Sarah Riley Case

Assistant Professor

New Chancellor Day Hall
3644 Peel Street
Room 517
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 1W9

514-398-6643 [Office]
sarah.rileycase [at] (Email)

Sarah Riley Case

Twitter: @SarahRileyCase


Dr. Sarah Riley Case is an Assistant Professor whose research and teaching focus on slavery and the law, Critical Race Theory, Black life, Third World Approaches to International Law, settler colonialism, arts, and governing the natural world.

Before joining McGill, she was a Fulbright Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy. She served as a Special Advisor to the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity. She taught as well at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Dr. Riley Case’s work crosses over law, history, conceptions of justice, representations of nature, and the arts. Her publications include  ‘Looking to the Horizon: The Meanings of Reparations for Unbearable Crises’ (AJIL Unbound), where she explores overlapping Caribbean reparations claims for slavery, colonialism and climate change; and ‘To Protest for Black Life during the Pandemic: Resistance and Freedom in a Settler State’ (forthcoming CJLS), where she considers qualities of protest, including Black presence, practicing care, and calling for abolition, inspired by Black feminism. Other recent publications include ‘Homelands of Mary Ann Shadd’, where she explores the Black radical tradition, historical erasure, and the politics of recognition in international law’s narratives (in Immi Tallgren, ed., Portraits of Women International Law New Names and Forgotten Faces?) and ‘Thoughts of Liberation’ with Nataleah Hunter-Young (Canadian Art), which puts ten Black women poets, scholars, artists, and activists in conversation.  

Sarah Riley Case collaborates with people working toward racial, regional and ecological justice in the UN system, academic communities, and legal clinics. She has received awards and honours from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, SSHRC, Transnational Environmental Law journal, and the American Society of International Law, among others.


  • SJD, University of Toronto, 2023
  • LLM, McGill University Faculty of Law, 2013
  • Member of the Ontario Bar, 2008
  • JD, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2007
  • BA, McGill University and Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2003


  • Boulton Fellow, McGill University, Faculty of Law, 2021-2022
  • Task Force on Legal Aid Ontario Modernization, Black Legal Action Centre, 2021- 2022
  • Executive, Black Canadian Studies Association 2021-2022
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, 2020-2021
  • Adjunct Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2014-2019
  • Fulbright Visiting Researcher, Harvard Law School, 2019-2021
  • Special Advisor, UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, 2019-2020
  • Visiting Academic, Melbourne Law School, 2019
  • Counsel, Law Commission of Ontario, 2013-2016
  • Project Officer and Legal Specialist, International Development Law Organization, 2011-2013
  • Equity Advisory Group, Law Society of Ontario, 2009-2011
  • Board of Governors, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, 2009-2011
  • Associate Lawyer, Koskie Minsky LLP, 2008-2010
  • Judicial Law Clerk, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, 2007-2008

Areas of Interest

Colonialisms, legal history, international and domestic law formations, Black Studies, Critical Race Theory, queer theory, Third World Approaches to International Law, Indigenous legal orders, radicalism and law reform, the natural world, arts.

Back to top