Peter A Allard School of Law


HRC Team with Patricia McCullagh, Canada's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations
HRC Team with Patricia McCullagh, Canada's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, March 2024


IJHR clinicians in a field
IJHR clinicians in Amazon, Brazil, gathering evidence for a potential case on human rights violations in October 2023

 Current Clinic Projects

UN Human Rights Committee Work (“HRC Team”)

The HRC Team supports Ms. Marcia V.J. Kran, a distinguished Canadian member of the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC). As part of the team’s efforts to bolster the HRC’s work, clinicians engage in substantive research to craft comprehensive remarks and questions for the review of the party states’ human rights records and their adherence to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Over the past year, clinicians have actively contributed to the review processes of several countries, including the USA, Kuwait, Cyprus, the State of Palestine, Sri Lanka, and Turkmenistan. The Team continues to prepare memoranda examining and enhancing the jurisprudence of the HRC. A notable case in point is the significant decisions in K. v Russia Federation (2992/2017), where the HRC determined that Russia had violated the ICCPR by failing to establish a legislative basis to investigate discrimination against LGBT+ individuals. This decision was being voted as the best UN treaty bodies decision of 2023 in a poll held by the Hertie School in Berlin, Germany. The HRC team may travel to Geneva during the Committee’s October session to work side by side with HRC members.

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Slavery (“Supply Chain Team”) 

The Supply Chain Team is the official external research group for the Canadian All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to End Modern Slavery, a body currently comprised of over 40 Canadian MPs and Senators that seeks to make significant advances in fighting human trafficking in Canada and abroad. The Clinic provides the APPG with legal memos related to human trafficking and works to develop related legislation. The team is working to identify pressing modern slavery issues that the APPG should consider and travels to Ottawa to participate in briefings to members of Parliament on those issues. The team is also part of a global network of lawyers seeking to utilize customs tariffs laws to combat human trafficking. The Team also supports the forced labour unit of the International Labour Organization (ILO) by conducting an analysis of the performance of Sierra Leone, Thailand, and the United Kingdom under the ILO’s Forced Labour Convention No 29. Visit the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s website to keep up with our important work and to see our past projects and future updates.


Magnitsky Act Legal Advocacy (“Magnitsky Team”)

The Magnitsky Team is part of an international consortium of lawyers working to develop submissions to countries with the Magnitsky Acts, which include Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The team is working with pro-bono counsel in USA, UK, and Canada, as well as with esteemed partners such as Human Rights First from New York, Redress from the United Kingdom, Open Society from Europe, and the International Lawyer Project to develop specific case files on human rights abusers and corrupt officials who could be added to the Magnitsky Act visa ban and asset freeze lists. The Team actively engages in comprehensive research, fact-finding exercises, report publications, and participation in workshops and conferences organized by national and international NGOs and human rights entities. The team has thus far made submissions on 32 individuals and entities in different jurisdictions. In the past year, our clinicians submitted files on foreign corrupt officials to address significant corruption issues in North Macedonia and El Salvador. 

Human Rights and the Environment (“Environment Team”)

The Environment Team actively contributes to global climate litigation. Our clinicians support the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment by preparing reports, conducting substantive legal research, and developing novel legal arguments which connect human rights to the environment. In September 2023, the Environment Team embarked on a fact-finding mission to Amazon, Brazil, aimed at gathering evidence for a submission to an international human rights body. The submission specifically addresses the environmental impact and the encroachment upon indigenous Amazonian land. During the Summer of 2023, the Team also prepared a Brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on the obligations of the State related to their duty to prevent and guarantee the right to a healthy environment.

Past Projects

Office of the International Co-Prosecutor, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (“ECCC Team”)

The ECCC was created to prosecute the senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea, and those most responsible for the crimes and serious violations of Cambodia laws related to crimes, international humanitarian law and custom, and international conventions recognized by Cambodia, that were committed between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979. The ECCC Team is assisting the Office of the International Co-Prosecutor in its work on cases before the Court, through fact and legal analysis, information processing and management, and legal research. The OCP conducts preliminary investigations, prosecutes cases throughout the investigative, pre-trial, trial and appellate stages, processes victim complaints, and participates in judicial investigations. The nature of the work varies based on the OCP’s docket as well as the stages and development of proceedings, but the ECCC Team is gaining practical exposure to the core aspects of building criminal cases in an international context.

BC Whistleblower protection laws (“Whistleblower Team”)

British Columbia is in the process of updating its whistleblower protection laws. In April 2018, the Clinic issued a report on important requirements for effective whistleblower laws. The BC Government has recently passed Bill M-216, a public disclosure law that addresses whistleblower protections. This team is assessing Bill M-216 in light of the Clinic’s April 2018 report, offering recommendations to improve the Bill’s effectiveness, following development of the Bill, and developing an advocacy campaign to encourage British Columbia to pass stronger legislation to ensure the protection of whistleblowers. The team is also engaging in public outreach by meeting with influential policymakers to discuss best practices for developing strong whistleblower protections. 


Corporate Liability and Deterrence (“Corporate Deterrence Team”)

How does criminal prosecution of business actors, as opposed to civil litigation or regulatory enforcement, impact actual business practices? Is criminal liability for human rights abuses considered in business risk assessment and to what degree? The Corporate Deterrence Team is drafting a report exploring the utility in expanding current international criminal definitions to capture the actions of corporate actors, and asking whether international criminal law would be more effective in deterring the actions of such actors than in the deterrence of religious extremists, rebel fighters, or warlords.   


For current students' reflections, critiques, and thoughts on their experiences working on these projects, please visit the Allard IJHR Clinic blog.

International Justice and Human Rights Clinic Projects, 2014-2024

From 2014-2024, students at the Allard IJHR Clinic worked on projects with a wide array of partners, including:

Additionally, students contributed to report drafting on a wide range of human rights topics they identified throughout the course of their studies:

Students have participated in trial monitoring:

  • Monitored mass criminal trial in N’Djamena, Chad of twenty-four henchmen of former dictator Hissène Habré
  • Monitoring ongoing litigation in British Columbia courts where foreign plaintiffs seek redress against Canadian corporations for rights abuses.

The Clinic additionally monitors Canadian human trafficking case law and maintains a database and case commentary on all reported Canadian human trafficking cases. 

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