Colleen Sheppard named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada


Today, the Royal Society of Canada released its list of 89 new Fellows, among which is our own Colleen Sheppard, who has joined the Academy of Social Sciences.

Professor Colleen Sheppard is one of Canada’s leading constitutional and human rights legal scholars, and a pioneer of the legal conceptions of equality and non-discrimination. By articulating a substantive rather than formal approach to the concept of equality in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, she has become part of a select group of scholars and lawyers having made the Charter one of the world’s most influential constitutional human rights documents.

“This richly merited accolade recognizes primarily Colleen’s achievements in advancing the field of research on equality, pushing us to rethink our understanding of inclusion and exclusion,” said Dean Robert Leckey. “A key piece of her profile as a researcher is the sustained commitment to sharing her ideas with communities outside the university and sustaining partnerships with them.”

Professor Sheppard’s cutting edge work on discrimination in the workplace has been widely recognized both nationally and internationally, most notably through her research on the need for an expansive interpretation of discrimination, systemic discrimination, affirmative action and employment equity. Furthermore, as Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (2010-2015), Professor Sheppard spearheaded an initiative on Indigenous peoples and human rights that focused on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), including a research report to assist the TRC in the preparation of their final report and calls to action.

The Faculty of Law offers its warmest congratulations to Professor Colleen Sheppard for this recognition as a scholar, institution-builder and critical thinker of human rights in our modern era.

About the Royal Society of Canada

Established in 1883, the RSC is Canada’s National Academy, the senior collegium of distinguished scholars, artists and scientists in the country. The primary objective of the Society is to promote learning and research in the arts, the humanities and the natural and social sciences, and to provide intellectual leadership for the betterment of Canada and the world.

See also the McGill Reporter: Ten researchers and scholars named as Royal Society of Canada Fellows.