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Congratulations to the 2021
John Peters Humphrey Fellowship Recipients


Camille Lefebvre

PhD candidate,

Université Laval and University of Leiden (joint program)

Proposed Program of Study:


Title of study: “[Translation] Integration of international law into the Canadian legal system: the use of deportation, detention and the effects on migrant safety


Even if a State has ratified international instruments, the gap between the protection prescribed by international law and its actual enforcement remains an important issue. As we approach the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, it is vital that we look at how Canada protects migrants and refugees within its borders. The aim of this project is to review the enforcement of detention measures and their repercussions on detainees, in particular by examining the living conditions in detention centres, to gain a better understanding of how the treatment of migrants contributes to their criminalization. I will also explore how the law, public policy and the actions taken by border officers affect the implementation of international human rights law in Canada. This empirical and theoretical study will improve the understanding of the role international criminal law plays in international refugee law, and will attempt to find solutions to address the existing shortcomings related to its implementation. This Canadian case study will more generally help us to understand how States meet their human rights international law obligations, by providing a theoretical framework that can be replicated in other countries.

LL.M., Université Laval, Faculté de droit 
LL.B., Université Laval, Faculté de droit 
DEC, Cégep de Ste-Foy, Sciences Humaines


Tiran Rahimian Bajgiran

LL.M. Candidate

Harvard Law School 

Proposed Program of Study

International Law and Technology 


Tiran aspires to explore the intersection of law and technology, from a comparative human rights perspective. One lesson that he draws from his various experiences working in human rights, thus far, is that the legal and governance challenges raised by new technologies will be some of the most pressing of our generation. From conceptualizing fairness and reasonableness in algorithmic decision-making under administrative law to delineating criminal liability for incitement to violence on social media, these challenges will require innovative counterreactions in legal thinking. In several regards, our societies have analogue legal frameworks confronting a digital revolution, a mismatch which can undermine both human rights and the rule of law. He aspires to further these interests in pursuit of an academic career. 


Tiran was formerly a law clerk at the Constitutional Court of South Africa in Johannesburg, as well as to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. He holds a joint B.C.L./J.D. from McGill's Faculty of Law, where he graduated with the Principal David Johnston Gold Medal and the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec's Medal for Youth. 



B.C.L./J.D., McGill University, Faculty of Law 


Ankita Gupta

LL.M. Candidate

Harvard Law School

Proposed Program of Study

Focus on multinational corporate accountability.

An increasing number of multinational corporations with foreign subsidiaries are at risk of involvement in human rights or environment abuses in foreign jurisdictions. Victims of abuse face serious obstacles in obtaining a legal remedy both in the jurisdiction where the harm occurred and the foreign subsidiary is located, as well as where the parent company of the multinational corporation is headquartered.


In February 2020, in Nevsun Resources v. Araya, the Supreme Court of Canada allowed Eritrean plaintiffs to proceed with an action against a Canadian mining company, Nevsun Resources, the majority owner of the Bisha mine in Eritrea, in Canadian courts for damages for breaches of customary international law prohibitions against forced labour, slavery, cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment and crimes against humanity. It marked a major step in allowing plaintiffs who have been harmed in foreign jurisdictions to advance claims for human rights and environmental abuses against Canadian corporations in Canadian courts to hold them accountable for their actions.  


My research will study the consequences of this decision to understand what it takes for a customary international law norm to be transformed into a tort in Canadian law and explore the practical and legal implications of this decision on the international legal system and other jurisdictions where similar actions are being pursued. 


J.D., Osgoode Law School, York University

B.B.A., University of Toronto

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