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Congratulations to the 2017
John Peters Humphrey Fellowship Recipients

Michele Krech

Nadia Lambek

Kaitlin Owens


Michele Krech


JSD Candidate

New York University (NYU) School of Law

LLM, International Legal Studies

New York University (NYU) School of Law

JD, International Law Option

University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section

MA, International Affairs

Carleton University, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA)

BA, Global Development Studies

Queen’s University, Faculty of Arts and Science


Proposed Program of Study


Strengthening Global Regulatory Accountability

for the Advancement of Gender Equality in High Performance Sport

Michele’s doctoral research unites her background in international law and global governance, her passion for human rights and social justice, and her experience in competitive athletics. The overarching theme of her research project is the promotion of the rights and interests of systemically marginalized groups in transnational, supranational, or global – rather than merely international – legal systems. In particular, she will examine the global and multiplex legal regime governing high performance sport and the accountability deficits therein, which allow gender inequality, in its many forms, to persist in that context. On this basis, she aims to propose specific normative frameworks, institutional arrangements, and legal advocacy strategies for holding sport regulatory authorities accountable with respect to the rights and interests of women athletes and gender equality more broadly.

This thesis will draw on and further develop an emerging field of legal theory and practice known as global administrative law – the study of the mechanisms, principles, practices, and supporting social understandings that shape and constrain the exercise of power by global regulatory bodies, which are not directly subject to the control of national governments or domestic legal systems. Working within the realm of global public law, Michele hopes to contribute to the development of innovative solutions to transnational and supranational accountability problems, as a means of advancing equality in an increasingly globally regulated world.

Nadia Lambek


SJD Candidate, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Toronto, ON, Canada

JD, Yale Law School (2010), New Haven, CT, United States

BA, Brown University (2006), Providence, RI, United States


Proposed Program of Study


Nadia Lambek is a legal scholar and advocate with a passion for social justice. Nadia is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Juridical Science (SJD) at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where her research focuses on how law can both assist and hinder transitions to more equitable, sustainable and just food systems, and how the voices and demands of social movements can lead these transitions from the ground up. She is the recipient of a SSHRC Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarship to Honour Nelson Mandela.


Nadia’s SJD work builds on several years as an educator, researcher and advocate focused on food system transitions.  She served as an advisor to former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter and has collaborated with a number of organizations on projects related to promoting the right to food domestically and internationally.  Her publications include “Rethinking Food Systems: Structural Challenges, New Strategies and the Law” (Springer 2014).  She is currently an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School.  Prior to returning to school, Nadia practiced law, working particularly in the areas of workers’ rights and equality rights, and clerked at the Ontario Court of Appeal.  She received her JD from Yale Law School and her BA from Brown University.

Project Description


Our food systems are broken.  Hunger and malnutrition are endemic, while the policies and practices governing the production, processing, distribution and consumption of food are destroying the environment and entrenching inequality and systemic poverty.  As a result, transitioning to more just, sustainable and equitable food systems is a global imperative.


My research explores the contribution of global food movements to advancing transformative frameworks for global food system governance.  In particular, I focus on three rights-based frameworks – the right to food (state obligations), the right to food sovereignty (democratic control) and peasants’ rights (access to resources) – currently being delineated and claimed by global food movements.  Focusing on the UN Committee on World Food Security and the UN Human Rights Council, I ask: What legal structures can be utilized, created or imagined to address the claims of alternative food movements?  And when does the institutionalization of legal norms limit social and environmental progress?



Kaitlin Owens


J..D., with honours, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law

Bachelor of Arts, (Economics and Political Science), McMaster University


Proposed Program of Study


New York University (NYU) offers a specialized LL.M. in International Legal Studies, which is one of the world’s leading programs in this field. Through a wide range of courses, seminars and clinics, students develop a strong foundation in international legal norms and principles while gaining practical experience working alongside global leaders in the profession.


I plan to enroll in courses including International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, and Transitional Justice, and to participate in the Global Justice Clinic or one of NYU’s many other clinics. I am particularly interested in the Transitional Justice Leadership Program, which will allow me to engage with leading faculty members along with scholars and non-governmental organizations active in this area. 


The LL.M. program’s location, in New York City, means that I will be ideally situated to interact with organizations and government agencies active in international law and the promotion of human rights.


Finally, NYU’s International Law and Human Rights Fellowship Program will provide opportunities following graduation to complete internships with organizations such as the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and the International Center for Transitional Justice.

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