Save the Date! 21-23 March 2013

The Third Echenberg Family Conference, on “Democracy, Human Rights and the Fragility of Freedom,” will be held March 21 to 23 this year, at Montreal’s Centre Mont Royal. This three-day conference will address key issues regarding democratic citizenship and the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms on a global scale.

“This is an exceptional opportunity to bring together activists, advocates and human rights professionals from across the world,” says Nandini Ramanujam, Executive Director of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP), who is co-organizing the conference along with the Faculty of Law. The conference series is made possible by generous support from Penny and Gordon Echenberg (BCL’64).

This year’s speakers include the Honorable Irwin Cotler (BA’61, BCL’64), conference co-chair, and over two dozen top figures of human rights from around the world, including Kiran Bedi (India’s first female police officer, now a prominent social activist), Chaudry Aitzaz Ahsan (Pakistani Senator and leader of the 2007 Lawyer’s Movement), Oscar Morales (Colombian organizer of the ‘No Mas FARC’ protests), Maajid Nawaz (former Islamic extremist who founded the world’s first counter-extremist think tank).

British author and ‘Demos’ think-tank founder Martin Jacques will examine the role of democracy and human rights in China in his keynote address.

Accreditation for 14 hours of CLE is pending from the Barreau du Québec.

For all the details and to register, please visit the conference website, at

Conference registration includes entry to a free opening plenary session taking place on March 21, entitled “Democracy and Human Rights: Stories of Engagement and Resilience.”

And don’t delay: The conference offers ‘Early Bird’ prices, but only until January 31, 2013.

-Bridget Wayland