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John Peters Humphrey Fellowship

The Canadian Council on International Law awards annually up to three John Peters Humphrey Student Fellowships in the field of International Human Rights Law or International Organization.

John P. Humphrey (1905-1995)

Humphrey in Geneva, 1947

McGill University Archives

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About the Fellowship

The John Peters Humphrey Student Fellowships in International Human Rights Law or International Organization are the result of a most generous bequest to the Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL) by the late John Peters Humphrey, a renowned Canadian international lawyer and scholar.


During his 20 years of service with the United Nations and more than 40 years as a human rights activist and academic, he was instrumental in efforts to promote wide ratification of, and adherence to, the major global and regional international human rights instruments. In 1974, Professor Humphrey was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to legal Fellowship and his world-wide reputation in the field of human rights, and in 1988 he received the United Nation’s Human Rights Award.

The CCIL will award up to three fellowships to enable selected individuals to begin or continue graduate studies at a reputable academic institution in Canada or abroad. Priority will be given to individuals who are entering or about to enter graduate studies. At least one fellowship may be awarded to an individual enrolled in a master's program (or equivalent). 

The John Peters Humphrey Fellowship is awarded annually in September and is worth up to $20,000 CDN, with a maximum of $10,000 CDN for tuition and fees and a $10,000 CDN stipend for living expenses. 

The application process for Academic Year 2025-2026 will open in the Fall of 2024

Eligibility Criteria

The following individuals may apply for a John Peters Humphrey Fellowship: 

  • individuals who have or will soon graduate from a Canadian law school; 

  • individuals who are studying in a graduate program at a Canadian law school; 

  • persons studying in Canada in one of the political science disciplines (or the equivalent) in a graduate program. 


They must be in a position to begin within the next few months or to continue a full-time graduate program in the field of international human rights law or international organizations.


Recipients may apply for a one-year extension in a subsequent contest, subject to the requirements at that time. 

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Congratulations to the 2024
John Peters Humphrey Fellowship Recipients

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Rhona Goodarzi

DLC Candidate,

McGill University 

Proposed Program of Study

Title: "Conceptualising the Right to Protest in the Digital Age"

Rhona’s thesis will explore the underexamined trend in which supranational human rights courts and many domestic courts allow the right to protest to be eclipsed by other fundamental rights, such as the right to freedom of expression and, increasingly, the growing body of digital and privacy rights. 


LL.M., McGill University 
LL.B., University of Edinburgh

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Catherine Savard

D.Phil. in Law Candidate

Oxford University

Proposed Program of Study

Title: "The House is Burning: The Emerging Prohibition of Ecocide in International Law".


My thesis aims to provide the first comprehensive treatise on ecocide under international law. It answers the following question: how does a prohibition of ecocide on individuals, states, and corporations challenge the existing international justice system, and how can these challenges be overcome? 


LL.M., Université Laval

LL.B., Université Laval

DCS, Cégep de Sainte-Foy

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Cloé Dubuc

PhD Candidate

University of Sydney or Tilburg University

Proposed Program of Study

Title: "Digital Witnesses: Video-Link Testimonies and the Fairness of Proceedings at the International Criminal Cour"


Title: "Pixelated Defendants: An Empirical Study of the Impact of Remote Participation on Fair Trial Rights Before the International Criminal Court​"


LL.M., Université Laval

B.A., Université du Québec à Montréal

DEC, Cégep de Valleyfield

Past Winners
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