René Provost

Full Professor

3674 Peel Street
Room 202
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 1W9

514-398-6647 [Office]
rene.provost [at] (Email)

Curriculum vitae [.pdf] 
Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism

Media appearances:
René Provost awarded Trudeau Fellowship (McGill Reporter, Sep. 2015)
Un peu de justice chez les hors-la-loi (Le Devoir, 23 novembre 2015)


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

He is the author of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Cambridge University Press, 2002), the editor of State Responsibility in International Law (Ashgate/Dartmouth, 2002) and Mapping the Boundaries of Belonging: Law Between Religious Revival and Post-Multiculturalism (Oxford university Press, forthcoming), and co-editor of International Law Chiefly As Applied and Interpreted in Canada (Emond Mongtgomery, 2006), Confronting Genocide (Springer Verlag, 2011), and Dialogues on Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (Springer Verlag, 2013). Professor Provost served as Law Clerk to Justice L'Heureux-Dubé of the Supreme Court of Canada. He was the President of the Société québécoise de droit international from 2002 to 2006. Professor Provost was the founding Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism from 2005 to 2010.

Professor Provost is currently the principal investigator for the Centaur Jurisprudence Project, an interdisciplinary research team in law and anthropology that explores the ways in which the concept of culture is transformed by its consideration through different legal processes. Professor Provost seeks to apply to international law the insights of legal pluralism, with particular attention to the normative implications of this perspective for non-state actors.

Professor Provost was awarded the Barreau du Québec's Advocatus Emeritus (Ad. E.) distinction in 2017. Furthermore, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) in September 2019.

Professor Provost is always interested in supervising graduate work on understandings of international law which grapple with the limits, complexity, and meaning of that legal regime. In this vein, see his 2016 Supervision Snapshot page.


D.Phil., University of Oxford, St.Antony's College, 1999

LL.M., University of California at Berkerley School of Law (Boalt Hall), 1991

École du Barreau, Centre de Montréal, 1989

LL.B., Université de Montréal, 1988

Baccalauréat général d'enseignement du second degré en économie, Collège Stanislas, 1985


Visiting Professor, Escuela de derecho, Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires, 2010-2011

Director, Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, 2005-2010

Associate Dean (Academic), Faculty of Law, McGill University, 2001-2003

Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 2001-

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 1995-2001

Boulton Fellow, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 1994-1995

Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights (New York), 1992

Adjunct Lecturer in International Law, Lehigh University, Department of International Relations, Pennsylvania, 1991

Research Attorney, Human Rights Watch, 1991

Law clerk to the Honourable Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dubé, Supreme Court of Canada, 1989-1990

Summer and part-time associate, Stikeman Elliott, 1987-1989

Areas of Interest

International public law, international human rights, international humanitarian law, law of armed conflicts, international criminal law, international environmental law.

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