racial discrimination in access to citizenship and the right to vote). Read more.

14 Sep 2017: Is the World Ready for Global Justice?


We recorded the September 14, 2017 panel held with Professor of International Law William Schabas (Middlesex University London), visiting scholar Nidal Jurdi (American University of Beirut), and Professor Frédéric Mégret (McGill Law). Professsor François Crépeau, director of the CHRLP, moderated. You can watch it on YouTube: