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Ashley Barnes


SJD Candidate, Faculty of Law

University of Toronto

Awarded: SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS; International Law Research Program Scholarship, CIGI; Strauss Graduate Fellowship in International Law; University of Toronto Fellowship


LLM, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)


JD, Faculty of Law

University of Windsor

Awarded: Essex Law Association Centennial Scholarship (first place standing); Canada Law Book Limited Award; Osler, Hoskin& Harcourt LLP Essay Prize; Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Student Research Fellowship; Fasken Martineau Achievement in Law Award; Harold G. Fox Bursary; Judge Joseph P. McMahon Award in Access to Justice

Executive Articles Editor, Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues



Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University


BA (Hons)

University of Toronto

Awarded: J.S. McLean Scholarship


Proposed Program of Study


International legal wrongs affect individuals in increasingly larger numbers – during armed conflicts, investment disputes, or even environmental disasters. For comparable widespread harm in domestic law, mass claims (or collective) proceedings can provide at least some remedy by streamlining the resolution of an otherwise overwhelming number of similar claims. However, in an international legal order structured around states, there is an additional barrier – few opportunities exist for individuals to initiate any action, let alone on a significant scale. Yet, somehow, mass claims procedures are now popping up in diverse areas of international law to provide ‘practical justice’ to affected individuals. Recent examples include the International Criminal Court’s reparations regime and the emergence of mass investor claims. What explains the growing trend? My doctoral thesis (currently underway at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law) provides a fresh account of this striking, but understudied, push for ‘practical justice’ in international law. I place mass claims in the larger context of changingnormative expectations towards an individual’s right of access to justice and compensation.

Ghuna Bdiwi


Ph.D Candidate

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto - Canada


Master of Laws (LLM)

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto - Canada                      


Master of Banking and Finance (MSc)

Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV, France


Bachelor of Civil Law (LLB)

Beirut Arabic University, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Lebanon

Proposed Program of Study


Ghuna is a Syrian human rights lawyer and PhD Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School – York University. Her research focuses on: International Criminal Law, Transitional Justice, the Rule of Law, Jus Post Bellum, and legal theory. Her PhD dissertation she concentrates intensively on critical issues related to the ongoing war crimes and  crimes against humanity that have been committed by different warring parties on the Syrian battle. She is questioning whether calls for criminal accountability in the midst of civil wars, as opposed to in societies in the midst of post-conflict transition or ongoing social peace, are justified!


During her professional and academic journey, Ghuna has received a number of awards such as the 2015 Graduate Fellowship from the Nathanson Center on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security, and Harley D. Hallett Graduate Scholarship.  In addition to her academic achievements, Ghuna has also been acknowledged for her advocacy work as a human rights lawyer in Syria. In December 2015, she has received the international human rights award from the International Center for Human Rights in Canada, the award was a recognition for her work to support human rights in Syria and the Middle East.

Léa Lemay Langlois


École du Barreau (Bar School)

Professional Training Course


Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Bachelor of Civil law (LL.B.)


Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and International Law


Proposed Program of Study


I am enrolled in the LL.M. in International Human Rights Law program at the University of Notre Dame for the academic year 2016-2017, for which I have also been awarded a Fulbright scholarship. The LL.M. is offered by Notre Dame Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR), widely recognized for its rigor, richness, and for training international human rights lawyers from a great variety of backgrounds. Courses are taught by human rights leaders and experts in various fields of human rights law, which is much appealing given my research interests. As an undergraduate student, I have explored various issues related to the international human rights law, with particular attention to transitional justice, accountability for massive human rights violations, and the Inter-American regional system of human rights. As a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame, I intend to focus on issues of gender, migrations, human trafficking, and states’ responsibility in preventing and punishing human rights violations committed by non-State actors. 

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