The Interns

Established in 1996 and administered by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP) of McGill University, the International Human Rights Internship Program gives McGill Laxw students the opportunity to intern with NGOS, courts, and public institutions for a period of 12 weeks over the summer, while earning six credits toward their BCL/JD degree (previously called the BCL/LLB). For information on the program, our partner organizations, applications, FAQs, and more, please visit the International Human Rights Internships section of the CHRLP’s website.

Below are the bios of our student interns.

On this page: 2022 | 2021| 2020

See also the 2010 to 2019 cohorts.


Yasmine Amar – Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse – Montréal, Canada

Yasmine est une étudiante de première année en droit à McGill. Avant son entrée à la faculté, elle a obtenu un DEC au Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne en Sciences, Lettres et Arts.

Elle est notamment coprésidente et membre fondateur du projet intergénérationnel « Et si on se racontait ». Dans le cadre de celui-ci, elle prit part à la rédaction du livre éponyme publié en 2021 et organisa la campagne de sensibilisation « Entre toi et moi ». Depuis cette année, elle coordonne également un programme de bénévolat intercollégial visant à renforcer les liens intergénérationnels à l’échelle du Québec. Présentant un grand intérêt pour la politique québécoise et la protection des droits humains dans un contexte local, elle est à la recherche constante de nouvelles façons de s’impliquer dans sa communauté et de rendre le Québec plus inclusif.

Yasmine est également très intéressée par le journalisme et la culture. Au cégep, elle participa notamment au Prix littéraire des collégiens et fut rédactrice pour le journal étudiant « La Claque ». En compagnie de son orchestre, elle participa également à de nombreux festivals et compétitions musicaux, dont le National Band and Orchestra Festival du Carnegie Hall.

Yasmine est très enthousiaste de se joindre cet été à la Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse et d’ainsi en apprendre plus sur les rouages de cette institution québécoise dynamique.

Somaya Amiri – Refugee Law Project – Kampala, Uganda

Somaya is a first year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds an Honours B.A. in Political Science from McGill University as a Loran Scholar.

Somaya has experience working in not-for-profit, private, and public policy institutions across Canada. She has a background in qualitative research analysis on migration policies and how various political systems shape the lives of marginalized communities. She extended her undergraduate degree to complete a one-year international fellowship in France and studied at Science Po Strasbourg. While in France, she worked with the municipal government and volunteered with local organizations to support migrant communities.

Upon graduation, Somaya was selected for the Parliamentary Internship Programme, where she spent five months working with the government and another five months with the opposition. During this legislative experience, she was intrigued by the interplay between law, politics, and human rights.

Her combined experiences led her on a journey to study Law at McGill as a McCall McBain Scholar. She is looking forward to working with the Refugee Law Project in Kampala, whose mission is to empower asylum seekers, refugees, and IDPs.

Laiba Asad – Council of Canadians with Disabilities

Laiba is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. Prior to beginning law school, she completed her DEC in Health Science (IB) at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf.

At the Faculty, she is the Executive Online Editor for the McGill Journal of Law and Health, Co-VP Events of the McGill International Law Society, and a senior editor with Rooted. She also works for a non-profit organization based in New York City that offers legal services to social entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations.

This summer, Laiba is looking forward to her internship with the Council of Canadians with Disabilities in Winnipeg in order to learn more about the issues impacting people with disabilities and the legal framework available to address them.

Jack Ball – Yukon Human Rights Commission – Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Jack is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill University from Fredericton, New-Brunswick. He previously completed a BA at McGill and an MA at Queen’s, both in English literature. Along with human rights, he is interested in criminal and administrative law, and litigation.

Jack is currently a senior editor at the McGill Journal of Law and Health and a junior editor at the Canadian Journal of Law and Justice. He is also a volunteer caseworker at the Legal Information Clinic at McGill and previously worked for the legal tech start-up EvenUp, where he helped obtain compensation for California wildfire victims. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to work and live in the Yukon this summer.

Weeam Ben Rejeb – Aswat Nissa – Tunis, Tunisia

Weeam is a second-year student in the BCL/JD program at the McGill Faculty of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and International Development Studies from McGill University.

Prior to her legal studies, she worked at Canada’s Development Finance Institute focused on gender-lens investing in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. At the Faculty, Weeam is an executive with the Women of Colour Collective and a caseworker at the Legal Information Clinic. She is also actively involved in advocacy work around Bill 21 and equity initiatives on campus. She is passionate about increased access to justice, advocacy, and human rights.

Weeam is excited to participate in the internship program with Aswat Nissa, an NGO that advocates for gender equality and increased political participation of women in Tunisia.

Cassandra Betts – Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) – Banjul, The Gambia

Cassandra is a third year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a BA from Sciences Po Paris and a BCom from the University of British Columbia.

Throughout her time at McGill, Cassandra has worked as a senior editor for the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law and as a caseworker for Innocence McGill. In 2020, she researched gender pay equity at the Canadian Human Rights Commission to help implement the federal Pay Equity Act.

Cassandra is thrilled to be interning with the IHRDA this summer and looks forward to learning more about African and international human rights mechanisms.

Aliya Behar – Bulgarian Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (BCNL) – Bulgaria

Aliya is a second year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. Prior to studying law, she pursued a DEC in Health Science with an honours certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Marianopolis College.

Aliya has worked with the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, and advocates for political prisoners’ freedom with the Wallenberg Advocacy Group. She also works as a Caseworker at the Legal Information Clinic at McGill, and is a Senior Editor for the Contours journal. Aliya’s interest in human rights work is underpinned by its potential to concretely and positively impact individuals’ lives.

Aliya is thrilled to be joining the Bulgarian Centre for Not-For-Profit Law this summer, and is eager to further explore the intersections of health, human rights, and the law.

Fatima Beydoun – Ateneo Human Rights Centre (ACHR) – Manila, the Philippines

 Fatima is a first-year student in the BCL/JD program at the McGill Faculty of Law. Before coming to McGill, she completed a combined honours undergraduate degree in Environmental Sustainability and International Development Studies at Dalhousie University on the unceded Mi’kmaq territory of Halifax (K’jipuktuk) where she also hails from. Fatima’s interest in human rights stems from her longtime involvement with Amnesty International Canada, starting as a youth organizer and formerly the Co-president of the Amnesty Club at Dalhousie. Now in her fourth year on the National Youth Action and Advisory Committee for the Canadian chapter as the first Maritimer, Fatima incorporates her passions of youth empowerment and human rights while working alongside others to advocate for more equitable systems on local and global scales.
Having had the opportunity to speak in the House of Commons, Fatima has been involved with environmental, migrant and racial justice work on campus and in her community. Her active involvement in student leadership is vast, where she recently concluded her two-year term on the Board of Dalhousie University as a student representative and was a founding member of a racial justice collective at Dalhousie.
Currently an inaugural McCall MacBain Scholar, Fatima hopes to use her experiences to foster cross-cultural solidarity and is very grateful for her internship placement in the Philippines to pursue this goal.

Sophie Bisping  – International Center for Ethnic Studies (ICES) – Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sophie Bisping is currently a first-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Philosophy, and a master’s degree in Transcultural Studies and International Public Policy.

Prior to her legal studies, she has worked for the Max Planck Institute for International Peace and the Rule of Law on comparative constitutional law and capacity-building workshops for Sudanese and Moroccan lawyers. She has also worked for the German Parliament in the context of the International Parliamentary Scholarship, specializing in issues of cultural policy and foreign affairs.

Sophie is currently an associate editor for InterGentes – the McGill Journal of International Law and Legal Pluralism. At the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Sri Lanka, she hopes to pursue her interests in transitional justice and reconciliation processes.

Andrea Carboni Jiménez – Legal Clinic on Human Rights and Disability – Lima, Peru

Andrea is a first-year BCL/JD candidate in the McGill Faculty of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Psychology and a Master of Science in Psychiatry, both from McGill.

Prior to her legal studies, Andrea’s research focused on examining burden among informal caregivers to people living with systemic sclerosis and evaluating the effectiveness of psychological interventions among incarcerated individuals with mood disorders or trauma.

In the Faculty, Andrea volunteers as a caseworker with Innocence McGill and serves in the Executive Committee of the McGill Law Latin American Students’ Association. While her interests in the legal field are broad, she hopes to concentrate her efforts on aiding vulnerable populations.

Rebecca Clayton – Center for Health, Human Rights and Development, Uganda

Becca is a first year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. Prior to law school, she completed a BAH in International Development with a minor in Political Science, focusing on rural agricultural development & food security.

After her undergrad she worked for The SEED, a non-profit food project where she created and facilitated programs to increase physical and financial access to good food for community members. Based out of the Guelph Community Health Centre, she worked closely with primary healthcare practitioners on the intersection of food and health, and is excited to pursue human rights and public health further in Kampala with CEHURD.

She currently volunteers with Pro Bono Students Canada at the Native Women’s Shelter in Montreal, and is a professional photographer in her spare time. Passionate about human rights, food-related justice and storytelling, she is deeply excited to learn more about how these pieces connect this summer.

Catherine Dunne – HIV Legal Network – Toronto, Canada

Catherine is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds an Honours B.A. in International Human Rights from Western University. Prior to beginning her legal studies, Catherine led the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, representing over 150,000 students’ interest to all levels of government. She advocated for equitable access to post-secondary education, and improved gender-based violence prevention and response throughout her time at the alliance.

At the Faculty, Catherine is an Executive Editor for the McGill Journal of Law and Health, and an Associate Editor for the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development and Law and Rooted. Catherine has also volunteered as a caseworker at the Legal Information Clinic and as a volunteer with Pro Bono Students Canada throughout her time at the Faculty. She is passionate about using her legal education as a tool to respond to climate change, health inequalities, and colonialism.

Catherine is very grateful for the opportunity to intern at the HIV/AIDS Legal Network to learn more about public interest litigation and legal reform. In particular, she looks forward to learning more about the decriminalization of HIV non-disclosure and sex work, and the intersections with colonialism and gender-based violence.

Eric Epp – Métis Nation Saskatchewan

Eric is a first-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. He holds a BA (Honours) in English Literature from the University of Alberta and an LMus in Music (Voice Performance) from McGill.

Eric grew up in Edmonton, and spent many happy summers during university working as a costumed historical interpreter at Fort Edmonton Park. Following his studies in music, he worked for two years as a tour guide at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. Last year, he had the chance to take courses in philosophy and political science at the University of Victoria.

Currently, Eric is a junior editor at Rooted, McGill’s Indigenous law journal. He is very excited to engage with the work of the Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre in Saskatchewan. He thanks everyone who has helped him learn so far.

Mariana Furneri  – Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) – Toronto, Canada

Mariana Furneri is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill University and holds an Honours BA in Political Science with a Minor in Anthropology.

At the Faculty of Law, Mariana is a Senior Editor for Volume 18 of the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law (MJSDL), following her role as a Special Associate Editor for Volume 17. Mariana’s experience with academic journals also extends beyond law school. Throughout her BA, she served as an Editor and Managing Editor for the McGill Journal of Political Studies, as well as the Vice-President Newspaper for McGill’s Chapter of Journalists for Human Rights (JHR).

Mariana is passionate about the ways in which policy and the law intersect and how they impact marginalized communities. She views human rights and public interest work as vital forms of advocacy. She is thrilled to intern for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) over the summer.

Bella Harvey – Forum for Human Rights – Prague

Bella is a second-year student at the McGill Faculty of Law, currently pursuing a BCL/JD with a minor in Computer Science. She holds a BA in Honour Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from McGill, as well as an MA in Political Science from the University of Toronto. Throughout her post-secondary education, Bella has acted as a research assistant on several different projects and has held both managerial and editorial positions on a variety of academic journals. She deeply cares about social, transitional, and environmental justice, so she is very grateful for the opportunity to work at the Forum for Human Rights in Prague to help them with their international human rights litigation and advocacy efforts.

Ella Johnson – Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights – Montreal, Canada

Ella is a first-year student BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. There, she engages with environmental issues as an associate editor on the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law. She also advocates for the release of political prisoners as a junior advocate with the Wallenberg Advocacy Group to explore her interests in the rule of law. She hopes to use her degree to support work that addresses environmental issues and strengthens democratic institutions.

Prior to McGill, she spent two years advocating for climate justice with MN350 and Earth Law Center. She led and supported campaigns that sought to address the climate crisis from multiple angles, including by legalizing rights for nature and holding purportedly “green” corporations accountable for anti-climate lobbying. Her interest in advocacy and human rights was spurred by discovering that governmental failures to hold multinationals accountable had caused environmental and health crises she researched while studying abroad in Senegal and reporting for the Minnesota Daily.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from the University of Minnesota. Heavily involved in research, she studied vulnerable systems including boreal forests, peat bogs and mangroves. Her interests lay in understanding how plants adapt to their environments, particularly in the context of rapid global change. She briefly worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Climate Change Sciences Institute before making the left turn that led her to law school. She is thrilled to learn more about human rights and advocacy this summer by working with the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights.

Joshua Singer Johnson – Ministry of Justice – Windhoek, Namibia

Josh is a second year student at the McGill Faculty of Law. He previously completed a B.A. in History and Philosophy. Josh is particularly interested in environmental law, and enjoys educating the public about the law as a volunteer with the Legal Information Clinic at McGill. A British Columbian at heart, Josh enjoys long hikes, kayaking, skiing, and anything that gets him outside near mountains and oceans.

Nicolas Kamran – Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik Legal Services – Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada

Nicolas is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. Prior to studying law, he obtained a DEC from Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Arts and Science. It was during this time that he presided several student environmental committees, organizing direct climate action in his community.

At the Faculty, Nicolas remains deeply invested in community life. He is a Senior Editor at the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law, a Senior Advocate at the Wallenberg Advocacy Group, a caseworker at Innocence McGill, a columnist for the Quid Novi, and a group assistant for the first-year Criminal Justice course taught by Professor Mugambi Jouet. In Summer 2021, he also assisted the Administrative Housing Tribunal’s Director of Legal Services.

Nicolas has a strong interest in criminal justice, believing in the power of human rights to renew commitment to the rehabilitative ideal. He looks forward to putting his beliefs into action at Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik Legal Services.

Laurence LeBlanc – UNHCR – Tunisie

Laurence LeBlanc is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill University. Prior to law school, she completed her MA in political science with a concentration in international development. Her thesis involved conducting fieldwork in rural Kenyan communities to gain insight into gendered labour responsibilities and ecologically sustainable women’s group initiatives. Her interest in human rights law began during her BA in international development when she had the chance to live in Ecuador for a year working in environmental justice and corporate accountability.

Outside of her studies, Laurence serves on the Board of Directors for a grassroots NGO called Help-Kids-India, which fundraises the operating expenses of three Dalit preeschools in Tamil Nadu, South India. Laurence also volunteers at the legal clinic at McGill, and is an avid ceramic artist who donates the proceeds of her pottery sales to women’s shelters in Montreal.

Always excited by grassroots activism and language learning, Laurence is thrilled to be working with UNHCR in Tunisia this summer.

Renée Lehman – Avocats Sans Frontières – Quebec City, Canada

Renée is a first year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds an Honours B.A. in political science from McGill, with minors in international development studies and philosophy.

During her undergraduate degree, her research focused primarily on the impacts of precarious immigration and citizenship statuses in contexts of political violence and human rights violations. As a Student Fellow with the Yan P. Lin Centre’s Research Group on Constitutional Studies, she also studied issues of policing, prisons, and punishment.

Through volunteer work in her community, Renée became especially interested in the disproportionate mental health impacts of public policy, notably the adverse effects of Bill 21. She is currently completing a placement with UQAM’s Droit et soins de santé project through McGill’s chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada, and she is very excited to be volunteering with Avocats Sans Frontières in Québec City this summer.

Nathan Leung – Avocats Sans Frontières – Colombia

Nathan is a first year BCL/JD student at the McGill Faculty of Law. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of Toronto and had the opportunity to study abroad at the National University of Singapore. His undergraduate thesis focused on understudied Chinese languages and won first place at the Scarborough Undergraduate Linguistics Conference.  Prior to law school, Nathan volunteered as a translator at the Asian Community AIDS Services to improve access to LGBTQ services for newcomers and people who do not speak English. At the faculty, he is a copy editor for the student-run newspaper Quid Novi. During the fall semester, he was also an Events and Community Outreach Officer for IRAP.

Nathan is passionate about the intersection of race, LGBTQ identity, and the law. He is also deeply interested in issues involving language and the law, such as jurilinguistics and protections against linguistic discrimination.

This summer, he will conduct legal research at Avocats Sans Frontières to improve protection for victims of human trafficking, with a focus on female and LGBTI persons. He looks forward to learning more about international human rights law from the cooperation of cross border institutions in Colombia, Canada, and Latin America to prevent human trafficking.

Angela Nassar – Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos – Lima, Perú

Angela Nassar is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill University. Prior to starting her legal studies, she completed her French baccalauréat at Collège International Marie de France, in the speciality Society and Economy. Before entering McGill, her devotion to allowing equality for all, reflected itself in her implication as a volunteer tutor for immigrant students of families of low income at Baobab Familial, a nonlucratif organisation. Keenly interested in human rights and its effects on access to justice, she is both a member of the Avocats Sans Frontières and the Arbitration Student Society clubs at McGill. Furthermore, she was selected for a twomonths internship with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) responsible for research for NGOs in the middle-eastern region and African continent. Driven by the possibility of equal rights and access to justice, she hopes to continue advocating these fundamental aspects of a just society. The prospect of working at the Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos (IDEHPUCP) this summer promises to be an enriching and exciting experience for her.

Catherine Ndiaye – Equitas – Montreal, Canada

Catherine Ndiaye is a first-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. Prior to her legal studies Law, she was an Honours Psychology student at John Abbott College, where she was the recipient of the Women Studies & Gender Relations certificate, as well as the Peace & Social Justice Studies certificate. During her collegiate years, she presided over the Black Student Union club, where she organized “Systemic Racism Awareness Week” events and created a discussion group for racialized students in predominantly White institutions. As well, she participated in various other clubs and committees advocating for marginalized individuals while enhancing race relations.

At the Faculty of Law, Catherine is a member of the Black Law Student Association and a member of the International Refugee Assistance Project. She hopes to make a difference in society by advocating for marginalized individuals through Human Rights law. Catherine is excited to combine her interests in social justice, human rights and grassroots activism by interning at Equitas this summer.

Vidish Parikh – Office of the Federal Housing Advocate at the Canadian Human Rights Commission

Vidish is a second-year law student at McGill University (BCL/JD). He studied Economics with a focus on Statistics and Policy in his previous studies and continues to have an appreciation for the power of data analysis as a tool to meaningfully unravel the stories behind numbers.

Vidish’s legal interests lie in Constitutional and Criminal law matters. He is particularly interested in oral advocacy within these fields. He has worked in some of these areas in the past, most recently as a summer law student at the Department of Justice in Health Canada’s Legal Services Unit, where he was exposed to Federal Cannabis Regulation and other Health Law issues.

As a first-generation immigrant and visible minority, Vidish has always had a passion for advocating for human rights and addressing justice issues. He wishes to continue to use his transystemic legal education to approach legal and policy issues with emotional intelligence. In his free time, he enjoys reading and writing about these issues and others (such as the trials and tribulations of being a Leafs fan)!

This summer, Vidish looks forward to leveraging his interdisciplinary toolkit to learn more about the right to affordable housing through the work at the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s Office of The Housing Advocate in Ottawa.

Genny Plumptre – Conseil national des droits de l’Homme – Rabat, Maroc

Genny is a second year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds an MA in Communication Studies and Art History from McGill University, where her research focused on temporal technologies of border control in the context of Canadian liberalism; as well as an Honours BA in Contemporary Studies and History from the University of King’s College.

Prior to her legal studies, Genny worked in a variety of arts organizations and cultural institutions, including the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. She also volunteered with Solidarity Across Borders’ Education Collective, assisting non-status and precarious status migrants to enrol their children in Québec schools and advocating for universal access to education.

Genny has worked as a legal research assistant on topics of systemic discrimination, AI-based workplace surveillance, and privacy risks resulting from the data brokerage industry in Canada. She serves as Associate Editor of both the McGill Law Journal and Rooted: A Publication on Indigenous Law. Genny looks forward to broadening her understanding of equality and human rights law this summer, as an intern with the National Human Rights Council in Rabat, Morocco.

Hannah Reardon – Justice and Correctional Services of the Cree Nation Government – Waswanipi, Québec, Canada

Hannah is a second-year BCL/JD student. Prior to studying law, she completed a Master’s degree in Anthropology. Her thesis focused on participative management frameworks for protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon.

Beyond her studies at McGill, Hannah is also the coordinator for the HocheLégal legal information clinic in her neighbourhood. In addition, she is an associate editor at the McGill Journal for Sustainable Development Law and a group assistant in the first-year bilingual section of Criminal Justice.

Hannah is passionate about access to justice and a firm believer in local self-determination and indigenous sovereignty. She looks forward to working for the Justice and Correctional Services of the Cree Nation.

Noémie Richard – Elimu Impact Evaluation Centre – Kianyaga, Kenya

Noémie is a 1L student in the McGill Law Faculty. Prior to this, she completed a undergraduate degree in Global and International Studies, majoring in Global Law and Social Justice at Carleton University. During that time, she had the opportunity to work in the Senate of Canada and in the Parliament of Kosovo. Noémie has a passion for travelling which brought her to volunteer, travel, work and live in many parts of the world.

Charlotte Risdale – Centre for Law and Democracy – Halifax, NS

Charlotte is a 1L student in the BCL/JD Program at McGill. She holds an Honours BSc in biology from McGill, and has worked on many fieldwork projects. Her interest in food security and environmental science have motivated her previous work in the non-profit sector and in ecological conservation.

Since starting law school, Charlotte has been involved in research projects with Pro Bono Students Canada and legal clinics. She is currently researching migrant farm workers’ rights in Canada and beyond.

Keenly interested in human rights and comparative constitutional law, she is looking forward to working with the Centre for Law and Democracy this summer.

Brandon Sakoiewátho Bonspiel – Justice Department at the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne – Ontario/Quebec/NY border

Bonspiel is a first year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a Minor in Law & Society from Concordia University. Prior to McGill Law, Bonspiel worked at Apple Inc, where he was tasked with business growth, leadership, and technical support duties. Bonspiel has been an intern at Patel Legal Inc. since 2019. Through this experience Bonspiel’s main focus is on pro-bono files catering to minority groups. Additionally, he has been a board member at First Nations Paramedics since 2018. The ambulance company serves his home territory of Kanehsatà:ke. Bonspiel’s interest for human rights is rooted in access to justice and the lack thereof. He is excited to enhance his knowledge of indigenous law, human rights & transsystemic legal mechanisms. For the summer 2022, Brandon Sakoiewátho Bonspiel will be interning at the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Justice Department.

Poonam Sandhu – Human Rights Watch, New York City, USA

Poonam is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a Masters in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of British Columbia.

Prior to coming to law school, Poonam worked for the Federal Government of Canada and briefly as an impact and evaluation researcher in Lima, Peru. At the Faculty, Poonam is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Inter Gentes: McGill Journal of International Law and Legal Pluralism and Project Director for the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) – McGill Chapter. A highlight of her time at McGill has been volunteering as a caseworker for the Legal Information Clinic.

Poonam is passionate about interdisciplinary research on human rights issues at both the international and domestic levels. She is deeply grateful to have the opportunity to further her understanding of human rights and international justice through an internship with Human Rights Watch.

Weeab Ben Rejeb –  Aswat Nissa –  Tunis, Tunisia

Weeam is a second-year student in the BCL/JD program at the McGill Faculty of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and International Development Studies from McGill University.

Prior to her legal studies, she worked at Canada’s Development Finance Institute focused on gender-lens investing in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. At the Faculty, Weeam is an executive with the Women of Colour Collective and a caseworker at the Legal Information Clinic. She is also actively involved in advocacy work around Bill 21 and equity initiatives on campus. She is passionate about increased access to justice, advocacy, and human rights.

Weeam is excited to participate in the internship program with Aswat Nissa, an NGO that advocates for gender equality and increased political participation of women in Tunisia.

Angela Yang – Citizen Lab – Toronto, CA

Angela is a second year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. Born in Montreal but raised in Hong Kong, she moved to the United States to pursue a BA at Brown University, where she created her own major in the field of critical humanitarianism. While at Brown, she also spent a semester on exchange in Nepal, Jordan, and Chile studying comparative human rights. Prior to law school, she worked for various organizations engaging with migrants’ rights, anti-human trafficking policies, as well as racial and climate justice in the media.

At the Faculty, Angela is a Senior Editor for the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law, an active member of the McGill International Law Society, and a research assistant in equality and discrimination law. She also volunteers with Pro Bono Students Canada at PINAY, where she conducts research on labour laws relating to caregivers.

Angela thinks often about issues of justice and injustice that ignore or transgress borders, in whatever shape those borders take. She is incredibly excited to join the team at Citizen Lab this summer to further unpack those issues.

The 2021 Interns

Our 2021 Cohort

Our 2021 Cohort met over Zoom several times to prepare for this summer’s remote internships.

Ayelet Ami – Centre for Law and Democracy, Halifax, New Brunswick, Canada

Ami Ayelet

Ayelet Ami is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill University. She holds a DEC in Social Sciences from Dawson College, having completed the program’s Law, Society and Justice profile.

Keenly interested in human rights, she pairs her legal studies with a position as the McGill Wallenberg Advocacy Group’s (WAG’s) Director of Legal Advocacy, fighting for political prisoners’ freedom. She is also a copy editor at the Faculty of Law’s bilingual newspaper, the Quid Novi, and a caseworker at the Legal Information Clinic at McGill (LICM).

Having gained some insight into the critical interplay between justice and freedom of expression through her work at WAG and into freedom of the press and access to information through the Quid and LICM respectively, she wonders what these rights entail internationally. This summer, she is excited to address this question and more as an intern at the Centre for Law and Democracy in Halifax. Read her posts.

Isabel Baltzan – Legal Clinic on Human Rights and Disability, Lima, Peru

Isabel BaltzanIsabel is a 1L student in the BCL/JD program at McGill. Before starting her legal studies, she completed a BSc in pharmacology at McGill. Her interest in healthcare, human rights and accessibility have driven her academic and research interests.

She currently works as a research assistant at the Ingram School of Nursing Migration and Reproductive Health Research Group and volunteers with Pro Bono Students Canada through the Law Faculty, working to vulgarize family law matters for Inter-Val 1175, a women’s shelter in Montreal.

She hopes to continue working to promote equity at the intersection of health and law in all aspects. The prospect of working on disability rights and access to care this summer promises to be an enriching and exciting experience for her. Read her posts.

Johanna Cline – Avocats Sans Frontières, Québec, Québec

Johanna ClineJohanna is a first year BCL/JD student at the McGill Faculty of Law. A New Brunswick native, she moved to Montreal to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Honours Philosophy with a minor in Gender, Sexuality, Feminist and Social Justice Studies (GSFS) at McGill University. During her undergraduate degree, Johanna worked as a research assistant on topics in feminist philosophy, epistemic injustice and discrimination. She also volunteered on the board of directors at the St-James Drop-In Centre, a centre for those who are experiencing homelessness and marginalization in Montreal.

At McGill, Johanna is a junior editor at the McGill Journal of Law and Health. She also volunteers with the LEX program and the LSA’s Mental Health Committee.

Her legal interests include access to justice, human rights, the intersection of law and health and the philosophy of law. She looks forward to learning more about human rights law during her summer internship with Avocats Sans Frontières. Read her posts.

Katerina Cook – Dignity Network

Katerina CookKaterina is a second-year BCL/JD student at the McGill Faculty of Law. Prior to studying law, she was at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she was awarded Best Contemporary Studies Honours Thesis for her paper on the phenomenology of LGBTQ-parented families.

En dehors de ses études, elle est passionnée du chant choral et de son travail en clinique juridique, où elle poursuit son intérêt pour l’accès à la justice et la vulgarisation de concepts juridiques.

This summer, Katerina looks forward to promoting international LGBTIQ human rights with the Dignity Network.

Read her posts.

Gabriela De Medeiros – Justice Department of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Akwesasne, Québec, Canada

Gabriela De MedeirosI was born in Brazil and moved to Canada at age 7, and since then have been deeply concerned with the conditions that make it possible for some people to live well and freely while others struggle in poverty.

I have studied languages, communications, and psychology, and eventually found myself at McGill Law, where I have continued pursuing these questions. The major in International Human Rights has given me the incredible opportunity to engage with potential systemic solutions, and I am honoured to be completing this degree with an internship at the Akwesasne Justice Department this summer. Read her posts.

Janelle Deniset – Ateneo Centre, Manila, Philippines

Janelle DenisetJanelle is a second-year student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a Master of Global Affairs from the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs along with a Bachelor of Arts (hon.) in Political Science from the University of Winnipeg.

Prior to attending law school, Janelle worked as a Policy Analyst for Global Affairs Canada in Inter-American Affairs. Previously, she worked in Nairobi, Kenya, as a Special Projects Officer for the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, as part of their international youth fellowship program. She also spent time in Geneva, Switzerland as a Junior Policy Officer at the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, where she was part of a team that successfully supported the adoption of a resolution on the elimination of violence against women and girls, including Indigenous women and girls, at the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council.

Janelle continues to pursue her interests as a law student at McGill. She is currently volunteering for the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) as well as the McGill International Law Society (MILS).  Read her posts.

Camila Franco – Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos de la Pontificia Universidad Católica, Perú

Camila FrancoCamila is a second year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology, and a Certificate of International Learning from the University of Alberta. Prior to coming to McGill Law, Camila worked as a front-line social worker at the Youth Restorative Action Project, a youth justice committee in Edmonton that supports vulnerable youth navigating the justice system.

At the Faculty, Camila is currently a program coordinator for the L.E.X. (Law, Éducation, Connexion) youth outreach program. She is also a case worker at the Legal Information Clinic at McGill and an active member of Radlaw, where she participates in various abolitionist initiatives and co-produces Legalease,a community radio show.

Camila is passionate about youth empowerment, abolitionism, migrant justice, state accountability, as well as extra-judicial means to expand access to justice such as education, storytelling, and civic participation. She is deeply grateful to have the opportunity to work for the Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos de la Pontificia Universidad Católica Perú (IDEHPUCP) to examine issues related to state corruption and the current forced displacement crisis of Venezuelan refugees in Latin America. Read her posts.

Mehri Ghazanjani – Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Mehri Ghazanjani Mehri has finished her first year of the BCL/JD program at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. She holds a PhD in sociology from McGill University, with a specialization in ethnic conflict and civil war. Mehri took four trips to Iran, Turkey, and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to conduct field observations and interviews with Kurdish Peshmerga. Her dissertation offers a comprehensive account of the emergence and growth of Kurdish insurgencies and provides insights into practical possibilities of conflict resolution in Iran while situating the conflict in the broader geopolitical context of the Middle East.

Furthermore, as a course lecturer at McGill, her goal has been to help her students develop their critical thinking skills and to create a positive learning environment by respecting and promoting intellectual diversity. Whether listening to the stories of Kurdish Peshmerga, studying/teaching civil conflict and war, or actively engaging in the pro-democracy movements of Iran, Mehri was reminded again and again that justice is not a given, and that strong advocates are needed to help give voice and strength to those who are so often silenced or ignored. Her personal life and academic experiences have reinforced her beliefs in the importance of human rights and the potential of the law to protect and strengthen them. Read her posts.

Christoph Ivancic – British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, BC, Canada

Christoph IvancicChristoph is a third-year BCL/JD student at the McGill Faculty of Law. He holds a BA in Political Science from the Memorial University of Newfoundland where he wrote a thesis in critical feminist legal studies examining sexual assault law.

Christoph has had a number of experiences at various intersections of human rights and law. Early in his undergraduate degree, he worked for the Victim/Witness assistance program at the courthouse in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where he got an appreciation for the impacts of the criminal justice system on Canada’s indigenous peoples. Later in his degree, he was an investigator for the Newfoundland Human Rights Commission. These experiences gave him an appreciation for human rights as both a practical and theoretical project.

Currently, Christoph is interested in projects that allow him to engage with both sides of human rights, working on policy projects with Dyslexia Canada and volunteering at the McGill Legal Information Clinic. He is also a lover of oral advocacy and hopes to be mooting in the coming year. Christoph is excited to learn more about human rights issues at the forefront of Canadian society with the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association this summer. Read his posts.

Garima Karia – Yukon Human Rights Commission, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Garima KariaGarima is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds an Honours B.A. in political science and history from McGill and spent a semester on exchange at Sciences Po Paris. During her undergrad, Garima was lucky enough to gain work experience in venture capital and strategy at the Business Development Bank of Canada and in private equity and impact investing at a firm in London, England.

At the Faculty, Garima is a Senior Editor for the McGill Law Journal and Contours, an active member of the Women of Colour Collective, and a research assistant in tax and contracts. She is deeply interested in the relationship between private law, economic systems, and critical studies.  She believes that intersectional approaches are necessary for more equitable legislating and policymaking in traditionally quantitative and business-oriented fields.

Some of Garima’s most meaningful law school experiences took place during her time as a volunteer caseworker at the Legal Information Clinic at McGill and with L.E.X., an organization that provides legal workshops and mentorship sessions to youth belonging to under-represented groups in legal education and in the legal profession or who face systemic barriers to education. This work cemented her ongoing commitment to access to justice. She looks forward to learning more about and contributing to access to justice initiatives in Northern Canada this summer at the Yukon Human Rights Commission in Whitehorse. Read her posts.

Kendra Landry – Bulgarian Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (BCNL), Sofia, Bulgaria

Kendra LandryKendra is a second-year student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She grew up in small-town Nova Scotia and completed a bachelor’s degree in English and French from Université de Moncton. Afterwards, she moved to Ottawa to complete a master’s degree in English literature from Carleton University, concentrating on feminist and queer studies.

At the Faculty, she served as both senior and specialized editor for the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law, and as VP Events for Lawyers without Borders McGill. Additionally, she volunteered with the Legal Information Clinic at McGill, and completed a Pro Bono Students Canada placement with the National Self-Represented Litigants Project. She currently works as a research assistant in the field of health law and has thoroughly enjoyed acting as a group assistant for the first-year extra-contractual obligations course this year.

Kendra is passionate about intersectional feminism, disability rights, and access to justice. In her free time, she loves swimming, biking, and playing the guitar. She is thrilled to undertake a remote internship with the Bulgarian Centre for Non-for-Profit Law, and to engage meaningfully with disability law and policy. Read her posts.

Bryce Lansdell – Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Center, Saskatchewan, Canada

Bryce LansdellBryce is a first year BCL/JD student at McGill’s faculty of law. He holds a Bachelor of Music, honours piano performance from Western University and a Master of Music in piano performance from McGill. During his undergraduate degree, Bryce helped organise an improvised music program for adults who were marginalized and housing-insecure with Sanctuary London. He also helped found the Youth Music Network, a free after school music program in Little Burgundy, during his Master’s while working with McGill’s Institute for the Public Life of the Arts and Ideas (IPLAI). Prior to law school, Bryce worked as a music director and collaborative pianist. He is passionate about the intersection of law, human rights, and community development, and is excited to intern with the Indigenous Law Centre this summer. Read his posts.

Niamh Leonard – Citizen Lab, Munk School, U. of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Niamh LeonardNiamh is a second-year law student at McGill University and has a particular interest in democracy and governance.

As president of the board of directors of the national nonprofit Apathy is Boring, she helps support young Canadians in becoming active citizens. In the 2019 federal election, Apathy is Boring reached over 1.4 million young Canadians. Niamh is also a board member at the Welcome Collective and at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics.

Prior to law school, Niamh worked at the McConnell Foundation, a philanthropic foundation that applies social innovation and social finance approaches to Canada’s most pressing challenges, including the equitable transition to a low-carbon economy and the quest for justice for Indigenous peoples.

Given her long-standing interest in democracy, Niamh is delighted to join the team at the Citizen Lab, where she will conduct research on legislative and policy responses to transnational digital repression. She knows nothing about cyber surveillance, but can’t wait to learn! Read her posts.

Attou Mamat – Commission des droits de la personne et de la jeunesse, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Attou MamatAttou is a third-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She is also pursuing a minor in Gender, Sexuality, Feminist and Social Justice Studies.

Avant ses études en droit, Attou a complété un DEC en Sciences de la nature au Cégep de l’Outaouais, à Gatineau, sur le territoire non-cédé de la nation algonquine anishinaabe. À McGill, elle s’implique notamment auprès de l’Association des étudiant(e)s noir(e)s en droit depuis 2018 et du journal Contours depuis 2019. Cette année, elle a contribué à la révision du mandat du journal pour adopter une approche intersectionnelle tenant compte de la diversité de genre. En sa capacité de présidente du comité de baladodiffusion, elle a travaillé sur le nouveau balado Outspoken! / Franc-parler!, qui explore le thème de la justice de genre sous cette approche.

Attou is deeply interested in justice both within and beyond institutional mechanisms. Her research interests include critical race theory, decolonial theory, feminist theory, police and prison abolition, and transformative justice. In 2018-2019, she volunteered for Pro Bono Students Canada at the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations and worked on numerous cases related to police interactions and racial profiling. She is looking forward to continuing to learn about human rights law during her internship at the Quebec Human Rights Commission this summer. Read her posts.

Kazumi Moore – Canadian Human Rights Commission, Office of the Housing Advocate, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kazumi MooreKazumi Moore is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in International Management and International Relations from McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management. Kazumi works part-time for the Policy and Economic Research Council (PERC) as an economic policy researcher, as well as at the Faculty as a research assistant for Professor Christians.

Outside of academics, Kazumi is a senior editor for the McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution and a caseworker for the Legal Information Clinic at McGill. Her legal interests include international law, access to justice, and income inequality. She is looking forward to interning with the new Office of Federal Housing Advocate and gaining practical experience in the human rights field. Read her posts.

Basile Moreau – Haitian Bridge Alliance, USA

Basile MoreauBasile is a first-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in International Studies with a focus on economic development, as well as minors in History and Economics.

Prior to law school, Basile was a member of the Tisch Scholars program, a Tufts-based program connecting students to local organizations leading social justice campaigns. Through the program, Basile worked on reproductive justice with Ibis Reproductive Health and on humanitarian response to natural disaster with Oxfam America.

Basile is interested in better understanding the connections between development, migration and human rights. He is very excited to work on asylum rights this summer with Haitian Bridge Alliance and to learn more on how to combat the unfair and racists U.S. immigration system. Read his posts.

Kassandra Neranjan – Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kassandra NeranjanKassandra Neranjan is a Gender Justice Researcher and Advocate entering her third year in the BCL/JD program at McGill University Faculty of Law. Kassandra completed her undergraduate degree in International Relations and Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies at Trinity College, University of Toronto. With passions at the nexus of intersectional feminism and global affairs, Kassandra’s research has brought her to examining different experiences of women globally across her academic career. This includes gendered aid provision for Rohingya refugee women and girls in Bangladesh; women’s experiences under security decentralization in Myanmar, women’s adaptive capacity and resilience under climate change; and long-term responses for access to justice in Rohingya refugee camps for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

As a gender justice advocate, Kassandra has spoken in various spaces addressing global affairs and feminist policymaking from the Toronto Women’s March to the United Nations General Assembly. As a law student, Kassandra is executive editor of Inter Gentes: McGill Journal of International Law and Legal Pluralism, Vice President of the Woman of Colour Collective, and Co-Founder of ‘Dictum’ – the school’s first student-run think tank. Read her posts.

Sarah Nixon – Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik Legal Services – Iqualuit, Nunavut, Canada

Chloe RourkeSarah is a third year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a BA in Human Rights and Legal Studies from Carleton University. She grew up in Thunder Bay, on Robinson-Superior Treaty territory. Before deciding to come to law school, she worked as a server in fine dining, and as a legislative reporter for iPoliticsINTEL, where she primarily followed the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.

At McGill, Sarah works as a Senior Editor with the McGill Law Journal, and as the Co-Executive Editor of Rooted, a multimedia publication which explores and promotes Indigenous law and perspectives. Sarah has also worked in the Faculty of Law as a research assistant on topics in criminal and constitutional law, and as a volunteer with Pro Bono Students Canada, the Legal Information Clinic at McGill, and the Immigrant Workers Centre.

Sarah is very excited to learn and contribute to the important work of the Legal Services Board of Nunavut as a Summer Intern in 2021. Read her posts.

Mohammed Odusanya – Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Mohammed OdusanyaMohammed is a first-year student in the BCL/JD program at McGill University. He holds a Joint Honours degree in Art History and Gender, Sexuality, Feminist & Social Justice Studies from McGill.

During his undergraduate degree, he interned for Senator Kim Pate, conducting research on mass incarceration in the Canadian penal system. He was also the advocacy coordinator for the Black Students’ Network, during which time he co-organized the inaugural Black Grad.

This summer, he hopes to broaden his knowledge of the intersection between incarceration and social justice through his work at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. Read his posts.

Timothy Parr – Justice and Correctional Services of the Cree Nation, Waswinipi, Québec, Canada

Timothy ParrTim Parr graduated with distinction from Concordia University, with a Specialization in Film Studies (with a Minor in Law and Society) at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. He received the Sandra and Leo Kolber Scholarship for his achievements in the program. He pursued his graduate studies at Mel Hoppenheim where he received the Concordia and De Sève Graduate University fellowships. He also was awarded a Joseph-Armand Bombardier research grant through the Social Science and Human Research Council of Canada (SHRCC) for his thesis on the representation of the World Trade Centre (WTC) in film. After completing his thesis, Parr was admitted the Faculty of Law at McGill.

Parr contemplated studying law before studying film while he was a Liberal Arts student at Vanier College. His studies have been guided by an interdisciplinary approach. While he is interested in criminal law, human rights, and legal technology, he enjoys engaging critically with film, literature, and philosophy. He volunteered as a caseworker at the Legal Information Clinic at McGill and did legal research for the Center for Research Action on Race Relations through the Pro Bono Students of Canada.

For summer 2021, Parr will intern for the Justice and Correctional Services of the Cree Nation Government. Read his posts.

Nick Pineau – Canadian HIV-Aids Legal Network, Toronto, Ontario

Nick PineauNick is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Victoria, and he has worked in the technology and energy sectors of Canada.

At McGill Law, Nick currently serves as a senior editor for Inter Gentes, the McGill Journal of International Law and Legal Pluralism. He also acts as a caseworker with the Legal Information Clinic at McGill, helping deliver legal information to local community members and thereby seeking to increase access to justice. Nick also volunteers with L.E.X. “Law – Éducation – Connexion”, where he delivers law-related workshops to Montréal high school classes with other McGill law students to aid in democratizing legal instruction.

Nick is very excited to begin his work with the HIV Legal Network; and particularly to learn more about decriminalization efforts for HIV non-disclosure, drug use, and sex work. He is also looking forward to learning more about the intersection of law and policy, as well as advocacy efforts that stem from Canadian non-governmental organizations. Read his posts.

Hannah Reaburn – Ministry of Justice, Namibia

Hannah ReaburnHannah is a first-year JD/BCL student at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. She is a Junior Editor on the McGill Journal of Law and Health. She also volunteers with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, which provides legal advice and information to low-income people in Alberta.

Prior to law school, Hannah completed a MA degree in Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto. Her SSHRC-funded thesis research focused on student engagement in the revision of sexual violence policies at universities in Ontario. During her BA degree at Ryerson University, Hannah worked at the Centre for Women and Trans People on campus where she did a variety of advocacy work pertaining to institutional responses to sexual violence.

Additionally, Hannah has worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, The 519 in Toronto, and at the Ontario Ministry of Child, Community and Social Services. These projects have included work on sexual violence, reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, and trauma-informed mental health care.

Hannah is particularly interested in the accessibility of legal resources, health law, and feminist theory and practice. Read her posts.

Alex Recher – Institute for Human Rights (IHRDA), Banjul, The Gambia

Alex RecherAlex is a first-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law originally from New York State, USA.

Previously, he completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in International Affairs and French at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, during which time he studied abroad in London, Paris and Senegal. He also interned at New York City Housing Court in the Bronx, NY and in the Political Office of the US Embassy in Kinshasa, DR Congo.

He is excited to increase his understanding of human rights on the international level, and is greatly looking forward to his internship with IHRDA. Read his posts.

Chloe Rourke – Council of Canadians with Disabilities, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Chloe RourkeChloe is a second year BCL/JD student at the McGill Faculty of Law. Prior to law, she studied cognitive science and sociology at McGill.  After graduating Chloe moved to Ottawa to work in disability management and health systems improvement. She managed short-term disability benefit claims and accommodation requests for clients.

Chloe also completed an internship with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement working to improve care for residents with dementia in long-term care homes in the Maritime provinces. Since returning to Montreal she has volunteered with Climate Justice Montreal, Les Fruits Défendus and completed a permaculture design course. Chloe is excited to be working with the Council for Canadians with Disabilities this summer. Read her posts.

Chrys Saget-Richard – Equitas, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Chrys Saget-RichardChrys is a 4L student at the McGill University Faculty of Law. Prior to their legal studies, they completed a Bachelor’s in Social Work at Ryerson University, while heavily involved in equity work and activism around issues of anti-Black racism, decolonization and anti-colonialism, Queer and Trans liberation struggles, mental health, disability and education.

They currently volunteer at the Peterborough Community Legal Centres Trans ID clinic and work as a legal research assistant with JusticeTrans, an organization dedicated to increasing access to justice for trans folks in Canada. Read their posts.

 

Emma Sitland – Human Rights Watch, NYC, New York, USA

Emma SitlandEmma is a second-year student in the BCL/JD program at McGill. Prior to her legal studies, she completed her undergraduate degree in International Development Studies and African Studies at McGill University. Emma’s interest in social justice and human rights led her to pursue experiences interning at the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice in Ghana and with Equitas Centre for International Human Rights Education here in Montreal.

At the Faculty of Law, Emma has been involved as an Executive Editor on the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law and on the executive committee of Avocats sans frontières McGill. She also volunteers with the Legal Information Clinic at McGill and Pro Bono Students Canada. Emma is very excited to work with Human Rights Watch this summer promoting human rights and international justice, and hopes to pursue similar work upon completion of her legal studies. Read her posts.

Ellen Spannagel – Forum for Human Rights, Prague, Czech Republic

Ellen SpannagelEllen is a second year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism and Humanities from Carleton University.

She is passionate about work that is disability-inclusive and centers gender, sexual, and romantic minorities. She is also passionate about storytelling, and the ways in which knowledge is built, translated, and shared across regions and communities. Ellen grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and she enjoys spending her free time outdoors.

Ellen is thrilled to be doing her internship with Forum for Human Rights, an organization primarily based in Prague working in strategic litigation on human rights issues. Read her posts.

Jeremy Wiener – Commission des droits de la personne et de la jeunesse, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Jeremy WienerJeremy is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Queen’s University and studied at Sciences Po Paris.

Jeremy has worked at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, served on the editorial board of the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law, and volunteered at a range of legal clinics including the Legal Information Clinic at McGill. He now helps to direct the Wallenberg Advocacy Group, a student club dedicated to defending political prisoners; volunteers at the Clinique juridique itinérante; interns at McGill’s Institute for Health and Social Policy; and works as a research assistant. Jeremy’s interests are underpinned by the pursuit of justice. Read his posts.

Taryn Wilkie – International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Colombo, Sri Lanka

Taryn WilkieTaryn is a second-year law student in the BCL/JD program at McGill. Prior to starting law school, she completed a dual degree Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Political Science with a minor in International Relations (UBC) and a Bachelor of Arts from Sciences Po, Euro-American campus de Reims, France.

At McGill, TarYn works with the International Refugee Assistance Project, researching and writing blog posts on Canadian immigration and refugee law. She also volunteers with Solidarity across Borders, working on humanitarian and compassionate grounds claims.

Her legal interests combine human rights, immigration and refugee law, and using the law to combat gender discrimination. Read her posts.

Mathew Yaworski – Yukon Human Rights Commission, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Mathew YaworskiMathew Yaworski is a mature student and second year BCL/JD student.  He holds Honours Bachelor of Arts (York), Master of Public Administration (Dalhousie), and Master of Industrial Relations (Queen’s) degrees.

A lifelong stutterer, Mathew is a proud member of the Canadian Stuttering Association and McGill Law Club for Persons with Disabilities. He is passionate about disability rights, employment equity, and workplace and social justice. He served as the Student Accessibility Commissioner for the Dalhousie University Student Union. He was also a member of the Policy Pro Bono Program at Queen’s University, where he worked as an advisor to Outreach St. George’s Kingston, a non-profit secular organization assisting vulnerable persons.

Since arriving at McGill, Mathew volunteered with Lawyers without Borders. This year, he worked as a Junior Student Advocate with the Legal Information Clinic at McGill and was President of the McGill Labour & Employment Law Club. He continues to serve as a Student Ambassador for the Faculty of Law.

Prior to attending McGill, Mathew worked as a policy advisor and in human resources (labour relations), in the private and public sectors. He previously worked for General Motors of Canada, the Province of Ontario, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Government of Canada, the University of Calgary, and the City of Toronto. Read his posts.


The 2020 Interns

The 2020 International Human Rights Internships Cohort, along with the program coordinators at an orientation session in February.

The 2020 International Human Rights Internships Cohort, along with the program coordinators at an orientation session in February. Photo by Lysanne Larose.

Summer 2020: because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of our summer 2020 interns worked remotely, some did an internship with a local NGO instead, and others deferred until next year.

Nilani Ananthamoorthy – Yukon Human Rights Commission – Whitehorse, Yukon (remote internship)

Nilani AnanthamoorthyNilani is a second-year BCL/JD student at the McGill Faculty of Law. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from McMaster University and a Master’s of Sciences degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences from the University of Ottawa.

Prior to attending law school, Nilani was a research assistant at the Perry Lab at York University, where she assisted on a project exploring the experiences of parents raising children with development disabilities. At the University of Ottawa, Nilani was a member of the EnRiCH lab, where she was involved with community-based projects focusing on health, resilience and disability.

Nilani is particularly interested in the intersection of health law and human rights. Currently, she is a Senior Editor for the McGill Journal of Law and Health and a research associate with the Canada Research Chair in Human Rights and Transnational Environmental Governance at McGill University. She is looking forward to learning more about the implementation of human rights and anti-discrimination law at the Yukon Human Rights Commission this summer. Read her posts.

Amanda Bowie-Edwards – Avocats Sans Frontières – Ville de Québec, Québec (remote internship)

Amanda Bowie-Edwards Amanda is a second year BCL/JD student at the McGill Faculty of Law. Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, she moved to Montreal during high school. Prior to studying law, she obtained a DEC from John Abbott College in Liberal Arts.

Outside of the classroom, Amanda serves as VP Clubs and Services on the Law Students’ Association. She also volunteers at the Legal Information Clinic and is an associate managing editor for the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law. This past summer, she interned at West Island Community Shares, where she worked on projects aimed at supporting local NGOs. This work led to an interest in community-based approaches to human rights issues. She is also interested in the intersection between human rights, environmental justice, and intergenerational equity. Amanda is excited and very grateful to have the chance to broaden her understanding of human rights law this summer – and to improve her French!

Shadaye Cousins – Canadian HIV-Aids Legal Network, Toronto, Ontario (remote internship)

Shadaye CousinsShadaye is a second year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a BA in Sociology with a minor in Education from McGill University and a MA in Criminology from the University of Toronto. Through her studies, she has been able to build upon and further explore her interdisciplinary interests in law, sociology and criminology. This interest has led her to pursue diverse experiences in the public sector while engaging in various community-oriented initiatives.

As a contributor to “Open Dialogue with the Surviving Families of Homicide Symposium”, a joint initiative between the Ontario Provincial Police and the University of Toronto, she contributed to policy recommendations that offered law enforcement different perspectives on criminal investigations that include the need for victim-focused training to support and respond to crime victims effectively.

Gemma Dingwall – Justice and Correctional Services of the Cree Nation Government, Waswanipi, Québec (télé-stage)

Gemma DingwallGemma est en deuxième année de droit à McGill. Avant son entrée à McGill, elle a habité à Ottawa pendant cinq années où elle a fait son Baccalauréat en français à l’université Carleton et travaillé pour le gouvernement fédéral. Elle est passionnée des droits humains dans le système de justice, notamment, l’application du droit dans les communautés rurales et isolées.

Gemma currently volunteers with Action Réfugées completing detention review reports and is developing legal workshops for Maison Plein Coeur through McGill Pro Bono program. Gemma is also a recreation representative for McGill’s Nordic Ski team.

Gemma is currently a McGill Global Health Scholar. This program provided her with the opportunity to conduct a research project in Eeyou Istchee on cyberbullying. She is looking forward to returning to the region to work with the Cree Nation’s Department of Justice and Correctional Services. Read her posts.

Amina Djouaher – Aswat Nissa (Voix des femmes), Tunisie (télé-stage)

Amina DjouaherAmina termine sa deuxième année en droit à McGill. Avant cela, elle a étudié au Cégep de Saint-Laurent dans le programme de double DEC en Danse et en Sciences naturelles. Le côté créatif de cette expérience lui a ouvert l’esprit à la découverte des sciences humaines et plus particulièrement du droit.

Elle s’implique à McGill dans différents clubs et journaux étudiants dont Contours et Animal Advocacy Club / Défense animale où elle fut impliquée dans la création du club. Elle a aussi été bénévole pour la clinique d’information juridique de McGill et a commencée à s’impliquer avec Élèves Pro-Bono au CRARR.

Pour l’instant, elle s’intéresse à de multiples facettes du droit allant du droit constitutionnel à la propriété intellectuelle. Elle a très hâte de commencer son stage auprès de l’organisation Aswat Nissa et de pouvoir se replonger dans ses racines maghrébines. NOTA BENE: suite à la pandémie de la COVID-19, Amina effectuera plutôt son stage avec le CRARR à Montréal. 

Maya Gunnarsson – Justice Department, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Ontario/Quebec/NY border (remote internship)

Maya GunnarssonMaya is a second-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a BA in Political Science from McGill and an M.A. in Canadian & Indigenous Studies from Trent University. Her master’s thesis looked at the role of the media in the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada, with a particular focus on the attacks on Tina Fontaine and Rinelle Harper in 2014.

Prior to coming to law school, Maya worked as a researcher for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, and completed an internship at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section in Geneva, Switzerland.

Since coming to law school, Maya has volunteered for Pro Bono Students Canada at the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, as well as with LEX, a high school outreach program. She is also the Executive Online Editor for the McGill Journal of Law and Health.

Maya is excited to for her placement in Akwesasne with the Mohawk Justice Department. She is looking forward to learning more about Indigenous law-making and self-determination, while being immersed in Mohawk culture.  Read her posts.

Alice Jeon – Law Reform and Development Commission, Windhoek, Namibia (remote internship)

Alice JeonI am a first-year student at McGill and excited to be part of the International Human Rights Internships Program for the upcoming year! To say a little more about myself: I grew up in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto. I then spent my undergraduate years at Harvard studying social studies and getting a citation in French.

I was lucky to receive a fellowship from Harvard that allowed me to pursue a master’s in Sciences Po in Paris for two years, during which I studied International affairs with a concentration in human rights.

At McGill, I am currently involved in the legal clinic, working as an intake officer. I am also a junior editor of Inter Gentes, the Journal for International Law and Legal Pluralism. Read her posts.

Nevada McEniry-Hatajlo – Bulgarian Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (BCNL), Sofia, Bulgaria

Nevada McEniry-HatajloNevada is a third year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She grew up in Montreal and completed her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies at Concordia University. She also completed a Women’s Studies certificate at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia. While working at Concordia, she worked at the CSU’s Legal Information Clinic, as well as at the CSU’s Advocacy Centre. These experiences helped guide her to apply to law school.

Nevada has really appreciated the more practical experiences she’s had in law school. Over the summer of 2019, she began shadowing the director of Innocence McGill, and is now a co-director for the 2019-2020 school year. This experience has solidified her interest in criminal law, but it has also taught her countless other things. In addition, she’s was a previous volunteer at a local sex-workers organization called Stella, in which she participated in an ongoing legal research project in documenting sex-work cases throughout Canada. Throughout her studies, she was also getting to know McGill better by working at McGill’s Office for Students with Disabilities.

Nevada is really passionate about intersectional feminism, as well as discussing issues of oppression. She thrives on being able to help people and make meaningful connections. She will be interning over the summer at the Bulgarian Centre for Not-For-Profit Law and is very excited to get to know the capital city of Sofia. Read her posts.

Mehlka Mustansir – Ateneo Human Rights Centre, Manila, the Philippines (remote internship)

Mehlka MustansirMehlka is a first year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She grew up in India and Kuwait, and holds a Joint BA in History and Political Science and an MA in Political Science from McGill University. During her graduate degree, she spent one year on exchange at Sciences Po, Paris specializing in security studies and economic policy.

At the Faculty, she is volunteering with the Food and Agriculture Law Clinic (Pro Bono Students Canada) and serving as a junior editor on the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law. Passionate about issues of sustainability and governance, she hopes to expand her toolkit by practicing both research and litigation during her summer internship. She is particularly looking forward to working on diverse projects related to the rights of migrant workers, indigenous peoples and children as well as corporate social responsibility at the Ateneo Human Rights Center in Manila, Philippines.

Jasmine Razavi – Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, Montréal, Québec (télé-stage)

Jasmine RazaviJasmine est une étudiante de deuxième année du programme BCL/JD de la Faculté de droit de l’Université McGill.

Tout en travaillant à temps partiel dans un cabinet-boutique en droit des affaires à Montréal, Jasmine explore sa passion pour la politique, le droit international et le droit criminel en s’impliquant un éventail varié activités. Elle est notamment chroniqueuse en droit criminel au Comité Recherche et Législation du Jeun Barreau de Montréal, coach de l’équipe NMUN du Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf et impliquée au sein d’Avocats Sans Frontières McGill pour la deuxième année. Elle a aussi participé au programme Women in House McGill durant sa première année et a eu la chance de suivre une sénatrice au Parlement du Canada.

Jasmine aura l’opportunité de poursuivre son intérêt pour le droit public en étant la première étudiante de McGill à la Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse. Read her posts.

Hanna Rioseco – Centre for Law & Democracy, Halifax, Nova Scotia (remote internship)

Hanna Rioseco Hanna Rioseco is a first-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She volunteers with the McGill Corporate Accountability Project and is a layout editor for Quid Novi, the Faculty’s student newspaper. Hanna also holds a Bachelors of Science in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University, where she focused her studies on visual culture, political persuasion, media as dissidence, and transnational media flows.

Prior to her legal studies, Hanna worked at PBS’ flagship station, WNET. She oversaw the digital presence of both local and national on-air programs, many of which she grew up watching herself. She was also involved in the development of digital-first initiatives, including Uncovering NYC, a web series about the legacy of New York’s first free Black communities, and First Person, a digital series about LGBTQ+ identity.

Hanna is interested in exploring the role of media in promoting democracy and its influence on culture and society. As the digital age continues to advance in unpredictable ways, Hanna is excited to learn how the law can ensure that all forms of media, both old and new, uphold democratic values and promote equality and access to justice. She is excited to combine and utilize her passion for human rights and expertise in digital culture this summer at the Centre for Law and Democracy in Halifax. Read her posts.

Kayla Maria Rolland – Disability and Climate Justice Working Group, Montreal, Quebec (remote internship)

Kayla Maria RollandKayla Maria Rolland is a second year BCL/JD student. Prior to law school, she completed a BAH in Political Studies from Queen’s University, where she was a staff writer and assistant editor of the Queen’s International Affairs Association’s publication The Observer and sat on the executive of Queen’s Amnesty International.

Here at McGill, Kayla is a senior editor of the Inter Gentes Journal of International Law and Legal Pluralism, VP-Finance of the McGill International Law Society, and a staff writer with the McGill International Review. In addition to her studies and extracurricular involvement, she also continues to work part-time with her summer employer.

Kayla is thrilled about the opportunity to join the One Earth Future Foundation this summer, and is much appreciative of the support of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. NOTA BENE: because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kayla Maria did a remote internship with the Disability and Climate Justice Working Group, instead of with the originally planned internship partner). Read her posts.

Sandrine Royer – Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos, Lima, Peru (remote internship)

Sandrine RoyerSandrine is in her first year as a BCL/JD student in McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds an Honours BA in international development from McGill University.

In the past, she has been an intern for Cyclo Nord-Sud, an NGO promoting sustainable mobility through increasing accessibility to bicycles. She also completed an Environmental Impact Assessment report during an internship with the Smithsonian Institute in Panama. She also did social work and taught piano and voice lessons in Sherbrooke, her hometown.

At the Faculty, Sandrine organizes events for the Indigenous Law Association de Droit Autochtone (ILADA) and volunteers for the Yukon Human Rights Commission through Pro Bono Students Canada.

Sandrine’s research and academic interests lie in the intersection between environment, indigenous legal traditions, refugees, and human rights. Read her posts.

Andrea Salguero – Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, Montreal, Quebec (remote internship)

Andrea SalgueroAndrea is a third year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy from McGill University. Andrea is interested in the intersection between human rights, immigration and labour law.

At the Faculty, Andrea is a senior editor for the McGill Law Journal and enjoys writing for the student paper. In her first year of law school she volunteered with ProBono Students Canada at the PINAY Filipino Women’s Organization in Quebec. In her third year, Andrea volunteered with an immigration advocacy non-profit organization based in El Paso, Texas.

This summer, Andrea is very much looking forward to working with colleagues from across South America and learning about the promotion of international justice through the work of the Inter-American Court for Human Rights in San José, Costa Rica. NOTA BENE: because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrea did a remote internship with Montreal’s Wallenberg Centre instead of with her originally planned NGO). Read her posts.

Marie-Denise Vane – Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik Legal Services, Iqualuit, Nunavut (télé-stage)

Marie-Denise VaneMarie-Denise est étudiante de deuxième année à la Faculté de droit de l’Université McGill et a précédemment obtenu son diplôme d’études collégiales au Collège André-Grasset. Native de Montréal et Afro-Québécoise, elle est intéressée par l’enjeu de l’autodétermination politique et socio-économique des pays africains. Elle travaille présentement pour le Centre sur les droits de la personne et le pluralisme juridique de McGill au niveau de l’organisation de Dialogues sur la Paix qui réuniront des dirigeants de l’Afrique de l’Ouest en mars 2020.

Passionnée par le litige, plus particulièrement le droit criminel et familial, elle a très hâte d’entreprendre son stage aux services d’aide juridique Maliiganik Tukisiinakvik à Iqaluit, au Nunavut, afin de pouvoir développer plus encore son intérêt pour les droits de la personne.

Marie-Denise est aussi impliquée bénévolement auprès de diverses organisations œuvrant dans différentes sphères de la société, allant notamment de l’appui aux personnes en situation d’itinérance avec la Clinique Juridique itinérante à la promotion du féminisme au sein du milieu juridique en tant que co-coordonatrice de Law Needs Feminism Because – McGill Chapter. Read her posts.

Sara Wright – Yukon Human Rights Commission, Whitehorse, Yukon (remote internship)

Sara Wright Sara Wright is a first-year BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French from Columbia University. During her time at Columbia, Sara interned with the Legal Aid Society where she assisted undocumented youths obtain legal status to remain in the United States. Prior to attending law school, she spent two years as a litigation paralegal in New York City.

At McGill, Sara is an associate editor for the McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution and an active member of the McGill Muslim Law Students’ Association. Her legal interests encompass human rights, alternative sources of dispute resolution and access to justice. She is looking forward to interning with the Yukon Human Rights Commission and gaining practical experience with the legal implementation of human rights. Read her posts.

 

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