Open call for the CHLRP Blog - "Reclaiming Universal Human Rights in a Plural Global Order: Opportunities and Challenges"


Published: 17Sep2019

Open call for posts on the Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism's blog

Since its founding in 2005, McGill University’s Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP) has brought together experts, practitioners, scholars and students to develop research and teaching on some of the most intractable human rights problems we are facing today. The CHRLP’s core value of examining plurality in a globally connected world has led to the creation of a vibrant and growing community of scholars and students, now standing at 36 full academic members, seven associate academic members and over 50 international fellows and researchers, varying from academics to students and professionals. This diverse community has prompted innovative legal and interdisciplinary work in a range of human rights issues spanning disability rights, migration and mobility, indigenous rights, theoretical perspectives to human rights, economic justice and governance.

Under the theme of “The UDHR at 70; Pasts, Presents and Futures”, in the 2018-19 academic year, the CHLRP blog published 22 peer-reviewed and edited original essays from 20 different contributors, interacting with cutting-edge research. Topics ranged from theories of global human rights, to corporate social responsibility, NGO responsibility for the actions of their agents, the Pittsburgh and Christchurch massacres, and constitutionalism and society-state relations in the Middle East. Leveraging the CHRLP’s extensive international networks, the blog captured rich and diverse perspectives from both young and established scholars and advocates.

Theme: Reclaiming Universal Human Rights in a Plural Global Order

For the 2019-2020 academic year, the Center aspires to expand its outreach with an open call for blog posts, with the aim of attracting voices from home and away, on cutting edge questions intersecting with human rights and pluralism.

Reclaiming Universal Human Rights in a Plural Global Order” is the designated theme for the year. Although the UDHR and subsequent UN human rights instruments, have undeniably paved the way for the international human rights movement, grave rights violations continue to be perpetrated around the globe. Furthermore, the foundations of universal human rights face an existential crisis with the rise of populist nationalism, the attack on globalization, the influence of technology and threats to international institutions. It is an opportune moment to engage with looming challenges and opportunities for human rights as a universal system of norms that reflect the reality of global justice today.

This theme will fit into a dialogue and podcast series that will launch at the Center this year. Themes explored in the series will range from “the moral operating system of Universal Human Rights”, “the place of non-state actors in international human rights”, “gender, law and social change”, “public trust, accountability and participation in advancing human rights”, “migration, governance and human rights” and more. Of course, blog propositions are not limited to this set of topics and concepts, and we welcome any discussion that touches on our theme broadly or specifically.

Standards and format

The Blog Editors ask authors to follow a relatively simple set of standards before submitting their blog pieces. Anything not mentioned here is at the discretion of the author.

We will accept ORIGINAL essays on a rolling basis, and hope for a publication within 3 weeks to a month from original reception, provided our format requirements are respected. Please be mindful that we are NOT personal editors, and will accept only advanced drafts and not partially edited pieces.

We prefer shorter, incisive and argument-driven pieces that remain within a 1000-1200 word limit, although we have published longer pieces. Format should remain as simple and readable as possible, with a Times New Roman, 12 points font, and either a 1 or 1.5 spacing. Paragraphs should be separated with one line and start with an indent from the margin. Change in sections should be with a single line, and with a short subtitle, left aligned, in bold lettering.

We invite submission using a variety of writing styles, including narratives and opinion pieces. However, a certain rigor is still expected. Citations and footnotes are not required, but are accepted if the author feels the need for it. We ask however that said citations and footnotes be formatted following the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 9th edition. We also welcome and encourage hyperlinking of sources directly into the body of the essay.

After the original submission of the draft essay, the editors will require a week or two to do a first read of the essay, after which it will be returned to the author with editorial comments and recommendations. Although said comments and recommendations are not demands, cooperation is most welcome. After consideration of the proposed edits, the author is kindly asked to send the essay again to the editors, with a short 2-3 sentences bio, from which the editors will do a second read-through. If the editors find the essay ready upon that second read, we will then proceed with publication.

The author will then be asked to provide, if comfortable, a quality (one megabyte) portrait-style photograph, and if available (meaning, if the author has the rights to it), a quality evocative photograph to illustrate the essay in landscape format. If such a picture is not available, the editors, in consultation with the author, will procure one from the public domain.

The editors further retain the right to refuse to publish an essay at any moment of the process, for any considerations that will be communicated to the author.

Submissions can be emailed to human.rights [at]