Rights & Democracy
About the Authors
Valérie Couillard holds a master’s degree in the theory of comparative law from the European Academy of Legal Theory (Brussels), and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Université du Québec à Montréal. Before working as legal assistant to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (2005–2007), she practiced criminal law and was involved in a variety of cases related to human rights in Canada (1999–2005). She is now the Africa Legal and Human Rights Programme Coordinator at the Forest Peoples Project in the United Kingdom.
Ndiaga Loum is a lawyer and political scientist with a bachelor’s degree in international public law, a master’s degree in political sciences, and a doctorate and a post-doctorate in communications. For two years (2005– 2007) he was the legal assistant to the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). Today, he is a professor in the Department of Social work and Social Sciences at Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO). He is the author of two books: Les médias et l’État au Sénégal, l’impossible autonomie, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2003; and Médias à l’École, Éditions Panos, 2005 (co-written with Michel Sénécal).
Sybil Sakle Thompson
Sybil Sakle Thompson studied International Relations and Socio-Cultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto and the University of Oxford. As a Canadian Red Cross Society volunteer, she produced an educational video on children affected by armed conflict. She has also worked as a Legal Advisor at Africa & Middle East Refugee Assistance in Cairo, Egypt. While completing her B.C.L. and LL.B. at the Faculty of Law at McGill University, Sybil received the Faculty’s Lindsey Anne Cameron Award (for her participation in the Human Rights Internship Program) and also the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s 2007 Students for Development Award.
Kim Turcotte has Master’s degree in international human rights law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland and an LL.B. from Laval University. From 2003 to 2005, she worked for the Special Procedures Branch of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, assisting the Special Rapporteurs on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, and on Freedom of Religion or Belief. From 2005 – 2007, she worked as a legal assistant to the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression in Africa at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Michael Wodzicki has a Master’s degree in social and political studies from the University of Edinburgh. He has worked as a policy advisor to a Canadian cabinet minister as well as with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Belgrade, Serbia. Michael is currently a Deputy Director (Programmes, Policy, and Planning) at Rights & Democracy, where his responsibilities include overseeing projects with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.