Editorial Comments on the IHRP’s Future: A Follow Up Letter

Dear Readers,

In light of the ongoing controversy surrounding the hiring of Professor Valentina Azarova to fill the multi-year vacancy of the Directorship of the International Human Rights Program (IHRP), we wish to provide some optimism regarding the topic of this issue: IHRP fellowships.

Despite dissatisfactory answers from Dean Iacobucci and the insufficient “investigation” announced October 14, the short-term future of the IHRP is no longer completely uncertain. With the announcement of Professor Rebecca Cook coming on as the second interim Director of the IHRP and with concerted efforts from members of the administrative team, IHRP fellowships are still a go!

These fellowships consistently bring fulfilling and exciting work to University of Toronto law students passionate about international legal issues and practice. Not only can our legal boundaries expand through unique applications of the law and meaningful collaborations, but the contributions of IHRP fellows have the potential to push international legal norms forward and add to precedent-setting projects that benefit individuals around the world. For a sense of what fellows have done in past years, see the Fellowships Highlights from 2019, 2018, 2017, and more in our Archive. For a sense of what the 2020 IHRP Fellows achieved despite the pandemic, and how you may still forge a meaningful fellowship experience as COVID-19 continues, see our four excellent submissions in this issue.

The Faculty of Law’s Manager of Experiential Education, Kim Snell, wishes to reassure all interested students that the fellowship process will continue as normal. In email correspondence with the Rights Review Editors in Chief, she directs students to the following:

  1. Later this fall, the International Law Club hopes to host an information session on the student experience of IHRP summer internships
  2. Ms. Snell will participate in the CDO info session on all Law School Summer Employment Program (LSSEP) opportunities, likely to be held early November; and
  3. The IHRP website will be updated soon, including the fellowship guide.

Ms. Snell further clarifies that in light of the global pandemic and the continued uncertainty around international travel, all students will be asked, as part of their application, whether their proposed host organization can support remote work, if necessary. If students are starting to research, reach out, or apply to potential organizations, they may want to specifically engage on this question.

Finally, if anyone has questions or concerns about the fellowship process, Ms. Snell welcomes your correspondence. You can reach her at: kim.snell@utoronto.ca.

We thank Ms. Snell for her clarifying answers and for her hard work ensuring IHRP fellowships will occur as usual. We also look forward to collaborating with everyone involved in the interim IHRP leadership and welcoming Professor Rebecca Cook to the interim Director position with open and grateful arms.


Rachel Bryce and Abdullah Khan
Rights Review Co-Editors-in-Chief