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Colleen Sheppard, FRSC
RSC Council | Secretary, Academy of Social Sciences
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Year of Induction: 
2016
Mandate: 
2018-2021

BIOGRAPHY

Colleen Sheppard is a Professor at McGill University, Faculty of Law, and former Director of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.  The has an honours B.A. and LL.B. from the University of Toronto, and an LL.M. from Harvard University. 

Following her legal studies, she clerked for Chief Justice Dickson at the Supreme Court of Canada.  Her teaching and research focus on human rights law, equality, discrimination law, comparative constitutional law and feminist legal theory. Selective publications include: “Jordan’s Principle: Reconciliation and the First Nation’s Child” (2018) 26(4) Constitutional Forum 3; “Bread and Roses: Economic Justice and Constitutional Rights” (2015) 5 (1) Onati Socio-legal Series 225; “Institutional Inequality and the Dynamics of Courage” (2013) 31(2) Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 103

and Inclusive Equality: The Relational Dimensions of Systemic Discrimination in Canada (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010).  She is currently working on a major research grant on systemic discrimination (funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council). Forthcoming as part of this project is Discrimination Stories: Law, Exclusion and Everyday Life (Irwin Law: 2020). 

Colleen Sheppard has also been active in public interest work, serving as a Commissioner on the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission from 1991-1996 and on the Board of Directors of Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education, from 2006-2012.  She has done research and consulting with Justice Canada, the National Judicial Institute, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the Ontario Métis Aboriginal Association, and the International Labour Organization.  Professor Sheppard was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada's Academy of Social Sciences in September 2016.