Events 2006-2007

Iran, Human Rights and the Nuclear Question: What are the Connections? A Talk by Akbar Ganji

Thursday, November 22nd, Moot Court, 4.30-6.00 PM

Akbar Ganji is an emblematic figure of dissent in Iran. Well-known journalist and author, Akbar Ganji spent six years in prison for exposing rights abuses committed by Iran’s fundamentalist regime. The charges stemmed from a series of investigative articles exposing the complicity of then President Rafsanjani and other leading members of the conservative clergy in the murders of political dissidents and intellectuals in 1998.


During his time in prison, Mr. Ganji endured solitary confinement and went on a hunger strike that lasted from May to August 2005. He also continued to write, producing a series of influential political manifestos and open letters calling for Iran’s secularization and the establishment of democracy through mass civil disobedience. The works were smuggled out of Evin prison and published on the Internet. Mr. Ganji’s work has appeared in pro-democracy newspapers across Iran, most of which the government has since shut down. He has also written many books, including the bestselling The Dungeon of Ghosts (1999) and The Red Eminence and The Grey Eminence (2000).

Chair: Professor Payam Akhavan.

Introductory Remarks: The Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MP, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Respondent: The Hon. Irwin Cotler, PC, MP, OC


The Defense of Omar Khadr in Guantanamo - A Talk by Lt. Cmdr. William C. Kuebler, Office of Military Commissions

Friday, October 19, 11.30-12.30, Room 202

William "Bill" C. Kuebler is an American lawyer and a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps, assigned to the Office of Military Commissions. He has acted as counsel for Canadian youth Omar Khadr, detained in Guantanamo. On 11 August 2007, Kuebler spoke to the Council of the Canadian Bar Association at its annual meeting being held in Calgary, Alberta, urging the Bar Association to use its position to pressure publicly the Canadian government to repatriate Khadr.


If you are interested in gaining valuable experience in the field of human rights, come meet us from 9:30-10:30am on October 22 2007 in room 200 to learn more about the internship opportunities offered by the Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP).

Chaque année, le Centre sur les droits de la personne et le pluralisme juridique offre plusieurs stages en droits de la personne aux étudiants/es de droit de McGill. Les étudiants/es sélectionnés/ées auront l’opportunité de travailler avec des organisations de droits de la personne et des tribunaux au niveau national ou international et recevront des crédits pour leur travail.

The Shoah, French Courts, and the Politics of Memory - Vivian Grosswald Curran

Professor Vivian Grosswald Curran

Wednesday, October 31, 2007.
Moot Court, Faculty of Law, 3644 Peel St

Perhaps nowhere more than in France are courts aware that they construct national memory, define national standards, and articulate foundations for the future.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, French courts affirmed the view of government leaders and others that Germany alone was responsible for the Holocaust in France. In the 1980s and 1990s, French defendants began to be tried when the courts finally stopped dismissing cases where defendants were French. Even then, however, the supreme court for criminal matters redefined legal terminology in such a way as to shield from scrutiny the role of Vichy, the French collaborationist government from 1940-1944 which the defendants had served.

Three generations now have passed since the end of the war. Yet another chapter is being written today, as a landmark lower court case decided in June of 2006 created a new cause of action for Jewish survivors of the Shoah in France.

This newest chapter has resulted in some measure from the tidal wave of globalization that has been shrinking our world and transnationalizing national law. The complicated relation of the Shoah to French courts and to the politics of memory involves a dynamic of interaction among law, history and ever-changing perceptions of the citizenry.

Towards a World Without Genocide: Closing Session of the International Young Leaders Forum

Thursday, 11th October, 10.30-12.30am, Moot Court

With special guests Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, Professor Martha Minow, Salih Mahmoud Osman, Wole Soyinka, and the thirty-six Young Leaders of the first Echenberg Family Conference on Human Rights, the Global Conference on the Prevention of Genocide. Open to McGill students.


Book Launch: Hermann Gruenwald, "After Auschwitz: One Man's Story"

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - Law Faculty Atrium, 5.00pm

Cover of 'After Auschwitz: One Man's Story'

Born into priviledge in Hungary, Hermann Gruenwald's idyllic childhood came to an end when he and his family were sent to Auschwitz. In After Auschwitz, Gruenwald recounts his story and paints his life onto the larger canvas of some of the great conflicts and movements of the twentieth century. He offers a vivid portrayal of growing up affluent and Jewish in class-conscious Hungary in the interwar period and of the initial promise and disillusioning reality of Hungarian communism.

Hermann Gruenwald

After Auschwitz also traces Gruenwald's spectacular success in the Montreal garment trade, following his immigration to Canada in 1950. While Gruenwald's Holocaust experience is never far from his thoughts, his determination, tenacity and will to succeed are the common threads that tie together the chapters of his life.

This event is being held in conjunction with the Global Conference on the Prevention of Genocide.

Pierre Noreau - Dialogues on human rights and legal pluralism Workshop
"Les pluralismes juridiques : routes pavées et chemins de gravelle"


Wednesday, September 26, 2007 - 12:30 PM to 2 PM

Professor Pierre Noreau

Pierre Noreau est professeur titulaire au Centre de recherche en droit public de l'Université de Montréal où il oeuvre depuis 1998. Politologue et juriste de formation, il travaille plus particulièrement dans le domaine de la sociologie du droit. Ses recherches empiriques portent notamment sur le fonctionnement et l'évolution du système judiciaire, le règlement non-contentieux des conflits , l'accès à la justice et la mobilisation politique du droit , la diversité ethnoculturelle et le droit dans une perspective alimentée à la fois par le pluralisme juridique et l'étude des processus d' institutionnalisation des rapports sociaux. Ses travaux les plus récents portent sur la médiation familiale , la justice communautaire , la mise en oeuvre du droit par les acteurs du système pénal , les rapports entre communautés culturelles et droit et les conditions de la recherche interdisciplinaire en droit. Pierre Noreau est juriste et détient un doctorat de l'Institut d'Études politiques de Paris.

African Challenges? African Responses: Promoting and Protecting Human Rights in Africa. A talk by Bahame Tom Nyanduga

Monday, September 24, 1pm. Location: Rm 102, 3644 Peel St

Stories of human rights abuses Africa are all too common in the media. What often goes unreported are the efforts of African mechanisms of human rights protection and promotion to fight for human rights on the continent. Bahame Tom Nyanduga, a Commissioner at the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and its Special Rapporteur on Refugees, will describe how these mechanisms work, the challenges they face, and what Africans and Canadians alike can do to support them. This event is co-sponsored by Rights and Democracy.

Bahame Tom Nyanduga is Special Rapporteur for Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa. He had previously served on the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights. In May 2004, Nyanduga was designated the Special Rapporteur for Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in May 2004. He has worked in government and private legal practice, and was elected President of the Bar in Tanzania President of the East Africa Law Society. Nyanduga hold degrees from the University of Dar es Salaam and the Institute of Social Studies, and an LLM from LSE.

Sustaining Public Responsibility for Human Rights: Engaged Citizens and Organised Communities

Friday, June 8, 2007.
Faculty of Law, McGill University, 3644 Peel Street.

Sustaining Public Responsibility Workshop Summary [.doc]

The idea behind this workshop, sponsored by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, with financial report from Rights and Democracy, is to provide an informal forum for discussion of the critical role of different kinds of civil society organizations in the advancement of human rights. It aims to explore the work of such organizations in areas such as education, litigation and law reform.

While acknowledging the important role of non-state actors in the pursuit of human rights, it is also essential to insist upon continued public responsibilities in this domain. How can we sustain public responsibility for human rights justice while reinforcing the role of engaged citizens and organized communities? We are hoping that in the wake of the workshop, we will be able to develop new ideas for a joint community-university collaborative research initiative that incorporates the insights of theory and practice.

If you are interested in attending, space is limited so please RSVP to emilia.ordolis [at] as soon as possible. Please include your contact information, the name of your organization/university, and any dietary restrictions.

Workshop Agenda and Presenters

Moderator: Colleen Sheppard, Research Director, Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

9h00 – 9h15
Introduction and Overview

9h15 – 10h30
Panel I: The Engagement of Civil Society Organizations in Advancing Human Rights (litigation, education, law reform)

Kristine Doederlein, Le Groupe d'aide et d'information sur le harcèlement sexuel au travail;
Andrée Côté, National Association of Women and the Law
Frédéric Hareau, Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education;
Nandini Ramanujam, Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

11h00 - 12h30
Panel II: Institutional Governance: Consultation and Participatory Democracy

Guylaine Vallée, École des relations industrielles, Université de Montréal;
Lucie Lamarche, Faculté de droit, Université d’Ottawa;
Wendy Thomson, School of Social Work, McGill University;
Pearl Eliadis, Human rights lawyer, Montreal

12h30 – 14h00 Lunch

14h00 – 15h30
Panel III: Reinforcing the Role of Community-based and Non-governmental organizations

Fiona Sampson, Women's Legal Education and Action Fund;
Pierre Blain, Fondation Emergence;
Razmik Panossian, Rights and Democracy;
René Provost, Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

16h00 – 17h00
Roundtable Discussion: Where do we go from here?


Photo Exhibition
Voices on the Rise: Afghan Women Making the News

March 21 - April 3, 2007. Atrium, Faculty of Law, Chancellor Day Hall, 3644 Peel

Voices on the Rise

Featuring the work of Afghan, Canadian and international photographers, Voices on the Rise offers a glimpse into the lives of Afghan women journalists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, activists and politicians, and the challenges they face as they search for a balance between their newfound freedom and traditional responsibilities amid the constraints of living in a war zone. The media preview begins March 21 at 3:00 p.m., followed by the official opening reception at 4:00 p.m. Afghanistan's Ambassador to Canada, Omar Samad, will open the exhibit. The exhibit is sponsored by the University of Montreal, the Embassy of Afghanistan in Canada, and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.


Pluralisme juridique et processus de constitutionnalisation du droit du travail : vers un nouveau rôle pour les institutions des rapports collectifs du travail?
Pre. Guylaine Vallée, Université de Montréal

Wednesday March 28th, 2007. 12.30 - 2.00pm. Location: Room 16, NCDH
Dialogues on Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

Le droit applicable au travail salarié se compose d’une pluralité de règles relevant de différentes sphères du droit étatique [qu’il s’agisse du droit civil, des lois du travail, des instruments d’affirmation des droits fondamentaux de la personne ou du droit criminel] ou émanant des acteurs du milieu de travail [règles qui se trouvent dans les conventions collectives, les contrats individuels de travail, les politiques d’entreprise ou les usages]. La spécificité du droit du travail dans l’ensemble juridique tient largement à la manière de faire «cohabiter» ces sources diverses, de les combiner, en conférant une légitimité particulière aux sources émanant de la négociation collective. Cette toile de fond est importante pour comprendre comment s’opère ce que d’aucuns qualifient de processus de constitutionnalisation du droit du travail et pour anticiper les effets qui pourraient en découler pour les institutions des rapports collectifs de travail et l’articulation des sources du droit du travail.

Guylaine Vallée est professeure titulaire en droit du travail à l’École de relations industrielles de l’Université de Montréal. Ses recherches portent principalement sur le travail atypique, l’incidence des nouveaux modes d’organisation des entreprises et de l’État sur le droit du travail, la régulation du travail dans l’entreprise mondialisée et l’effet des droits de la personne sur le droit du travail.

European Public Law: The Protection of Human Rights under the ECHR and European Union Law
Dr. Luzius Wildhaber

Wednesday March 21st, 2007. 12.30pm. Moot Court

Dr. Luzius Wildhaber, Retiring President of the European Court of Human Rights

Dr. Luzius Wildhaber served as a judge at the European Court of Human Rights since 1991, and was appointed President of the Court in 1998. He studied at the Universities of Basel (Doctor of Laws), Paris, Heidelberg, London and Yale (Master of Laws, Juris Scientiae Doctor). He was Professor of International Law, Constitutional Law and Administrative Law at Fribourg University from 1971 to 1977, Professor of Public International Law, Constitutional Law, Comparative Law and Administrative Law at Basel University from 1997 to 1998, and Dean of the Law Faculty, Rector, Basel University.

Dr. Luzius Wildhaber was judge at the Liechtenstein Supreme Court from 1975 to 1988, Judge at the Administrative Tribunal of the Inter-American Development Bank from 1989 to 1994). He has also served as an expert for the Canadian Federal Government before the Supreme Court of Canada on the question of the legality of unilateral secession by Quebec (1997). He has published 9 books and over 200 articles on international, constitutional and administrative law.


Annie Macdonald Langstaff Workshop - David Lepofsky
"Achieving Equality for Persons with Disabilities - What Works?"

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 12:30 - 1:30pm Moot Court, New Chancellor Day Hall

David Lepofsky

Mr. Lepofsky is the founding President of the Canadian Association of Visually Impaired Lawyers (CAVIL) and a prominent activist and advocate in Canada's disability rights movement. He is the former chair of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee, a voluntary coalition advocating for disability accessibility legislation in Ontario.

Mr. Lepofsky is the author of "Open Justice - the Constitutional Right to Attend and Speak About Criminal Proceedings in Canada," as well as a number of articles on constitutional and human rights topics.

This event is co-sponsored by the Margot E. Haplenny Memorial Fund and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.


Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, UN Watch
Witness at Creation: An Insider's Account of the New UN Human Rights Council

Monday, March 5th, 2007. 12.30pm Room 202 NCDH

Hillel C. Neuer is executive director of UN Watch, a human rights NGO in Geneva, Switzerland. Originally from Montreal, Neuer has written on law, politics and international affairs for publications such as the International Herald Tribune, Juriste International, Commentary, The New Republic Online and the Christian Science Monitor. He appears regularly before the UN Human Rights Council, intervening for rape victims of Darfur, political prisoners in Cuba, and Middle East peace. He recently testified as an expert witness before a hearing of the U.S. Congress on UN reform, and is regularly quoted by major media organizations including the New York Times, Die Welt, Le Figaro and Reuters. In the past year Neuer has debated UN human rights issues on CNN, Fox News, and the BBC. Prior to joining UN Watch, Neuer practiced commercial and civil rights litigation at the international law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Active as a human rights defender, Neuer was cited by the Federal Court of New York for the high quality of his pro bono advocacy on a precedent-setting First Amendment case for prisoners’ rights and freedom of religion, reported in AIDS Litigation Digest and the New York Law Journal. Neuer served as a law clerk to the Supreme Court of Israel and a Graduate Fellow at the Shalem Center think tank. He holds a BA in intellectual history and political science from Concordia University, a BCL and LLB from the McGill University Faculty of Law, and an LLM in comparative constitutional law from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Neuer is a member of the New York bar and co-author of the Annotated Copyright Act of Canada and Directors and Officers—A Canadian Legal Manual.

This event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Human Rights Working Group.


Human Rights and Dignity at Work
Professor Colleen Sheppard
Research Director, Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Faculty of Law, McGill University

Thursday, March 1st, 2007. 4.30-6pm. 1130 Pine Avenue West

Colleen Sheppard

Poverty is the greatest human rights scourge of our time.

Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights “Using Human Rights to Reduce Poverty” Special Report, Human Rights and Development, World Bank Group, October 2006

Dignity and respect at work rest on fair remuneration and benefits, income security, community respect and an environment free of discrimination and harassment. For the working poor, these conditions are often lacking, resulting in poverty, deteriorated self-esteem, mental and physical stress and ill-being. This presentation begins with a macro-historical overview of the shifting relationship between human rights and workers’ rights. Conventional human rights concepts are then critiqued for their limited applicability to the social and economic realities of poverty, followed by an examination of how human rights concepts are being re-conceptualized to make them resonate more effectively with the needs of the working poor.

Colleen Sheppard is the Research Director for the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, McGill University. Professor Sheppard completed her Honours B.A. and LL.B. degrees at the University of Toronto and her LL.M. at Harvard Law School. Her research and teaching focus on equality rights, feminist theory and comparative constitutional law. Prior to commencing her teaching career, she worked as a law clerk with former Chief Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada. Beyond her teaching and research work in the domain of human rights, Professor Sheppard has been active in public service activities to promote and advance human rights in Canada and internationally. She served as a Commissioner on the Quebec Human Rights Commission from 1991-1996 and has been a consultant with the federal Department of Justice, the National Judicial Institute, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Ontario Métis Aboriginal Association and the International Labour Organization.


Taner Akçam
A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility

Friday, February 16th, at 5.00 p.m. in the Moot Court

The Zoryan Institute in collaboration with the Armenian Student Association of Montreal present a public lecture by Taner Akçam, author of A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility.

Taner Akçam was born in Ardahan province, Turkey, in 1953. He was granted political asylum in Germany after receiving a ten-year prison sentence for his involvement in producing a student journal, which resulted in his adoption in 1976 by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.

Taner Akçam's book,  A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility

He is the author of ten scholarly works of history and sociology, as well as numerous articules in Turkish, German and English. He is currently Visiting Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota.

This public lecture and book launch is hosted by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies of Concordia University. Professor Akçam will be introduced by Professor Payam Akhavan of the McGill Faculty of Law.

Why Kosovo but not Darfur?

Monday, February 5, 2007, 4.30 p.m. in the Moot Court

The Hon. Bill Graham, former Foreign Minister and Defence Minister of Canada, joined three McGill Professors: Catherine Lu, Department of Political Science, Payam Akhavan, Faculty of Law, and René Provost, Faculty of Law, for a panel discussion on humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect.

This event was co-sponsored by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Human Rights Working Group.

Bill Graham is the member of Parliament for Toronto Centre (Ontario).

Refugee All Stars
The Human Rights Working Group Film Festival Presents: “Refugee All Stars” with special guest, Chris Velan (Music Director)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007, 6 p.m., New Chancellor Day Hall, Rm 102

The Refugee All Stars

“Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars tells the story of a group of six Sierra Leonean musicians who come together to form a band while living as refugees in the Republic of Guinea. Forced from their homes in Sierra Leone, the members of the band represent the thousands of untold stories that exist amongst the survivors of the Sierra Leonean civil war. Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars is an inspiring story of survival and rebirth in the wake of the horrors of war and a triumphant testament to the power of music.”

The screening of the film was followed by refreshments and a discussion led by Music Director, Chris Venan.

John Humphrey Lecture - Sally Engle Merry
"Making Human Rights in the Vernacular: Plural Legalities and Traveling Rights in India, China, and the USA"

Wednesday, January 24 2007, at 4:30 p.m., in the Moot Court

Sally Engle Merry

How do human rights travel from their centers of creation to local communities? This talk explores the process of translating human rights into the vernacular, arguing that as rights ideas travel and land, they do not stand alone but form assemblages of various kinds with other social movements. This comparative study, conducted in conjunction with Peggy Levitt, shows how women’s human rights join with existing social justice ideas in China, India, and the USA. It is based on an ethnography of two women’s NGOs in each country. In each situation, the turn to a human rights framework adds new dimensions to the practices and ideology of the organization and shifts its assemblage of ideas and techniques. However, each human rights assemblage differs from that of other countries depending on the historic role of rights and other social justice ideologies in each place. In all the locations we studied, there were ongoing political and ideological tension between human rights ideas, grounded in the universal and international, and national ideas of rights, that shaped the nature of the assemblage.

Sally Engle Merry is Professor of Anthropology and Law and Society at NYU, and was previously Marion Butler McLean Professor in the History of Ideas and Professor of Anthropology at Wellesley College, where she was the co-director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program. She is one of the foremost scholars on legal pluralism, and her work has been profoundly influential at the McGill Faculty of Law. Her recent book, Human Rights and Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice, explores how international human rights law is interpreted in China, India, Nigeria, and Peru.

Special Forum: A Conversation with The Hon. Irwin Cotler
“Human Rights in the 21st Century: The Legacy of Raoul Wallenberg”


Wednesday, January 17, 2007, 4.00-5.00pm in Room 202, NCDH

Professor Irwin Cotler has a distinguished record of scholarhip and advocacy in international human rights law issues. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Académie universelle des cultures, and was awarded the Justice Walter Tarnopolsky Memorial Medal, the Medal of the Bar of Montréal, and the Martin Luther King Jr Humanitarian Award.

In 1999, Professor Cotler took a leave of absence from the Faculty of Law and was elected Member of Parliament for the federal constituency of Mount Royal. He was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada in 2003.

From Canada to Kandahar: Afghanistan pre- and post-9/11, with Nelofer Pazira, star of the film Kandahar

Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 6:00 PM in Room 101, New Chancellor Day Hall

Afghan-Canadian journalist/filmmaker, Nelofer Pazira, discussed her experiences with the Afghan people and their perceptions of the international community’s involvement in Afghanistan. Clips of the award-winning film Kandahar were also screened.

Ms. Pazira arrived in Canada in 1990 when she was 17. She obtained degrees in Journalism and English Literature, an MA in Anthropology, Sociology & Religion, and received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. She played the lead in the movie Kandahar, which was based on her personal story, has made two documentaries about Iran, and co-produced and co-directed Return to Kandahar. Ms. Pazira has just set up a literacy program for women in Bamiyan. She is also a regular contributor to CBC.

This event was presented by the Centre and the Human Rights Working Group.
Also: read From Canada to Kandahar: Afghanistan pre- and post-9/11 [.doc]

Finding Common Ground: The Challenge of Freedom in the West and in the Muslim World [.doc]


Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Ballroom B, New Residence Hall

The Atlas Economic Research Foundation and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism held a panel discussion on the challenges of freedom in the West and in the Muslim world. The group of distinguished panelists addressed the following questions: How does the Muslim world view freedom? How does the Islamic notion of freedom differ from the Western notion? What are the excesses of liberty? Is democracy a problematic notion within Islam? Does Islam foster globalization and free trade? Is there a common ground where unity and understanding among cultures and civilizations can flourish?

  • Payam Akhavan, Professor of Law, Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, School of Law, McGill University
  • Alejandro Chafuen, President, Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Virginia, USA
  • Father Kail Ellis, OSA, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Villanova University, Pennsylvania, USA
  • A. Uner Turgay, Professor of Islamic Studies, Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University

John Humphrey Workshop
Corporate Social Responsibility, Reputation, and Criminal Responsibility [.doc]”


Wednesday, November 8th, 2006 12:30 - 2:00 Room 16 – Old Chancellor Day Hall

Lew Diggs, a consultant to international non-governmental organizations and international development consulting houses, and Carolin Hillemans, an expert in Transnational Corporations and Human Rights discussed corporate social responsibility with Élise Groulx, President of the International Criminal Defence Attorneys’ Association (ICDAA).

A "Dialogues on Human Rights and Legal Pluralism" Workshop - Roderick A. Macdonald
"Pluralistic Human Rights; Universal Human Wrongs"


Wednesday, November 1, 2006, at 12:30 PM Rm 16 Chancellor Day Hall 3644 Peel St

Roderick A. Macdonald

Roderick A. Macdonald is the F.R. Scott Chair in Public and Constitutional Law at the McGill Faculty of Law. He teaches and publishes in the areas of civil law, commercial law, administrative law, constitutional law and jurisprudence. He was Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1984 to 1989. He chaired a Task Force on Access to Justice of the Ministère de la justice du Québec, and has been a consultant to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, to the Ontario Civil Justice Review and to the Federal Department of Justice on the interaction of federal law and the Civil Code of Québec. From 1997 to 2000, he was the founding President of the Law Commission of Canada.

Human Rights Violations in Zimbabwe

Thursday October 26, 4-6pm in Room 102 NCDH

Gabriel Shumba

The Rights and Democracy Delegation at McGill University and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism presented a conference with Gabriel Shumba, Zimbabwean human rights lawyer and survivor, and Marilyn Tudor, Zimbabwean human rights lawyer, members of the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF), an NGO registered in South Africa. The ZEF is a non-partisan, not for profit organization that was formed in 2003 to help victims of torture and other abuses who have fled Zimbabwe for fear of prosecution. Its central focus is the recording of evidence of abuses, humanitarian and legal support for refugees.

René Cassin Lecture - Mireille Delmas-Marty
"Le pluralisme ordonné et les interactions entre ensembles juridiques"

Wednesday, October 25th 2006, at 4.30 p.m. in the Moot Court

Mireille Delmas-Marty in conversation in the Faculty of Law common room after her presentation

Professor Mireille Delmas-Marty holds the chair of comparative legal studies and internationalization of law at the Collège de France.

She was President of the Commission justice pénale et droits de l'homme (Criminal Justice and Human Rights) for ten years, and has worked as a member of the consulting committee for the revision of the European Constitution, the committee on the reflection on the creation of an international criminal jurisdiction, and the debate group on the future of Europe. She was coordinator of the committee of European Union experts in charge of directing a project on European criminal law called Corpus Juris.

Her most recent book, with Naomi Norberg, is Towards a Truly Common Law: Europe as a Laboratory for Legal Pluralism.

Holocaust Memorial Lecture and Film
"Hitler’s Courts: Betrayal of the Rule of Law in Nazi Germany" - Directed by Joshua M. Greene

Monday, October 16 – 4:30 p.m. McGill Faculty of Law, 3660 Peel Street

When those charged with defending the rule of law betray that trust, the victory of tyrants is assured.

Professor René Provost, director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism; Mr Joshua Greene, filmaker; and Mrs Miriam Shuster, Chair of the Holocaust Education Series

Emmy award-nominated filmaker Joshua M. Greene delivered the 6th Annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture, presenting his documentary on "Hitler's Courts - The Betrayal of the Rule of Law in Nazi Germany".

Greene, who had earlier published books and directed documentaries on "Justice at Dachau" and "Witness: Voices of the Holocaust", gave the North American premiere of this new documentary examining the perversion of law under Nazi rule, featuring archival footage and rarely seen photographs from the Nazi era. Greene explored the unprecedented complicity of lawmakers in the largest mass murder of men, women and children in history.

Over one hundred people attended the screening and discussion. The event was organised by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Montreal Holocaust Education Series.

Special Talk: "Women's Rights in Africa" - Valérie Couillard

Friday October 13, 12.30pm-2.00pm, Room 101 NCDH

Valérie Couillard works as a Legal Officer assisting the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa. She is a Canadian lawyer working with CIDA and Rights and Democracy under an international partnership to strengthen good governance in Africa. She is based in Banjul, at the Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. She presented a talk on the protection and promotion of women's rights in Africa under the African Charter on Human and People`s Rights and the Protocol on the Rights of Women.

Presented by the Women's Caucus on Gender Justice and the Human Rights Working Group.

John Humphrey Workshop
“Interface Between the Prosecution and the Defence of the International Tribunals”

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006 12:30 - 2:30 Room 202

Élise Groulx

The Human Rights Working Group and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism presented a lunchtime discussion on equality of arms between the Defence an Prosecution in International Criminal Law, between Luc Côté, former Chief of Prosecutions for the Special Court for Sierra Leone and current Executive Director for the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor-Leste, and Élise Groulx, President of the International Criminal Defence Attorneys’ Association (ICDAA).

John Humphrey Workshop on Post-War Justice in Afghanistan

Benoit Turcotte [.doc]

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006 12:30 - 2:30 Room 202

Benoit Turcotte, a Criminal Defense lawyer affiliated with the International Criminal Defense Attorney's Association (ICDAA) and the International Legal Foundation (ILF), delivered a talk about his work creating and operating a network of public defender offices throughout Afghanistan. This event was co-sponsored by the ICDAA, the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, and the Human Rights Working Group.

Download the reading material here: Post-War Justice in Afghanistan [.doc]