Frédéric Mégret

Canada Research Chair in the Law of Human Rights and Social Diversity

Tier 2 - 2006-01-01
McGill University
Social Sciences and Humanities


Research involves

Studying the way the globalization of law both excludes opportunities and creates opportunities for inclusion of various minority groups.

Research relevance

The research is contributing to the development of rights-based legal strategies that foster better inclusion of minorities.

Who's In (and Who's Out): The Consequences of Globalizing Law

The globalization of law is creating huge expectations that globalization can be harnessed for the greater good. At the same time, globalization is having profoundly exclusionary effects.

Canada Research Chair Frédéric Mégret analyzes how these exclusions operate and the extent to which they are a function of law itself, rather than simply a constraint of the environment within which law operates. To carry out his research, Mégret is focusing on case studies in which individuals or groups have consciously or unconsciously been excluded from protection under the law.

One case study is about the exclusion of non-Western people during the 19th century from the protection of the laws of war. Mégret examines how this exclusion can help us better explain the current crisis of the laws of war in the context of the "war against terrorism."

Another case study involves the United Nations and the reasons for its relatively slow response to demands for accountability from those negatively affected by its peace and governance operations.

As he looks for ways in which the globalization of law might simultaneously be inclusive of minorities, Mégret explores how the international law of human rights has been affecting issues of social diversity. He asks important questions about international law such as: Can international human rights law reinvent itself as a law of social inclusion and, in the process, redraw the boundaries of political community and the nature of political association?

Only a detailed study of how international human rights law is received domestically, such as this one being carried out by Mégret, can begin to make sense of these questions.