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McGill Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism

October 2021 Newsletter

Upcoming events:

  • Oct 4/5: Nuremberg 75th anniversary: Mass Trials for Mass Violence
  • Oct 15: AML seminar with Isabel Jaramillo-Sierra
  • Oct 25: Treatment of Prisoners in Canada with Vicki Prais
  • Oct 28: Rebel Courts: Book Launch with René Provost

Save the date:

  • Nov 11:  A Right of Peoples and Individuals to International Solidarity - Humphrey Lecture with Obiora C. Okafor

Other events of interest:


Upcoming Events


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Mass Trials for Mass Violence
Nuremberg 75th anniversary international symposium between Brussels and Montréal

Monday, October 4, 8:00 AM – 1:30 PM (ET) and Tuesday, October 5, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (ET)
Event description here.

Monday’s sessions moderated by Marie-Laurence Hébert-Dolbec (ULB) and Frédéric Mégret (McGill); Tuesday’s session moderated by Laurent Kennes (ULB).

Registration required: masstrial@ulb.be.
In-person location and Zoom link to follow upon registration.


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“Mothers-in-law”: Intergenerational Dialogues on Women and Human Rights
Margot E. Halpenny Memorial Lecture
Annie Macdonald Langstaff seminar series

with Isabel Jaramillo-Sierra
In conversation with Maria Adelaida Ceballos-Bedoya
Moderated by Shauna Van Praagh

Friday, October 15
, 1:00-2:30 PM (ET)
Zoom: click here to access the event.

About the speaker
Professor Jaramillo-Sierra holds a law degree from Universidad de los Andes (Cum Laude) and an SJD from Harvard Law School. She is currently a full professor at Universidad de los Andes, Faculty of Law. She is the co-founder of Red Alas, a network of scholars interested in the inclusion of sexual and gender perspectives in Latin American legal education. She has also been consultant to the Colombian government on issues of transitional justice, and sexual and reproductive rights. In 2017, former President Juan Manuel Santos nominated Professor Jaramillo-Sierra as a Constitutional Court justice. Read more about Professor Jaramillo-Sierra here.

Zoom Oct 15: https://mcgill.zoom.us/j/84246217798.


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Treatment of Prisoners in Canada
International Human Rights Law and the Treatment of Prisoners in Canada: A Practitioner's Perspective

with Vicki Prais
Moderated by Frédéric Mégret

Monday, October 25, 1:00-2:30 PM (ET)
Zoom: click here to access the event.

About the speaker
Vicki Prais is an internationally experienced human rights lawyer with recognised expertise in the protection of prisoners’ rights, prison reform, dignity behind bars, the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and fair trial issues. Vicki is a former O'Brien Fellow in Residence. Read Vicki's article, The Implementation in Canada of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners: A Practitioner's Perspective.

Read more about Vicki Prais here.

Zoom Oct 25: https://mcgill.zoom.us/j/88448654996.


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Rebel Courts: the Administration of Justice by Armed Insurgents
Book launch

with René Provost

Thursday, October 28, 4:00-5:30 PM (ET)
Zoom:  Click here to access the event

Warzones are sometimes described as lawless, but this is rarely the case. Armed insurgents often replace the state as the provider of law and justice in areas under their authority. Based on extensive fieldwork, Rebel Courts offers a compelling and unique insight into the judicial governance of armed groups, a phenomenon never studied comprehensively until now.
Zoom Oct 28: https://mcgill.zoom.us/j/81493964697


Save the Date


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A Right of Peoples and Individuals to International Solidarity
John P. Humphrey Lectureship in Human Rights
with Obiora C. Okafor
Thursday, November 11, 1:00-2:30 PM (ET)
Zoom: click here to access the event.
Event description here.
About the speaker
Obiora C. Okafor is the Inagural York Research Chair in International and Transnational Legal Studies at Osgoode Hall Law School. Professor Okafor has published extensively in the fields of international human rights law and immigration/refugee law, as well as general public international law (especially with regard to third world approaches to international law). Read more about Obiora C. Okafor here.

Zoom Nov 11:


Other Events of Interest 


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Fundamental Rights Forum 2021
The Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 is a unique platform for dialogue about the most pressing human rights challenges that Europe faces today.
Monday, October 11 and Tuesday, October 12
Registration required here, and full program here.


Calls for Applications


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CHRLP is proud to open the call for applications for the 2022 O’Brien Graduate Fellowships in the Faculty of Law, McGill University. O’Brien Fellows become members of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, a focal point for innovative legal and interdisciplinary research, dialogue, and outreach on human rights and legal pluralism.
This Fellowship Program is an entrance scholarship. Applicants for this scholarship must also simultaneously submit an application for admission to one of our graduate programs by the stipulated deadline.
Deadline to apply: December 19, 2021. Email here for more information.


Calls for Papers


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Constitutional Rights and Freedoms in Canada: Critical Reflections & Engagement (conference on April 8, 2022)
As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the constitutional recognition of Indigenous rights, it is timely to reflect upon the impact of these constitutional reforms. This workshop is aimed at mobilizing and sharing critical reflections regarding the meaning and application of diverse constitutional rights and freedoms, including theoretical, comparative, and interdisciplinary perspectives. It will provide an occasion to share past research and explore potential future research collaborations. 
Participation in the workshop (for those presenting) would involve preparing a short think piece (1,000-2,000 words) on a topic related to the constitutional rights entrenched in 1982. Others may simply be interested in attending.
We would greatly appreciate hearing from you about your interest in participating by September 30th, including the issue/question you would likely explore in your short think piece. Email: human.rights@mcill.ca.


Calls for Submissions


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Do you have an upcoming article you would like to publicize? A blog post you would like to write?

The CHRLP is also proud to launch the fourth year of its Blog with an open call for blog posts. Interested authors are encouraged to draw inspiration from the theme "Solidarity in an Interconnected World". More information, including editorial guidelines, can be found in the following call for submissions.

Submissions (in English, French, or Spanish) can be sent to human.rights@mcgill.ca.


O'Brien Fellows: In Their Own Words


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Jeanne Pérès, LLM (Montreal)
Après avoir complété un baccalauréat en droit à l’Université de Montréal (UdeM) et son examen du Barreau à l’hiver 2021, je suis heureuse d’entamer une maîtrise en droit autochtone à l’Université McGill. Mon implication au sein du comité en droit autochtone de l’UdeM, ma participation au Kawaskimhon Moot, de même que mes expériences de travail dans des régions éloignées du Nord et du Grand Nord québécois aux côtés d’Innus ont contribué à faire de la cause autochtone ma vocation. C'est à travers mon parcours universitaire que j’ai pris goût à la recherche et à la rédaction juridique, notamment à titre d’assistante de recherche, d’étudiante en droit au sein d’un cabinet privé, mais également dans le cadre de concours de rédaction et de séminaires de recherche. Ces apprentissages ont renforcé ma volonté de faire du droit un moyen efficace de rendre justice. Soutenue par le Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines (CRSH) du Canada grâce à la bourse Joseph Armand-Bombardier et par le Centre pour les droits de la personne & le pluralisme juridique de l’Université Mc Gill avec la bourse O’Brien, je souhaite rédiger une thèse qui reflète la collision entre notre régime juridique et les traditions juridiques autochtones et leur possible réconciliation.


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Amanda Nutakor, LLM (Ghana)
My name is April Amanda Nutakor - I don't mind being called April or Amanda, although Amanda is my official name. I am currently an LLM candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. In 2020, I graduated from the University of Ghana School of Law as the Valedictorian of the 2020-year group, with a First-Class Honours and a 3.84 FGPA. From September 2019 to May 2021, I was a participant of an intercultural human rights project organized by the Harvard Law School in collaboration with the University of Ghana School of Law. The project focused on the right of the girl child to education in the Northern region of Ghana.  
Previously, I also worked at the Legal Resources Centre (the ‘LRC’), a non-governmental organization in Ghana, which focuses on development work and provides legal aid services. During my time at the LRC, I participated in human rights trainings and worked on the Prisons’ Project which was designed to increase awareness of the rights of prisoners and to provide legal aid to indigent persons in prisons awaiting trial or appealing against wrongful conviction.  
I am currently working part-time and remotely at an international UK-Ghana based law firm 'Egality Law'. The firm serves a range of clients from multinationals to non-profits and I support the team with legal research and analysis with a particular interest in human rights, criminal justice and defamation matters.  
My areas of research at McGill include juvenile and criminal justice, and human rights.


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Cynthia Kelechi Eboson, LLM (Nigeria)
Barrister Cynthia Kelechi Eboson is a poised legal professional and researcher with a successful academic and career record.

Barrister Cynthia graduated from the University of Exeter, Faculty of Law in England, United Kingdom in 2018. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2019 after completion of studies at the Nigerian Law School. A member of the Nigerian Bar Association, she has worked as a Lawyer and Human Rights Activist with various law firms and NGOs in Nigeria.

Barrister Cynthia is a young professional whose primary interests are related to Human Rights with special regard to Gender equality and promotion of Women’s rights. This led to the establishment of her own NGO targeted at sensitizing communities in Nigeria on the importance of gender equality and promotion of human rights among communities in Nigeria.

Her proposed research topic which is titled “Navigating Entrenched Customary Law and Human Rights: A case study of Inheritance rules and Gender rights in Nigeria” aims to add to the body of literature on the promotion of gender equality. Barrister Cynthia hopes to build a community of professionals with similar interests and set to impact knowledge and influence around the International Community.


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Yuri Romana-Rivas, DCL (Colombia)
I am a current doctoral (DCL) student at McGill's Faculty of Law and an O’Brien Fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. I did a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Law and Legal Studies from American University, Washington College of Law in Washington DC, and obtained my Law degree (LLB) at the “Diego Luis Córdoba” Technological University of Chocó (U.T.CH) in Colombia. Before coming to pursue my doctoral studies at McGill, I worked for almost three years as a specialized lawyer at the Chamber for Amnesty and Pardon of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) in Colombia, a transitional justice tribunal established in 2018 as a result of the 2016-Peace Agreements between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia- Peoples’ Army (Las FARC-EP). This tribunal was tasked with the responsibility to investigate, prosecute, and try the most serious crimes committed in the context of the more than 50-year armed conflict in Colombia. Previously, I worked for more than five years as a Human Rights Specialist at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights based in Washington D.C.I have also done research, taught, and written about different human rights-related topics such as transitional justice, structural racism, and standards of due process guarantees under International Human Rights Law.      

My doctoral research topic focuses on the need to strengthen Colombia’s transitional justice reparation structures to effectively compensate and restore the rights of Afro-Colombian communities who have been victims of the armed conflict. I am Afro-Colombian, and a very enthusiastic soccer aficiando.



Resource Centre


The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), and the Canadian Association for Refugees and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) have collaboratively developed a series of documents related to ethics in research with refugees. These may be helpful to researchers:




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Montreal, QC H3A 1W9 · Canada 


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Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism · Chancellor Day Hall · 3644 Peel Street · Montreal, QC H3A 1W9 · Canada

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