Our Doctoral Students

This page is a partial list of our current DCL students. If you are one of our DCL students and wish to have your bio added, please lysanne.larose [at] mcgill.ca (email the webmaster).

Leyla Bahmany

Leyla BahmanyLeyla Bahmany is a doctoral candidate at McGill University Faculty of Law, researching and writing in the field of international arbitration.  She is a graduate of McGill Faculty of Law (LLM with Thesis, in International Commercial Arbitration), George Washington University Law School (LLM, in International and Comparative Law), and Shahid Beheshti University Faculty of Law (BCL).

For her doctoral studies, Leyla is focusing on international investment arbitration. Her dissertation analyzes and suggests solutions to the risk of double recovery in investor-state dispute settlement system. Leyla is the research assistant to Prof. Fabien Gélinas (president of the Arbitration Department of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Sir William C. McDonald Chair at McGill Faculty of Law) where she has been researching on the approaches to arbitration and public policy in nine major jurisdictions in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Leyla is a member of the New York State Bar and has worked with two leading international law firms in Paris and Dubai. For more information, visit her LinkedIn profile.

Brian Bird Photo of Brian Bird


The Still Small Voice: Freedom of Conscience in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

My research focuses on freedom of conscience in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To date, this freedom has received little judicial or academic consideration. My objective is to identify what freedom of conscience protects and when the Canadian state can justifiably limit this freedom.


  • DCL Candidate, McGill University (2015 to present)
  • BCL, University of Oxford (2015)
  • JD, University of Victoria (2011)
  • BA, Simon Fraser University (2008)

Prizes, Fellowships, and Awards

  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2015-2018)
  • Law Foundation of British Columbia Graduate Fellowship (2015-2016)
  • McGill Graduate Excellence Fellowship (2015-2018)

Professional Experience

  • Legal Counsel, Supreme Court of British Columbia (2014)
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Justice Andromache Karakatsanis, Supreme Court of Canada (2012-2013)
  • Law Clerk, Supreme Court of British Columbia (2011-2012)

Publications and Presentations

  • “Prayer for Relief: Saguenay and State Neutrality toward Religion in Canada” (with Ravi Amarnath), Cambridge Student Law Journal (2016, forthcoming)
  • “Federal Power and Federal Duty: Reconciling Sections 91(24) and 35(1) of the Canadian Constitution”, (2011) 16 Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform 3-14

Stefanie Carsley Photo of Stefanie Carsley

Dissertation: Surrogate Motherhood in Theory and Practice: Exploring Preconceptions about Surrogacy in Canadian Law and Policy

Stefanie Carsley (stefanie.carsley [at] mail.mcgill.ca (email)) is a doctoral candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, studying Canadian legal responses to assisted reproduction. Her dissertation draws on qualitative interviews with Canadian fertility lawyers to comment on the strengths and shortcomings of federal and provincial laws pertaining to surrogate motherhood. Her work has been published in the University of British Columbia Law Review, the Canadian Journal of Family Law, the Health Law Review, the Dalhousie Law Journal and is forthcoming in the Canadian Bar Review. Her doctoral research is supported by the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Queen’s Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.


  • Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.), McGill University, Faculty of Law, 2014 - present
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.), University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, 2012-2013
  • Bachelor of Civil Law/Bachelor of Laws (B.C.L./LL.B.), McGill University, Faculty of Law, 2007-2011
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), McGill University, Faculty of Arts, 2004-2007

Scholarships and Fellowships

  • Queen’s Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), 2015-2016
  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), 2015-2018
  • Bourse de doctorat en recherche, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FRQSC), 2015-2018 (declined)
  • Richard H. Tomlinson Doctoral Fellowship, McGill University, 2014-2017 (declined for 2015-2017)
  • McGill Graduate Excellence Fellowship, 2014-2017
  • CIHR Health Law, Ethics and Policy Training Program Fellowship, University of Toronto, 2012-2013
  • University of Toronto Fellowship, 2012-2013
  • Edwin Botsford Busteed Scholarship, McGill University, Faculty of Law, 2012-2013

Academic Awards and Essay Prizes

  • Bourse pour la meilleure publication (essay prize), Regroupement Droit, Changements et Gouvernance, 2016-2017
  • Donald F. Sim, Q.C. Memorial Prize (essay prize), Sim Ashton & McKay LLP and Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal of Canada, 2015
  • W.C.G. Howland Prize (for most outstanding performance in the LL.M. Program), University of Toronto, 2013
  • J.S.D. Tory Writing Award (essay prize), McGill University, Faculty of Law, 2011

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Stefanie Carsley, “Reconceiving Quebec’s Laws on Surrogate Motherhood” 96 Canadian Bar Review [Forthcoming in 2018].
  • Stefanie Carsley, “DNA, Donor Offspring and Derivative Citizenship: Redefining Parentage under the Citizenship Act” (2016) 39:2 Dalhousie Law Journal 525
  • Stefanie Carsley, “Rethinking Canadian Legal Responses to Frozen Embryo Disputes” (2014) 29:1 Canadian Journal of Family Law 55.
  • Stefanie Carsley, “Tort’s Response to Surrogate Motherhood: Providing Surrogates with a Remedy for Breached Agreements” (2013) 46:1 University of British Columbia Law Review 1.
  • Stefanie Carsley, “Funding In Vitro Fertilization: Exploring the Health and Justice Implications of Quebec’s Policy” (2012) 20:3 Health Law Review 15.

Media Articles

  • Stefanie Carsley, “What Problem is Quebec’s IVF Bill Trying to Solve?” The Globe and Mail (9 December 2014).

Relevant Professional Experience

  • Law Clerk for The Honourable Madam Justice Johanne Trudel, Federal Court of Appeal (2013-2014)
  • Student Law Clerk for The Honourable Mr. Justice Pierre J. Dalphond, Quebec Court of Appeal (2010-2011)
  • Called to the Ontario Bar (June 2014)

Priscilla Césarphoto of Priscilla César

Priscilla Maria Dias Guimarães César is a Brazilian lawyer and researcher, and a doctoral student at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. Her research focuses on the challenges facing developing nations in designing IP and innovation systems, specifically in the field of biomedical research. Through her research, she examine the potential of open science models to further this research and to lead to economic benefit for those countries. She applies complex adaptive systems theory to understand the decision-making processes of different agents that are part of IP and innovation systems with particular attention to the role of academic and research communities and the state in Brazil in shaping those systems to improve the dialogue between law and science. Ms. César argues that understanding these systems’ complex dynamics, multiple actors and hierarchies is key to developing more effective IP laws and policies. Drawing on both theory and a case study analysis, her research aims to create a guiding framework of thinking to different agents interactions on these IP and innovation systems centered in access to knowledge and follow-on innovation. Her project is supervised by Professor Richard Gold.

Thesis Title

“Complex Adaptive Intellectual Property and Innovation Systems: Bridging the Gap between Law and Science and Promoting Openness in Biomedical Research and Development”.


  • Master of Laws at University of São Paulo (USP) Faculty of Law, Brazil, 2011;
  • Degree Certificate in Industrial Property at University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina, 2007;
  • Bachelor in Law (Hons) USP Faculty of Law, Brazil, 2005.

Selected Professional and Research Experience

  • Researcher at the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy (CIPP) at McGill Faculty of Law, 2012-present and 2008-2009. Projects: Personalized, Accessible, Cost-Effective OMICS Technologies (PACEOMICS) and the International Barcode of Life (iBOL);
  • Graduate student fellow at the International Law Research Program (ILRP) at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), 2015-2018. Summer researcher (2017). Project on sustainable development goals (SDGs) and international law;
  • Tutor at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Academy’s Distance Learning Program (2013-present) and lecturer at the WIPO Brazil Summer School on Intellectual Property, 2010-2011;
  • Lawyer (2005- present/ Sao Paulo State Bar Association, Brazil). Fields of specialization: intellectual property rights, private international law, international trade law, contracts, biodiversity and traditional knowledge, health law, law and development;
  • Collaborator with the Center for Study and Research on Health Law (CSRHL) at the University of São Paulo Public Health School, Brazil, 2011-present;
  • DCL Teaching Fellowship Program at McGill University Faculty of Law, “Intellectual and Industrial Property” Course, Supervisor: Prof. David Lametti, 2015;
  • National Coordinator at Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) in Brazil, 2011-2012;
  • Researcher at International Trade Law and Development Institute (IDCID), Brazil, 2005-2008;
  • Researcher at Getúlio Vargas Foundation Faculty of Law, Brazil, 2008;
  • Lecturer at the WIPO Brazil Summer School on Intellectual Property, 2010-2011, and tutor at the WIPO Academy’s Distance Learning Course, 2013-present.

Selected Fellowships and Awards

  • Graduate Scholarship in International Law International, Law Research Program (ILRP) at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), 2015-2018.
  • Graduate Excellence Award in Law; Chief Justice R. A. Greenshields Scholarship, and Clive V. Allen Fellowship, Canada, 2012-2015;
  • Graduate Students Exchange Program (GSEP), Government of Canada, 2008- 2009;
  • Honor award for best undergraduate thesis from the Department of International and Comparative Law at USP Faculty of Law, Brazil, 2005.

Selected Publications

  • César, Priscilla M. D. G.. “How to Use Complex Adaptive Systems for Innovation: The Case of Knowledge Regulation in Biomedical Research and Development”. In “Innovation and the Triple Helix”. The European IP Institutes Network (EIPIN) Book Series. Edward Elgar. 2018. Upon review to publication.
  • César, Priscilla M. D. G.. “Openness in Science and Intellectual Property Rights: The Case of McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute”. CIGI-ILRP Commentary Series. Waterloo, Canada, 2016. In review to publication
  • César, Priscilla M.D.G.; Polido, Fabrício; Guise, Monica. “Propriedade Intelectual: Potencialidades e fragilidades do ambiente jurídico-institucional brasileiro para inovação”. In: Trubek, D.; Schapiro, M..(org.). “Direito e Desenvolvimento: Um Diálogo entre os BRICS”. São Paulo: Saraiva. 2012, p.135-180.
  • César, Priscilla M. D. G.. “Diretrizes Terapêuticas e Protocolos Clínicos: da ética do individual à coletiva para a efetivação do direito à saúde”. Rev. Direito Sanitário. V.13. N. 2. 2012. p. 156-172. Read online.
  • César, Priscilla M. D. G. “Análise crítica da proteção das patentes de invenção farmacêuticas e biotecnológicas: perspectiva dos países em desenvolvimento”. Master Thesis. University of Sao Paulo (USP) Faculty of Law. June 2011. Read online
  • Basso, Maristela; Salomão Filho, Calixto; César, Priscilla M. D. G.; Polido, Fabrício Pasquot. “Direitos de Propriedade Intellectual e Saúde Pública: o acesso universal aos medicamentos anti-retrovirais no Brasil”. IDCID: Sao Paulo, 2007. Read online

Lucas Clover Alcolea Lucas Clover Alcolea

Lucas Clover Alcolea is a doctoral candidate at McGill University Faculty of Law, researching and writing in the field of international arbitration and trusts under the supervision of Professor Fabien Gélinas.

After obtaining his LLB degree at Aberdeen University in 2014 he worked as a paralegal at a commercial UK law firm in Edinburgh until 2015 and then completed a part time LLM at Edinburgh University whilst working working as a legal assistant at the Judicial Institute for Scotland from 2015 – 2017. He is an active member of the graduate community at McGill University. He sits on the executive committees of the Graduate Law Students Association as well as the McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution. He is also currently the Chief Justice of the Judicial Board of the Postgraduate Student Society.

For his doctoral studies, Lucas is focusing on the challenges faced by the arbitration of internal trust disputes. His thesis outlines the practical and theoretical challenges caused by the intersection of trust and arbitration law before proceeding to suggest several means by which these challenges can be overcome. Lucas is a research assistant for Professor Fabien Gélinas in the area of international arbitration and in particular the UNCITRAL model law.

Geoffrey ConradPhoto of Geoffrey Conrad

A native of Montreal, Geoffrey earned a bachelor’s of arts in economics from Bishop’s University before pursuing undergraduate studies in law at McGill, where he was a director of the McGill Legal Information Clinic, worked as a constitutional law teaching assistant, and completed a term abroad at the Université Montpellier 1, in France. After obtaining his BCL/LLB degrees in 2007, Geoffrey practised civil and commercial litigation for several years at a prominent Montreal law firm.

In 2010, he left private practice to attend graduate school at the University of Victoria. His master’s thesis in law and society, which examined the challenges that religious pluralism poses to judicial decision-making, was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal, as the top master’s thesis at the university in 2012, across all departments and faculties.

Since returning to McGill in September 2012 to undertake his doctorate in law, Geoffrey has been working under the supervision of professor Alana Klein. Combining his interests in media, public discourse, judicial decision-making, constitutional law and legal theory with his concern for social justice, Geoffrey’s doctoral research identifies a growing discrepancy between the nature of the community imagined by the traditional structure and model of constitutional adjudication, and the nature of the communities in which our social and political lives are increasingly embedded. Through an exploration of that discrepancy, his work asks us to reconsider the privileged role attributed to constitutional courts in the process of social norm formation and transmission by conventional models of judicial review, especially when it comes to issues of distributive justice.

Geoffrey holds a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is a member of the Barreau du Québec.

In November 2014, he acted as a rapporteur at the je vois mtl symposium.

Alvaro R. Cordova Flores – O’Brien Fellowphoto of Alvaro R. Cordova Flores

Alvaro is a Peruvian lawyer and a O'Brian Fellowship recipient in Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. He is currently a student in the Doctoral Civil Law Program (DCL) at McGill University's Faculty of Law. He is conducting his research under the supervision of Colleen Sheppard, focusing on the intersections of the politics of identity, indigenous rights and legal realism. His ongoing research explores how non-indigenous judges resolve indigenous rights cases, and how certain judicial approaches can recreate cultural discrimination against indigenous peoples in Peru.

He started the LLM Program at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 2010 under the supervision of Jeremy Webber and Avigail Eisenberg. In his LLM thesis (The Right of Indigenous Self-Determination and the Right to Consultation in the Peruvian Constitutional Tribunal Jurisprudence [2005-2011]) Alvaro explored the relationship between the right of indigenous consultation and the right of indigenous self-determination in the Peruvian context.

Alvaro is a 2004 summa cum laude graduate from the University of Lima School of Law in Peru. He has extensive professional experience in areas of constitutional law and fundamental rights. Since 2004 he has worked at the Peruvian Constitutional Tribunal, and previously he worked at the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2002). He also taught constitutional law (Fall 2010) at the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (Lima, Peru).

Vincent Dalpéphoto of Vincent Dalpé

Vincent’s research interests are in the areas of international criminal justice, transitional justice, social theory and domestic criminal law. In particular, he is interested in the incidence of symbolic representations of criminal justice on social behaviour, both on the international and domestic planes. His doctoral research centers on the difficulty of representing the symbols of an international criminal justice in post-genocidal societies. 

His prior research focused on the relationship between the International Criminal Court and state authorities in domestic mass atrocity prosecutions under Article 17(2) of the Rome Statute. Prior to his graduate studies, Vincent articled in a boutique class actions law firm in Montreal.


Dissertation: Not Guilty in the Sense of the Indictment: The International Criminal Law Project and the Challenge of Legal Pluralism. Supervisor: Professor René Provost


  • LLM, McGill University
  • LLB, Université Laval

Prizes, Fellowships & Awards

  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)


  •  “On the Difficult Case for a Functional Interpretation of the Unwillingness Criterion” (2017) 12:1 Journal of International Law and International Relations.
  •  “Delimiting the ICC’s Ominous Shadow: An Analysis of the Inability Criterion’s Application” (2016) 24 Finnish Yearbook of International Law.
  •  “Between Splendour and Disgrace: an Introductory Essay on Emotional Distress in the Law School Experience” (2015) Legal Education Seminar Working Paper Series.
  •  “Canada—Feed-in Tariff: Are FITs Desirable, or Even Legal? A Case Comment” (2014) 27.1 Revue Québécoise de droit international 87-112.

Laura Dehaibiphoto of Laura Dehaibi

Laura Dehaibi is a DCL candidate at the faculty of Law at McGill University and works under the supervision of Professor Kirsten Anker. She holds an LLB (2006) and an LLM (2012) from Université de Montréal. She is also member of the Quebec Bar since 2007.

For her masters’ thesis, Laura studied the protection of the freedom of association of agricultural workers at the international and Canadian level, under the supervision of Professor Isabelle Duplessis, for whom she also worked as a research assistant. Her main fields of research are in international human rights, labour law, social rights and social justice, history of law and jurisprudence.

In her doctoral research, Laura explores the intersections between individual and collective human rights at the international level, from an historical and discursive perspective. In particular, she is focusing her work on the relationship between the human right to property and rights to an adequate standard of living, such as the right to food and the right to shelter.

Fellowships & Awards:

  • Bourse de doctorat Hydro-Québec - droit (McGill, 2013-2014)
  • Graduate Excellence Award (McGill, 2014)
  • Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel Award (McGill, 2014)

Didem Doğar

Didem DoğarDidem Doğar is a doctoral candidate at McGill University Faculty of Law, studying the criminalization of migration under the supervision of Professor François Crépeau, and a research affiliate with the Refugee Law Initiative of the University of London. Her dissertation examines the current approaches to the implementation of Article 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention (the exclusion provision) in Canada and abroad, and how these approaches influence broader refugees’ rights. Her most recent work, published by Refugee Survey Quarterly, examines the legal situation of asylum seekers who are suspected and/or convicted of criminality, but cannot be removed from Turkey due to the principle of non-refoulement.

Before embarking on her studies, Didem was working as a refugee status determination assistant at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Turkey, where she specialized in exclusion-related cases. At McGill, she worked as a research assistant to Professor René Provost for his Insurgency Project and to Professor François Crépeau on the correlation between international trade law and migrant workers’ rights. Didem graduated from Bilkent University in 2010 and is a member of the Istanbul Bar. In a past life, Didem held a position at the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission and worked as a corporate lawyer in Istanbul.


  • Doctor of Civil Law (DCL), McGill University, Faculty of Law, 2016 - present
  • Master of Laws (LLM), McGill University, Faculty of Law, 2014-2016
  • Bachelor of Laws (hons), Bilkent University, Faculty of Law, 2005-2010


Alexander EzenaguPhoto of Alexander Ezenagu


Tax Cooperation and Development: the Developing Country Experience.


The field I study is the intersection of taxation, development, and cooperation among states. This is an important field because the ongoing inequality between states is sustained by unequal regulatory capacity and bargaining power between developing and developed countries. Taxation is an important revenue-generating tool in most societies, but it is threatened by both rising fiscal needs and intensifying economic competition among nations.

This is especially the case for developing countries, whose needs are great but whose defensive capacities against tax competition are constrained both by domestic resources and lack of geo-political power. Each government’s ability to derive necessary revenue from economic activities within its jurisdiction is threatened from without by the prevalence of tax avoidance opportunities and strategies, some of which are intentionally designed for this purpose by other nations. A sophisticated army of tax planners seeks to profit by creating novel ways to beat the efforts of governments to impose tax obligations on some of societies’ most wealthy members.

To check the activities of tax planners, governments must constantly and vigilantly monitor and update their laws and strengthen their tax administration capacities in order to achieve gains in tax collection. Developing countries are the worst hit by the activities of tax planners, activities that are largely aided by international tax treaties guiding cross-border transactions that are designed and supported by the world’s wealthiest countries.

My research seeks to analyze the socio-legal and economic impacts of these treaties on developing countries from a normative perspective.


  • D.C.L. Candidate, International Tax Law, McGill University, Canada
  • LL.M (Commercial Law), Cambridge University, United Kingdom
  • B.L. (First Class), Nigeria Law School, Nigeria
  • LL.B. (First Class), University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Awards and Prizes

  • Fellow, Rathlyn Foundation Fellowship in Law
  • Graduate Dean’s Award in Law, McGill University;
  • Scholar, Cambridge Commonwealth Shared Scholarship 2013/2014;
  • Scholar, Cambridge Trust Scholarship 2013/2014;
  • Col. Yohana Madaki Prize for Best Student in Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan, 2010;
  • Gamaliel O. Onosode (OFR) Scholarship Scheme for Excellence, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Professional Experiences

  1. Research Assistant to Professor Allison Christians of the Faculty of Law, McGill University, Canada. I research and write on various topics of international tax law and policy.
  2. Associate Research Fellow, ((Trade, Investments and Public Private Partnerships), Institute for Oil, Gas, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, Afe Bablola University, Ekiti, Nigeria. I research and write on international commercial law, taxation, international project finance and public private partnerships.
  3. Interim Consultant, Oil and Gas Tax Unit, Ernst & Young Nigeria, (June 2015).
  4. Associate (Banking & Finance; Capital Markets; Mergers & Acquisition; Projects & Infrastructure; and International Tax Law), Templars Barristers and Solicitors, Lagos Nigeria (August 2014- May 2015).
  5. Associate (Energy, Project Finance and Tax Divisions), Banwo and Ighodalo, Lagos, Nigeria (September 2011- July 2013).


  1. Structured Finance & Securitisation 2015 Questionnaire, in Getting The Deal Through (March 2015), with Chike Obianwu and Modupe Dabiri.
  2. Alexander Ezenagu, “The Private Transfer of Oil and Gas Proprietary Rights in Nigeria: Mechanisms for Business Growth” (August 2013), available at the archive of the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASON), Lagos, Nigeria.
  3. Alexander Ezenagu, “Towards a Re-definition of Corporate Governance in the Nigerian Banking Sector: A Case Study of Auditor’s Liability,” LL.B dissertation, 2010. Available at the Faculty of Law public library, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
  4. Allison Christians and Alexander Ezenagu: “Kill-switches in the U.S. Model Tax Treaty” (2016), to be published in the Brooklyn Journal of International Law.
  5. Damilola Olawuyi and Alexander Ezenagu: “Carbon Taxation as a Tool for Sustainable Development in Africa: Evaluation of Potentials, Paradoxes and Prospects” (2016), to be published in the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) Journal and presented at the ATAF September 2016 conference.
  6. Alexander Ezenagu: “Economic Growth: the Good, Bad and Ugly” (2016), to be presented at the 46th St. Gallen Symposium to be held from May 11-13 2016.


  1. 5th Edition of the Montreal Summit on Innovation with the theme, “Climate of Change: Cities, Citizens, and Prosperity,” held on November 30, 2015 in Montreal.
  2. TaxCoop Conference held on Novermber 3. 2015 in Montreal.
  3. Business Law conference, Section of Business Law of the Nigeria Bar Association, June 8, 2015 held in Lagos, Nigeria and was panel co-chair on the relationship between junior and senior lawyers.
  4. Annual Conference of the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASON) | August 23, 2013 I delivered a paper on “the private transfer of oil and gas proprietary rights in Nigeria” and discussed the mechanisms for business growth.
  5. Annual Conference and Launch of the International Lawyers Association (Nigeria branch) October 15, 2014. I attended, as a participant, the 1st Annual Conference & Launch of the International Law Association (Nigerian branch). The theme of the conference was: "International Investments in an Era of Transnational Threats: Taking Stock and Charting International Law Responses for the Future". This conference was held in Lagos, Nigeria.
  6. Culture diplomacy in the modern world, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, December 19, 2013. I attended the annual conference on cultural diplomacy organized by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and The IMAN Foundation held in Berlin, Germany. The theme of the conference was: "Cultural Diplomacy & Cross Continental Cooperation: Building Bridges for a United Global Community."
  7. Tax Law Workshops, organized by the Tax institute, Cambridge University, February 18, 2014. I participated, as a student at the University of Cambridge, at the series of tax law conferences delivered by notable tax experts such as Philip Baker and OECD representatives, held at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. 

Marika Giles Samson

Current Research

Marika’s doctoral project studies the ways in which courts are instrumentalised to marginalise political opposition and repress dissent. In doing so, Marika is exploring the interactions of judicial and political institutions, with particular emphasis on the role of the judiciary in the constitutional order, as well as questions of judicial ethics, court procedure, civil and political rights, and the rule of law. This project is being completed under the supervision of Professor Frédéric Mégret.


  • LLM, specialisation in Public International Law, University College London (with distinction)
  • LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • BA, Communications Studies and Sociology, Concordia University

Professional and Teaching Experience

Marika has a substantial history as a legal researcher, having worked with the McGill International Criminal Justice Clinic, the UCL Centre for International Courts & Tribunals, and the Human Rights Treaty Study at York University. Outside the academy, Marika has also held an Associate Fellowship at the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House).

In 2015, Marika will be a Teaching Fellow in Judicial Institutions and Civil Procedure at the Faculty of Law, and has previously been a guest lecturer in Extrajudicial Dispute Resolution as part of the Teaching Mentorship Programme. Marika has also guest lectured on International Criminal Law and Restorative Justice, as well as a number of public legal education programmes, and has completed both the Law Teachers’ Programme at UCL and the Legal Education Seminar at McGill.

A member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 2002, Marika articled as a law clerk at the Federal Court of Canada and practiced civil litigation for several years before undertaking graduate study.

Prizes and Awards

  • O’Brien Fellowship, Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, McGill University
  • Doctoral Scholarship, Fonds de recherche société et culture de Québec

Adrien HabermacherPhoto of Adrien Habermacher

Research interests

Mr. Habermacher’s doctoral research focuses on legal education in Canada under the supervision of Professor Helge Dedek. He wrote his master’s thesis on the role of European education and legal thought in the shaping of American legal education in the 19th century. His research interests also include international law, dispute resolution, legal history and legal theory.


Adrien Habermacher has been a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Law and the Institute of Comparative Law since 2015. He obtained Sciences Po’s Bachelor Degree (cum laude) in 2013 after studying at Sciences Po Euro-American campus in Reims (2010-12) and at the UBC Faculty of Law in Vancouver (2012-13). He studied at Sciences Po Law School in Paris (2013-15) and Columbia Law School in New York (2014), and obtained a Master in Economic Law (summa cum laude) as well as a Common certificate of achievement in global business law and governance from Sciences Po Law School, Columbia Law School and University Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne in 2015.

Experience & activities

Mr. Habermacher has been supervising teams for the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court at Sciences Po Law School (2015) and McGill Faculty of Law (since 2016), after he participated himself in the competition in 2014 and qualified for the Advanced International Rounds. He also completed a Teaching Mentorship in Professor Payam Akhavan’s public international class in 2016.

He is also an Executive Editor for the McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution, and the Vice-President Academics of the Graduate Law Students Association (2015-16).

He worked for Pro Bono Students Canada in Vancouver in 2013, General Electric Energy Management (Legal & Compliance) in Paris in 2014, and Professor George Bermann at Columbia Law School in 2014-15.

Atagün Kejanlioglu

Atagün KejanliogluAtagün Mert Kejanlıoğlu is currently a doctoral student in the DCL (Doctor of Civil Law) program at McGill University Faculty of Law. He is writing his doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Professor Johanne Poirier. His dissertation is focused on populist challenges to constitutionalism and responses that constitutional theory can develop against these challenges.

After graduating from GaIatasaray University Faculty of Law (Istanbul) in 2013, he obtained his first master’s degree from University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne’s Fundamental Public Law program (Master 2 Recherche Droit Public Fondamental) in 2016 with his dissertation entitled “Le Président de la Republique dans les systèmes politiques turc et français” under the supervision of Prof. Marie-Anne Cohendet. He then graduated from another master’s program in public law at GaIatasaray University in 2017. His thesis focused on freedom of artistic expression in the case law of European Court of Human Rights.

Before starting his doctoral studies at McGill, he had been working as a research and teaching assistant in the constitutional law department at MEF University Faculty of Law (Istanbul) since March 2014. His research interests include comparative constitutional law, constitutional theory and European human rights law.

Guillaume Laganière Photo of Guillaume Laganière

I am a second-year doctoral candidate at McGill under the supervision of Professor Geneviève Saumier, with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

I am interested in all aspects of private international law, including conflicts of laws and problems of international jurisdiction. My doctoral work focuses on civil liability for transboundary pollution in public and private international law.

I was born and raised in Montreal and I am a member of the Quebec Bar since 2014. I practice law at Woods LLP, a specialized civil litigation boutique. Prior to my doctoral studies, I clerked for the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada (2013-2014). I hold a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from the University of Cambridge (1st class honours) and another from McGill University (Quebec Law Professors’ Award for best thesis). I also graduated from Université de Montréal with the highest standing in the Bachelor of Laws program.

When I am not studying or working, I enjoy rock climbing, swimming, trail running and hiking.

LinkedIn Profile: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/guillaume-laganière-a1325934/en

Sara MahboobPhoto of Sara Mahboob

Sara Mahboob is a doctoral candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. Her dissertation examines how women interact with the criminal justice system. More broadly, her research explores legal issues relating to intersection of state law, codified religious law, customary practices, and how this impacts women who come into contact with the criminal justice system in Pakistan.


  • Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.), McGill University, Faculty of Law, 2014 - present
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.), Boston University School of Law, 2007-2008
  • Bachelor of Laws (LL.B. Honours), University of London, 2002-2005

Fellowships and Awards

  • International Fellowship awarded by The American Association of University Women (AAUW) (2009)
  • Graduate D.C.L. Fellowship awarded by McGill University (2014-2017)
  • Nominated to coach McGill University Faculty of Law’s team for Julius Alexander Isaac Diversity Moot (2014 - 2015)
  • Rathlyn Foundation Fellowship awarded by Rathlyn Foundation and nominated by Faculty of Law, McGill University (2015-2016)
  • McGill Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel Award (GREAT Award) awarded by Faculty of Law, McGill University (March 2016)

Relevant Professional Experience

  • Summer Research Fellow at Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan (2014)
  • Visiting Human Rights and Social Justice Fellow at Robson Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba (2014)
  • Assistant Professor, School of Law and Policy, University of Management and Technology, Pakistan (2011 – 2014)
  • Assistant Director, Centre for Law and Policy, University of Management and Technology, Pakistan (2011 – 2014)
  • Project Legal Officer, British Pakistan Law Council Project Advocate (2006 -2007)


  • Called to the Punjab Bar Council, Pakistan
  • Certificate of Qualification, Canadian National Committee on Accreditation

Maria Manoli

Maria ManoliMaria Manoli is a doctoral candidate and an Erin J C Arsenault doctoral fellow in space governance at the Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) of the McGill Faculty of Law since 2016. Prior to her doctoral studies, she obtained a LLM in Air and Space Law from the same Institute (2014-2015). In addition, she holds a LLM in Public International Law, and a LLM in Civil Law from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, where she also completed her undergraduate law degree with honors.

She is currently conducting her doctoral research in the field of space law under the supervision of Professor Ram Jakhu. Her thesis topic addresses the meaning of the notions of sovereignty and property within the borderless legal regime that surrounds the uses of outer space, with special focus on resource utilization.

In the past, she has worked as a legal researcher for the Permanent Representation of Greece at the International Civil Aviation Organization, as a junior project manager for the Secure World Foundation, as a legal researcher for the Hellenic Competition Commission, and as a trainee lawyer for the Legal Council of Greece and the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy. Maria has clerked at the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Athens Court of Appeals and she is a lawyer registered at the Athens Bar Association.

Furthermore, Maria has participated in several research projects worldwide and has been a research assistant for the IASL since 2014. She has coached the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court teams of the IASL from 2014 to 2017 with multiple awards and distinctions, including the “Best Team” award at the North American rounds of 2016 and the “Eillene Galloway Award for Best Memorial” at the international rounds of the same year. She has also been a teaching fellow for the “Public International Law” course of the McGill Faculty of Law, and has completed a teaching mentorship in the “Foundations” course of the same faculty.

In 2017, she participated as a researcher in the Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and International Relations “50 Years of Space Law – Space Law in 50 Years” at The Hague Academy of International Law (French-speaking section). She is the author of the chapter «La guerre des étoiles? Une perspective réaliste?» in the book 50 Years of Space Law – Space Law in 50 Years that will be published in the Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and International Relations Series by the Hague Academy of International Law in 2019.

She has delivered presentations and lectures on space law and public international law to more than 30 conferences and workshops around the world and she has authored and co-authored several publications, and co-edited two books (Maria Manoli and Sandy Belle Habchi, Monograph Series V – Conflicts in Space and the Rule of Law (Montreal: McGill Institute and Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, 2017); George D Kyriakopoulos and Maria Manoli, The Space Treaties at Crossroads – Considerations de Lege Ferenda (Switzerland: Springer, forthcoming)).

During her studies she has received several fellowships and awards, such as the Erin J C Arsenault Fellowship in Space Governance (DCL, 2016-2019, LLM), the Nicolas M Matte Prize (LLM), the R E Morrow QC Fellowship (DCL), the Nicolas M Matte Fellowship (DCL), two Teaching Tomorrow’s Professors Awards (DCL) Graduate Excellence Awards (DCL), Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel Awards (LLM, DCL), and International Graduate Mobility Awards (DCL). She has also received a “Constantine Economides” distinction by the Hellenic Association for International Law and International Relations for her LLM thesis during her LLM in Air and Space Law. In 2017, she was awarded the ESA-ISEB IAC sponsorship by the European Space Agency for her participation in the 68th International Astronautical Congress.

In September 2018, Maria joined the Guest Program of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law as a visiting scholar to conduct part of her doctoral research.

Shimelis Mulugeta Kene

Photo of Shimelis Mulugeta KeneShimelis Mulugeta Kene is a Doctor of Civil Law Candidate at the Institute of Comparative Law and an O’Brien Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. His doctoral research, supervised by Professor Payam Akhavan, explores the interplay between authoritarianism, counterterrorism and law by drawing on socio-legal perspectives.

Prior to joining McGill, Shimelis worked in a variety of roles and settings: as Law Clerk at the Ethiopian Federal First Instance Court; as a Senior Trainer at Organization for Social Justice in Ethiopia (a prominent human rights and social justice organization in the country); as a Human Rights expert at the Human Rights Office of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE); and as a Child Rights Officer at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

He completed his LLM in International Human Rights with Honors at Northwestern University’s School of Law in 2010, for which he was awarded a graduate legal studies fellowship. Following his graduation, as a Postgraduate Assistant at Northwestern, he conducted field research and wrote an assessment report on the Liberian Juvenile Justice System under the auspices of UNICEF Liberia. While at Northwestern, Shimelis served as a board member and the LLM students’ representative at the Amnesty International USA Northwestern University School of Law Chapter.

Prior to graduate studies, Shimelis earned an LLB from Addis Ababa University, producing a thesis entitled “Civil Trial on Trial: A Critical Evaluation of the Ethiopian Practice of Civil Trial”. While studying for his law degree, he also volunteered for a number of community organizations, teaching basic Ethiopian law and human rights, and contributed a number of book reviews to local papers.

In 2007, Shimelis was a recipient of the Outstanding Applicants Scholarship and participated as a delegate from Ethiopia in the Third Intergenerational Leadership Forum convened by the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.

Fellowships and awards

  1. O’Brien Fellowship, Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, McGill University, 2013 – 2016
  2. Travel Grant, Graduate Student Workshop, Law and Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, USA, May 26th-27th, 2015
  3. Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel Award, McGill University (2015)
  4. Graduate Excellence Award, McGill University (2013-2014)
  5. Fellowship for Graduate Legal Studies in International Human Rights, Northwestern University School of Law (2009 – 2010)
  6. Outstanding Applicant Award, UNESCO Chair in Comparative Human Rights, University of Connecticut (2007)


  1. Law and Society Association Annual Meeting: Law’s Promise and Law’s Pathos in the Global North and Global South, Seattle, May 28–31, 2015
    Presentation: “Counterterrorism and Human Rights Under Authoritarian Systems”
  2. Graduate Student Workshop, Law and Society Association Annual Meeting: Law’s Promise and Law’s Pathos in the Global North and Global South, Seattle, USA, May 26 –27, 2015.
  3. Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities, Eighteenth Annual Conference, Georgetown University Law Centre, Washington, D.C., March 6-7, 2015.
    Presentation: “Legal Rituals”
  4. 20th Annual University of British Columbia Interdisciplinary Legal Studies Graduate Student Conference: Law: Past, Present, and Future, Vancouver, May 7 – 8, 2015.“When Dissent is ‘Terrorism’: The Silence of Law?” Paper accepted but not presented.
  5. University of Western Ontario, Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, London, May 21-22, 2015
    “Counterterrorism: Law, Politics, and Violence”. Paper accepted but not presented.

Ivan Ozai

Ivan OzaiA native from Brazil, Ivan Ozai is a Richard Tomlinson fellow and a doctoral candidate at McGill University Faculty of Law. He is also a teaching fellow at the same faculty, for which he received the 2018 McGill’s Teaching Tomorrow’s Professors Award. Ivan's work has been published in various peer-reviewed journals and edited books, including a recent publication in the Fordham International Law Journal.

Ivan has previously served as a tax court judge in Brazil, was the head of the Advance Tax Rulings Directorate of the São Paulo State Department of Treasury and was the founding director of the Centre for Research in Taxation at the same government department. He has worked as a lawyer, a chartered professional accountant and a tax consultant. His current research focuses on the interdisciplinary connections between tax law and political philosophy.

Publications on SSRN: https://ssrn.com/author=2553856
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IvanOzai
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ivan-ozai


  • DCL, McGill University, Faculty of Law (2016-present)
  • LLM, Pontifical Catholic University, Faculty of Law, Brazil (2015)
  • Executive LLM in Tax Law, Brazilian Institute of Tax Studies (2007)
  • LLB, Mackenzie Presbyterian University, Faculty of Law, Brazil (2005)

Prizes, Fellowships, and Awards

  • Pilarczyk Research Initiative in Legal Methodology Fellowship, McGill University (2018–2019)
  • Teaching Tomorrow’s Professors Award, McGill University (2018)
  • IFA USA Writing Prize Award, International Fiscal Association, USA Branch (2018) 
  • CIGI IRLP Scholarship, Centre for International Governance Innovation (2018)
  • Heward Stikeman Taxation Graduate Award, The Heward Stikeman Fiscal Institute (2017-2018)
  • Richard H Tomlinson Doctoral Fellowship, McGill University (2016-2018)
  • Mendes Junior National Law Thesis Award, First Place, Getulio Vargas School of Law of Sao Paulo (2011)
  • Prof. Francisco D’Auria Award, Alvares Penteado School of Commerce Foundation (1999)

Selected Professional and Academic Experience

  • Teaching Fellow, McGill University Faculty of Law (2018–)
  • Director, Advance Tax Rulings Directorate of the Department of Treasury of São Paulo State, Brazil (2015-2016)
  • Founding Director, Centre for Research in Taxation, Department of Treasury of São Paulo State, Brazil (2014–2016)
  • Instructor of Brazilian Tax Law, Alessandro Ferraz Institute of Research (NEAF), Brazil (2013)
  • Tax Court Judge, Tax Court of the State of São Paulo (2012-2016)
  • Tax Advisor, Advance Tax Rulings Directorate of the Department of Treasury of São Paulo State, Brazil (2010-2015)
  • Attorney, Federal Savings Bank of Brazil (2009)
  • Pro Bono Attorney, Conectas Human Rights (2006)

Journal Articles and Works in Progress

Book Chapters

Notes, Interviews, and Outreach Publications

Jeffrey J. SmithPhoto of Jeffrey J. Smith

Thesis topic and research

I am considering the case for multilateral treaty regulation in the protection of the Arctic marine environment and the adequacies of conventional means for state actors to arrive at environmental protection in discrete regional geographic constructs. While intended to advance the policy and analytical development of marine environmental protection in the polar north, my work focuses on critical approaches to the legitimacy and state foundations of oceans law and environmental law as they have come to manifest themselves in the modern area.

An assessment of the utility and limitations of treaty making to realize environmental values and uses is an important area of inquiry, together with the validity of other sources of public international environmental law including the normative creation of apparent jus cogens principles.

The role of international organizations corollary to states in the development and promotion of rule-norms, including the United Nations Environment Program and the United Nations Development Program, together with the International Maritime Organization and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are evaluated.

An important further area of inquiry is the comparative success of the Antarctic Treaty System.


B.Sc. (Oceanography) (Royal Roads Military College); 
J.D. (University of Victoria); 
LL.M. (Fletcher).

Recent professional experience

Barrister & Solicitor (British Columbia);
Counsel to the United Nations administration in East Timor (UNTAET);
Director Fleet Planning & Projects, BC Ferries (Vancouver); 
Principal legal advisor (jurisconsult) to the government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (present appointment).

Prizes and awards 

Roberts Legal Writing Prize (UVic.);
Stikeman Elliott-Carswell National Tax Award (UVic.);
Campney & Murphy Marine Law Prize (UVic.);
CIBC Fellowship 2012-2013 (McGill).


“Notre mer? An independent Quebec’s maritime jurisdiction in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Beyond” (Canadian Yearbook of International Law);
“A helping hand: The aiding and abetting of international crimes after Charles Taylor” (ASIL Accountability);
“Western Sahara: The failure and promise of international law” (The Advocate);
“The pillaging of the Sahara: Criminal liability of European Commission officials resulting from proposed renewal of the 2007 EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement” (ASIL Accountability);
“Brunei and Malaysia Resolve Outstanding Maritime Boundary Issues” (ASIL Law of the Sea Reports);
“Ex nullius lex: The legal reconstruction of East Timor” (The Advocate).