Robert F. Drinan Chair in Human Rights

In 2006, Georgetown Law established the Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Chair in Human Rights. This position is designed to bring distinguished human rights practitioners to Georgetown Law to teach and engage with our community.

We are pleased to welcome François Crépeau as the 2016-2017 Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Chair in Human Rights at Georgetown Law. Professor Crépeau currently serves as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants and is a Full Professor at the McGill University Faculty of Law, where he holds the Hans and Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law and directs the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. While at Georgetown this fall, Professor Crépeau is teaching a practicum course on International Migration, Mobility, and Human Rights.

Since his appointment in 2011 as a UN Special Rapporteur, Professor Crépeau has produced several thematic reports on the detention of migrants, the protection of migrants' rights at the external borders of the European Union, climate change and migration, global migration governance, labor exploitation of migrants, and labor recruitment practices. The focus of his current research includes migration control mechanisms, the rights of foreigners, the interface between security and migration, and the interface between the rule of law and globalization. In this role advising the UN Human Rights Council, he has conducted official visits to Albania, Tunisia, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Malta, Brussels, Vienna, and Australia. Previously, he had participated in human rights observation missions in the occupied Palestinian territories (2002) and in El Salvador (1991).

At McGill University, Professor Crépeau teaches Migration Law, Immigration and Refugee Law, and Constitutional Law. From 2001 to 2008, he was a professor at the Université de Montréal, holder of the Canada Research Chair in International Migration Law, and founding Scientific Director of the Centre d'Études et de Recherches Internationales de l'Université de Montréal (CÉRIUM). From 1990 to 2001, he was a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He has also been a guest professor at several universities.

Professor Crépeau has presented at many conferences, published numerous articles, and written, edited, or coedited nine books. A list of his extensive scholarship is available here. Additionally, he heads the Globalization and International Law collection at Éditions Bruylant (Brussels) and is a member of the Advisory Committee of the International Migration Initiative of the Open Society Foundations and of several editorial boards, including Journal of Refugee Studies, International Journal of Refugee Law, Refuge, Droits Fondamentaux, European Journal of Human Rights, and Inter Gentes –McGill Journal of International Law &Legal Pluralism. Professor Crépeau is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Advocatus Emeritus of the Quebec Bar Association, has chaired the Coordination Committee of the UN Human Rights Procedures (2014-2015), and was a Fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (2008-2011).

Until 2011, he was a member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and sat on the Barreau du Quebec's Committee on Human Rights and Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He also served as Vice-President of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation (now Equitas) (1992-2004) and Director of the Revue Québécoise de Droit International (1996-2004).

Professor Crépeau holds diplomas from McGill University (BCL and LLB), Bordeaux University (DEUG and Licence in law, Master's in private law), Paris II University (DEA in sociological jurisprudence), and Paris I University (Ph.D. in law).

Past Drinan Professors


  • 2015-2016: Eric Rosenthal (L'92), Founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International
  • 2013-2014: Bela Kapur, former U.N. Human Rights and Political Affairs Officer 
  • 2011-2012: Gay McDougall, former United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues
  • 2009-2010: Aryeh Neier, President Emeritus, Open Society Foundations
  • 2008-2009: Fatsah Ouguergouz, Justice, African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights
  • 2007-2008: Thomas Buergenthal, former Judge, International Court of Justice