John Humphrey is not a household name to most Canadians, but it should be.
The Montreal legal scholar was the principal author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration was described as the international “Magna Carta of all mankind” when it was adopted by the United Nations in 1948.
Even though it is not legally binding, the declaration has been adopted in or has influenced most national constitutions since 1948. It has also served as the foundation for a growing number of national and international laws and treaties.
Humphrey was associated with McGill University in Montreal. In this video, Payam Akhavan, an associate law professor at McGill University, argues why Humphrey should be considered one of the university’s greatest alumni.