A roundtable on the publication of Injustice, Memory and Faith in Human Rights with the editors - Kalliopi Chainolgou, Barry Collins, Michael Philips and John Strawson
This seminar will be taking place at 18:30 - 21:00 in room US4.14 at University Square Stratford (1 Salway Road, E15 1NF)
This multi-disciplinary collection published by Routledge interrogates the role of human rights in addressing past injustices. It grew out of a workshop organized by the CHRC in June 2013 to discuss human rights and historical memory inspired by the Spanish law on historical memory, organized by Barry Collins. The volume draws on legal scholars, political scientists, anthropologists and political philosophers grappling with the weight of the memory of historical injustices arising from conflicts in Europe, the Middle East and Australasia. It examines the role of human rights as legal doctrine, rhetoric and policy as developed by states, international organizations, regional groups and non-governmental bodies. The authors question whether faith in human rights is justified as balm to heal past injustice or whether such faith nourishes both victimhood and self-justification. These issues are explored through three discrete sections: moments of memory and injustice, addressing injustice; and questions of faith. In each of these sections, authors address the manner in which memory of past conflicts and injustice haunt our contemporary understanding of human rights. The volume questions whether the expectation that human rights law can deal with past injustice has undermined the development of an emancipatory politics of human rights for our current world.
Sylvie Namwase: Using human rights litigation to pursue justice for excessive force used in riot control as crimes against humanity: the case of Uganda
Sara Solmone: Where do things happen when they happen online? The problem of establishing jurisdiction on the Internet
Kerry Prior: Accountability Mechanisms as a Tool to Sustainable Peace in Colombia
Chair: Chandra Lekha Sriram
Further details on this event to be confirmed
Speaker: Professor Michael Ignatieff
Walls, razor wire and fences are going up all over Europe - and North America too - as democracies face the challenge of mass migration. How do we reconcile refugees' rights of asylum with sovereign rights of border control and citizens' rights to security?
The language of rights is now on a collision course with the language of democracy and sovereignty. What role can the language of the gift play in sustaining political support for prudent migration policies?
Prof Michael Ignatieff introduces discussion, with a response from Prof Chandra Sriram.
Wednesday 26th April 2017, 6pm, Room US1.01
University of East London, University Square Stratford,
1 Salway Road, London E15 1NF
(University Square Stratford is close to Stratford Underground station, Central Line)
To book a place(s), please follow the Eventbrite link.
Michael Ignatieff is President and Rector of Central European University, Budapest. He is known internationally as a writer and human rights advocate; he was also a member of parliament and leader of the Liberal Party in Canada. His publications include: The Needs of Strangers (1984), The Rights Revolution (2000), Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (2001) and The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (2004).
Chandra Sriram is Professor of International Law and International Relations, and Director of the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, University of East London. Her recent publications include: Transitional Justice in the Middle East and North Africa (2016) and War, Conflict and Human Rights: Theory and Practice (3rd edn 2017).
In April 2017 the University of East London launches a course that assists refugees wishing to enter higher education in the UK. The Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) has been established in collaboration with Central European University, Budapest, the University of Vienna and the European Network Against Racism (ENAR). It is funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme. To find out more and to apply, email Dr Aura Lounasmaa at A.Lounasmaa@uel.ac.uk
This year also marks two anniversaries: the 20th anniversary of UEL’s innovative, refugee-centred MA course in Refugee Studies, and the 10th anniversary of the Centre on Human Right in Conflict. The MA in Refugee Studies addresses causes and outcomes of forced migration, refugee experiences and aspirations, and human rights, citizenship and asylum. More information here.
Dr. Malone will be speaking about the challenges and opportunities the United Nations faces in the current context of negotiating inter-state agreements regarding migration. The GMG acts as the lead for 21 international and regional organizations dealing with these issues, and while the difficulties are significant in the current global climate, the incoming UN Secretary-General is an advocate on these issues.
This event is co-sponsored by the University of East London’s Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging
This event is organized in cooperation with the London Transitional Justice Network: www.londontjnetwork.org
Chandra Lekha Sriram is the Director of the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict at the University of East London and Editor of Transitional Justice in the Middle East and North Africa (Oxford University Press and Hurst, 2016).
Omar Ashour is Senior Lecturer in Security Studies and Middle East Politics and contributing author to Transitional Justice in the Middle East and North Africa. He is the author of numerous publications on security, terrorism, and democratization in the region.
Discussant: Rachel Kerr is Senior Lecturer in War Studies at Kings College London. She is the author of numerous publications on international criminal justice and transitional justice.
This event is organized in cooperation with the London Transitional Justice Network: www.londontjnetwork.org
A panel discussion with human rights professionals providing insights and advice on pursuing careers in the human rights field and information on opportunities with their organizations.
Mariana Goetz, Head of Advocacy and Learning, Aegis Trust and Nancy Jones of STAND UK (Aegis student wing) will introduce the work of the Aegis Trust which aims to prevent genocide and mass atrocities worldwide. Information will be provided on how to get actively involved in the organization’s student programmes and receive valuable public speaking and campaigning skills training in the process.
Fred Carver, Head of Policy for UNA-UK: Fred leads the organization's policy development, working with the Campaigns and Outreach teams on the policy content of their projects. He also has a particular focus on UNA's work on UN Peacekeepers. Prior to joining UNA-UK, Fred ran the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, a human rights NGO which campaigned for a lasting peace in Sri Lanka.Lucy Claridge, Legal Director, Minority Rights Group International: Lucy manages the Legal Department and has run MRG’s strategic litigation programme since 2009. She is a UK-qualified solicitor with extensive experience litigating and advocating minority and indigenous peoples’ rights issues before regional, international and domestic bodies. Lucy was previously Legal Director at the Kurdish Human Rights Project & Deputy Director of British Irish Rights Watch.
A panel discussion with:
Prof. Tom Hadden, Emeritus Professor, School of Law, Queens University Belfast and Honorary Professor at the Kent Law School
Prof. Hadden is the initiator of the Corporate Reform Collective's paperback Fighting Corporate Abuse: Beyond Predatory Capitalism. He will outline the group's campaign to promote a new political economy for the corporation and their work with the Labour Party and others to deliver some practical and deliverable reforms to the current self-interested, economically divisive and often corrupt neo-liberal consensus.
Dr. Costantino Grasso, Lecturer, Royal Docks School of Business and Law, UEL
Deferred Prosecution Agreements: an invaluable tool for minimizing crime risk and fostering good corporate governance. DPAs represent a voluntary alternative to adjudication that allows prosecution of an organization to be suspended for a defined period provided certain specified conditions are met. Dr. Grasso will examine the way in which DPAs work as a legal instrument and discuss their potential human rights implications, e.g., in preventing future violations.
Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega, Reader in Public International Law, University of Greenwich
Tackling conflict related human rights abuses through transparency in the supply chain. Dr. Martin- Ortega’s presentation will analyse the recent normative developments regarding corporate transparency and due diligence and will address both conflict minerals and abuse of Syrian migrants (including children) in the garment sector in Turkey.
Chair: Jérémie Gilbert, Professor of International and Comparative Law, UEL
Venue: Room USSG19/20 (University Square Stratford, 1 Salway Road, London E15 1NF)
Kumru Baser, a distinguished journalist living in London, worked as a regional analyst for the BBC Turkish service for decades, currently working as a freelance journalist. Kumru is a long-standing activist for press freedom in Turkey. Kumru will talk on “Cracking down on the press in post-coup Turkey”.
Dr. Edel Hughes is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the Royal Docks School of Business & Law at UEL and researches on the areas of international human rights law and public international law. She has a regional focus on Turkey and she will talk on “The state of emergency law in Turkey and the Kurdish peace process”.
Bülent Gökay is Professor of International Relations at Keele University and the founding editor of the Journal of Global Fault-lines. Bülent will talk on “Turkey’s authoritarian turn: A global fault-lines perspective”.
Discussant and Chair: Vassilis K. Fouskas, Professor of International Politics & Economics, Director of STAMP and Editor of the Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Royal Docks School of Business & Law, UEL.
For more information contact Dr Ejike Udeogu at firstname.lastname@example.org;visit our Facebook page on https://www.facebook.com/uelstamp; follow us on twitter: @stamp_uel and on LinkedIn.
A panel discussion with:
Prof. Neil Chakraborti, Professor of Criminology, Head of Department and Director of the Centre for Hate Studies at the University of Leicester
Dr. Aurélien Mondon, Senior Lecturer in French and Comparative Politics, University of Bath “Mainstreaming of racist speech in France and the UK”
Discussant: Dr. Aaron Winter, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of East London
Chair: Sara Solmone, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, UEL
Following the Macpherson Inquiry into the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence there has been progress in defining hate crime and the way the criminal justice deals with it. Yet, in recent years we have seen a rise in populist far right movements, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant xenophobia across Europe and the United States, and following the Paris attacks and Brexit we have seen a normalisation of hate speech and a rise in recorded hate crimes in Britain. Some have argued that this shows the limits of the progress made and others see this as a backlash or revival of hate and violence that had been resigned to the past. It has also been claimed that hate speech directed at Muslims and immigrants in the media and by political leaders has played a role in hate crimes, but both concepts and the relationship between them are contested and debated.
This panel discussion will look specifically at hate crime in the UK and the revival of populist far-right movements in Western democracies and mainstreaming of racist
discourses in the UK and France and will examine key issues and debates about both hate speech and hate crime, and various conceptual, operational and political challenges to dealing with them.
Co-organized by UEL's Terrorism and Extremism Research Centre
A panel discussion with:
Sean Arbuthnott, Prevent Duty and Safeguarding Trainer, Founder of Tadris Consultants: “A practitioners experience of local prevent delivery”
Anthony Richards, Reader in Criminology, University of East London: “Prevent and the shifting parameters of counter-terrorism”
Paul Thomas, Professor of Youth and Policy, University of Huddersfield: “Complexly flawed: Changing experiences of responsibilisation and contestation within the Prevent Strategy”
Discussant: Chandra Lekha Sriram, Professor of International Law and International Relations and Director, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, UEL
Chair: John Morrison, Reader in Criminology and Criminal Justice and Director, Terrorism and Extremism Research Centre
Prevent is one of the four Ps (prevent, pursue, protect, prepare) that make up the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy. First introduced in 2003, the Prevent strategy has been subject to a series of reviews and revisions including, most recently, by the current Government in 2011. In 2015, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act
introduced a Prevent duty on British schools, colleges and other public bodies to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. The stated aim of Prevent is to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism, but critics of the strategy claim that it stigmatizes and alienates Muslim communities and can be detrimental to the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
This panel will bring academic and practitioner perspectives to current debates around the conceptualization and implementation of the UK Government’s Prevent Strategy, particularly insofar as it potentially infringes on human rights. Panelists will engage with critiques of the strategy and provide insights, based on empirical evidence and drawn from experience of practice at ground-level, of what has worked and what has not in practice.
Co-organized by UEL's Terrorism and Extremism Research Centre
This seminar will feature the work of Peace Brigades International (PBI) in supporting local human rights defenders and promoting nonviolence in areas of conflict and repression around the world. PBI staff and former volunteers will introduce and reflect on PBI’s work and provide information on how to get involved.
Susi Bascon, PBI Director – Introduction to “Invisible Mandelas” – a short film about the work of PBI
Adam Lunn – Experiences of a PBI volunteer in Guatemala
Ruth Cherrington – Employability Manager, Royal Docks School of Business and Law, UEL and former volunteer in PBI UK’s London office
Chaired by: Chandra Lekha Sriram, Professor of International Law and International Relations and Director, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, UEL
Organized in co-operation with the University of East London’s Employability team
A panel discussion by:
- Edel Hughes, Senior Lecturer, School of Business and Law, UEL
- Deniz Cifci, Political Advisor, The Centre for Turkey Studies
- Janroj Yilmaz Keles, Research Fellow, Business School, Middlesex University
The Syrian conflict has brought the situation of the Kurds in the Middle East into sharp focus. Kurdish armed groups in Syria, in particular the People’s Protection Units (YPG), have proven to be the most effective group fighting ISIS/Daesh in northern Syria whilst the Peshmerga in Iraq have also been working in conjunction with US forces in fighting ISIS in the region. At the same time, Turkey, a key NATO ally and partner in the fight against ISIS/Daesh, is involved in an armed campaign against the Kurdish PKK in south-eastern Turkey and vehemently opposes the emergence of a de facto autonomous Kurdish region in north eastern Syria.
This panel will examine the complex legal and political questions that arise from the current situation as it relates to the region’s Kurds and will focus on questions of human rights and self-determination, particularly in the Turkish and Syrian contexts.
- Rosalind Raddatz, Research Fellow, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge
- Chair: Sally Holt, Senior Research Fellow, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, UEL
The international community often advocates ‘inclusivity’ in peace negotiations. Inclusivity is a central pillar in the three central UN review processes in 2015, on peace support operations, on peacebuilding architecture, and on the implementation of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. It is difficult to be against the idea of inclusivity, yet there is enormous conceptual confusion surrounding the term. Many different stakeholders profess rhetorical commitment to inclusivity, yet they use the term in very different and sometimes contradictory ways. There are profound disagreements on who should be included in peace negotiations, at what stage and for what end.
Considering case studies in Burundi, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, we argue that while inclusivity at the peace negotiations does play a role in the nature of post-conflict politics, it does not always do so in predictable ways. This means that inclusivity serves as an important rallying cry for diverse actors who wish to claim a voice and political platform, and also serves the normative and political agendas of some regional and international actors, but without further precision these calls do not serve as a particularly useful guide to action.
A panel discussion by PhD students:
Rajiv Jebodh, UEL
- The Westminster system, rule of law development and restorative justice in the Commonwealth Caribbean
Sylvie Namwase, UEL
- Excessive force in riot control as a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute: challenges and contradictions
Sara Solmone, UEL
- The concept of State jurisdiction online and the respect for human rights in contemporary international law
Chair: Chandra Lekha Sriram, Professor of International Law and International Relations and Director, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, UEL
Why Land Rights and Human Rights?
Land rights are not typically perceived to be a human rights issue. Legally, land rights usually fall within the categories of land laws, land tenure agreements or planning regulations, but are rarely associated with human rights law. There is also very little interaction between land law and human rights. Internationally, no treaty or declaration specifically refers to a human right to land.
Despite the lack of a coherent conceptual and legal framework at international level, land rights are often a key human rights issue. In many countries, access to land rights and security of tenure constitute the basis for access to food, livelihoods, housing and development for a large percentage of the population, and are an important source of national food security. Without access to land many people find themselves in a situation of great economic insecurity. Access and rights over lands are also frequently stratified on a hierarchical and segregated system where the poorest, less educated, and otherwise disadvantaged do not hold security of land tenure.
Podcasts of past CHRC seminars.
Negotiating Justice? Judicial Accommodation of Politics in the Kenyan ICC Cases and Its Implications for the Legitimacy of International Justice (Wednesday 7 May 2014)
Past Seminars and Lectures
Wednesday 4 November 2015
Careers in Human Rights: Advice and Opportunities
This panel discussion provided insights about careers in human rights, advice on getting into the field and information on opportunities with their organisations.
- Marta Welander, Deputy Director, Democratic Progress Institute
- Rebecca Usden, National Youth Coordinator, Aegis Trust
- Elizabeth Forster, Legal intern, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Wednesday 25 November 2015
Palestine and Israel beyond the walls: the excess of history and law in the contemporary conflict
- John Strawson Valedictory Lecture
- Chair: Mark Stephens CBE
After 41 years of service to the University of East London and its predecessors, John Strawson retired in August 2015. This lecture by John provided an opportunity for staff and students to hear John speak and recognise the invaluable contributions he has made to the School of Law over the decades, with his own research and teaching, and through his research leadership. Mark Stephens CBE chaired the lecture.
In October, walls were built between Jewish and Palestinian neighbourhoods of Jerusalem. Two other walls overshadow these new barriers, the Western Wall of the Temple and the Israeli Wall built through Palestinian territory declared illegal by the International Court of Justice. Building walls and conflict over walls has been a continuing theme of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The current conflict over the Western wall and access to the Harem Al Sharif above it is rooted in conflicts dating from the 1920’s. Today’s inter-communal conflict contains many of the violent elements in 1921 and 1929 in clashes over the Western Wall. The wall across the West Bank looks increasingly permanent and casts a menacing presence over Palestinian life. John Strawson will argue in this lecture that finding a solution to the current disturbances and the overall conflict will require each side to put aside attachment to two metaphorical walls erected on the foundations of historical narrative and law. The excess of history and law has trapped politics and condemned Palestinians and Israelis to permanent conflict. He will suggest that a new political vision is required so that Palestinians, Israelis and their international interlocutors can look beyond these walls. This could be based on the approach of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine possessed in 1947 which recommending a solution that understood, the international significance of the holy places, the singularity of the land and the plurality of its peoples.
Wednesday 9 December 2015
The impact of transitional justice measures on democratic institution-building
- Chandra Lekha Sriram, Professor of International Law and International Relations, Director of the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, UEL
- Valerie Arnould, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, UEL
- Johanna Herman, Senior Research Fellow, CHRC, UEL
- Elizabeth Rhoads, Research Fellow, UEL
Co-sponsored by the London Transitional Justice Network
This panel discussed the findings from the three-year collaborative research project, the Impact of transitional justice measures on democratic institution-building supported by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. The project started in January 2013 and ends in December 2015 and focuses on countries facing a myriad of challenges following their emergence from authoritarian rule and/or violent conflict. This is a comparative, qualitative project examining the effects - positive, negative, and nil - of several transitional justice measures upon key elements of democratic institution-building in eight countries on four continents.
Wednesday 28 January
4 - 5.30pm
Civil society and transitional justice: Lessons from the Balkans, Uganda, and Kenya
In this panel, speakers will discuss their recent research in the three sites under scrutiny by international criminal courts, focusing on the roles and strategies of civil society actors in promoting accountability. This research was funded by the MacArthur Foundation and the European Union. More details can be found in this report.
- Phil Clark, Reader, Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS
- Iavor Rangelov, Global Security Research Fellow, Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, LSE
- Chandra Lekha Sriram, Professor of International Law and International Relations and co-Director, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, UEL
This event is co-sponsored by the London Transitional Justice Network
Wednesday 18 February
4 - 5.30pm, Room US 3.02, 3rd Floor, University Square Stratford
This talk will look critically at the varied permutations of the gacaca law and subsequent performances of gacaca staged both theatrically and performatively to address the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Breed will address moments of intervention, when theatrical or performative mechanisms have been used as sites of resistance.
- Ananda Breed, Reader, School of Arts and Digital Industries, UEL
- Chair: Jeremie Gilbert, Reader, School of Business and Law, UEL
- Alice Mukaka, former performer of Centre Universitaire des Arts in Rwanda and current PhD candidate at the University of East London
- Tim Prentki, Professor of Theatre for Development, University of Winchester.
- Astrid Jamar, former NGO worker for Penal Reform International and Avocats sans Frontieres
This event is cosponsored by the Centre for Perfoming Arts Development at the University of East London
Wednesday 18 March
4 – 5.30pm US 1.01
Doing socio-legal and field research: challenges and new approaches
The speakers will explore the challenges of undertaking socio-legal research, new interpretative approaches to socio-legal research and carrying out field research.
- "Interpretative approaches to socio-legal and field research" Amanda Perry-Kessaris, Professor of Law, University of Kent
- "Theoretical Phd to empirical Postdoc: challenges and reflections" Ian Patel
Careers in human rights
A panel discussion on pursuing careers in the human rights field
Chris Chapman, Adviser on Indigneous Peoples, Amnesty International
Christian De Vos, Advocacy Officer, Open Society Foundations
Rebecca Usden, National Youth Coordinator, Aegis Trust
Researching International Crimes of Sexual Violence: Prosecutions, Patterns, and Problems
Kirsten Campbell, Reader in Sociology, Goldsmiths
International Criminal Law and its Archive: Slave Trade Abolition Litigation and International Criminal Legal Subjects.
Emily Haslam, Senior Lecturer in Law, Kent Law School
New Voices in Post Atrocity Justice
This panel is co-sponsored by the London Transitional Justice Network.
Building the rule of law through transitional justice: the role of civil society, Julie Broome, SOAS
The use of excessive force during riot control: law enforcement and crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute, Sylvie Namwase, UEL
The impact of the International Criminal Court's Establishment on the Further Development of Crimes within the Court's Jurisdiction, Demetra Loizou, SOAS
The emergence of transitional justice, Marcos Zunino, Cambridge
Violence and Understanding in Gaza: The British broadsheets’ coverage of a war (2008-9)
David Kaposi, Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of East London
David is the author of Violence and Understanding in Gaza: The British broadsheets’ coverage of the war
Wednesday 19 February 2014Title: The Endtimes of Human Rights?
Speaker: Stephen Hopgood, Reader in International Relations and co-Director of the Centre for the International Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice (CCRJ), SOAS
Wednesday 5 March 2014Title: Complementarity in the line of fire: The Catalysing Effect of the International Criminal Court in Uganda and Sudan
Speaker: Dr. Sarah Nouwen, University Lecturer in International Law, Cambridge
Of the many expectations attending the creation of the first permanent International Criminal Court, the greatest has been that the principle of complementarity would catalyse national investigations and prosecutions of conflict-related crimes and lead to the reform of domestic justice systems. In a recently published book, Sarah Nouwen explores whether complementarity has had such an effect in two states subject to ICC intervention: Uganda and Sudan. Drawing on extensive empirical research and combining law, legal anthropology and political economy, she unveils several effects and outlines the catalysts for them. However, she also reveals that one widely anticipated effect – an increase in domestic proceedings for conflict-related crimes – has barely occurred. This finding leads to the unravelling of paradoxes that go right to the heart of the functioning of an idealistic Court in a world of real constraints.
Wednesday 19 March 2014Title: Local voices in internationalised justice? Civil parties at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Speaker: Johanna Herman, Research Fellow, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, UEL
Wednesday 23 April 2014Title: The Hague Approach: Six Principles for Achieving Sustainable Peace in Post Conflict Situations
Speaker: Dr. Abiodun Williams, President, Hague Institute for Global Justice
Wednesday 7 May 2014
Title: Negotiating Justice? Judicial Accommodation of Politics in the Kenyan ICC Cases and Its Implications for the Legitimacy of International Justice
Speaker: Thomas Obel-Hansen, International Law, US International University in Nairobi
This seminar is co-sponsored by the British Academy and the London Transitional Justice Network
Friday 4 October 2013
Title: Building democracy through transitional justice: Instigating active citizenship
This event is also sponsored by: Project on the Impact of Transitional Justice Measures on Democratic Institution-building and the London Transitional Justice Network
Speaker: Hugo van der Merwe, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, South Africa
Wednesday 9 October 2013Time:16.00-17.30
Title: Maybe Failing on Human Rights after Conflict: Bosnia, Kosovo and Libya?
Speaker: Clive Baldwin, Senior Legal Adviser, Human Rights Watch
Wednesday 16 October 2013Time: 16.00-17.30
Title: War crimes trials as a source of social solidarity: the problematic case of Bangladesh
Speaker: Wayne Morrison, Professor of Law, Queen Mary, University of London
Wednesday 23 October 2013Time: 16.00-17.30
Title: Protecting cultural property during conflict: to whose advantage?
Speaker: Peter Stone, Professor, School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University
Tuesday 3 December 2013Book launch to celebrate the publication of Roshan de Silva Wijeyeratne's new book
Nation, Constitutionalism and Buddhism in Sri Lanka
Venue (change due to UCU strike): Antalya restaurant
Address: 103-105 Southampton Row, London WC1 4BHH
Co-sponsored by the Centre for Ethnic Minority Studies (SOAS Law School), the South Asian Centre (SOAS) and Centre on Human Rights in Conflict (UEL).
Wednesday 11 December 2013Time: 16.00-17.30
Title: Nation, Constitutionalism and Buddhism in Sri LankaSpeakers: Roshan De Silva Wijeyeratne, Lecturer in Law, Griffith University
Wednesday 12 June 2013Law, faith and historical memory
The CHRC organised a one-day workshop. The aim of the workshop was to explore various issues that emerge from the intersection of law, faith and historical memory. What role can and should the law play in the "recovery" or "recuperation" of the collective memory of state sanctioned human rights abuses? Who benefits and who loses when historical memory laws are passed, why do they take the form they do, and what effects do they have on victims, the state, and the powerful? Does faith (in human rights, law, democracy, or religion), facilitate or hinder attempts to retell the past in ways that take due account of the interests of victims of past human rights abuses? Spain’s 2007 Law on Historical Memory has been seen as both an inflammatory and an inadequate attempt by the Spanish state to change the official policy of forgetting that had characterised the country’s transition from dictatorship to democracy. The atrocities of the civil war and the Franco regime were effectively erased from public memory in order to ease this transition.This workshop sought to examine some of the lessons learned by that experience and more generally of how law produces regimes of remembering and forgetting. The workshop was not just limited to the Spanish example but considered other examples where law has sought to deal with historical atrocity.
Papers presented at the workshop included:
“All power, no responsibility: The Northern Ireland Reconciliation Debate”, Dr. Cillian McGrattan, Lecturer, Department of Politics and Cultural Studies, University of Swansea
“The Catholic Church and the Law of Historical Memory”, Dr. Michael Phillips, Lecturer, School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London
“Identity and (Historical) Memory in Spain. The pursuit of unattainable justice”, Ignacio Fernandez de Mata, Profesor de Antropología Social, Decano Facultad Humanidades y Educación, Universidad de Burgos.
“Questioning the use of human rights in promoting reconciliation: a theoretical approach”, Athanasia Hadjigeorgiou, PhD Candidate, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London
“Varosha: Backyard of the Cyprus Conflict”, Mertkan Hamit, PhD Candidate, School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London
“If he remembers not, must I forget?”: Memory as the Transformation of Violence, Eric Heinze, Professor, Faculty of Laws, Queen Mary, University of London
“Historical Justice and Human Rights: Articles of Faith?”, Barry Collins, Senior Lecturer, School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London
Wednesday 1 May 2013
The binding force of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Professor William Schabas, School of Law, Middlesex University
On the creation of new rights: Radical Politics and Human Rights
Wednesday 17 April 2013
Dr.Illan Rua Wall, School of Law, University of Warwick
There is a perpetual debate in human rights law surrounding the question of whether to create new human rights? On one side many bemoan the incessant rights generation. They insist that such 'new' rights may be adequately accommodated within existing frameworks, and that multiplication of international instruments and obligations merely waters down the 'core' set of demands. On the other side are those who insist on the necessity of a supple and fluid usage of the discourse that is responsive to events. The debate around 'new' human rights has focused upon making 'second generation' rights like water and sanitation substantive; and generating 'third generation' rights like development, peace or truth. Upendra Baxi insists that we must distinguish between a politics of human rights and a politics for human rights. Where the former describes the deployment of human rights in the management of the current distribution of power; the latter names an alternative, ruptural politics. The speaker discusses how the question of new rights is displaced entirely from one of conserving the established and legitimate discourse, to a strategic question of engagement with and against law.
The paper is available here.
Wednesday 20 March 2013Regime Change: From Democratic Peace Theories to Forcible Regime Change
Rein Mullerson, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Estonia, member of Institut de droit International, Professor of International Law, and President of Tallinn University.
The current series of regime changes started with the collapse and the transformation of the Soviet Union. Professor R. Mullerson examines democratic peace theories and argues that regime changes take place in the general context of a globalising world that is characterised by a transformation of the balance of power and a crisis of dominant and political institutions. Professor R. Mullerson’s latest book Regime Change: From Democratic Peace Theories to Forcible Regime Change is published by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (2013).
Wednesday 6 March 2013The United States and the policy of targeted killings
Achilles Skordas, Professor of International Law, School of Law, University of Bristol
The policy of targeted killings may be ‘the only game in town’, as then CIA Director Leon Panetta famously said in 2009, but there are significant legal hurdles in the implementation of the policy. The speaker will discuss the legal framework of municipal U.S. law, as well as the consistency of targeted killings with international law, including, in particular, the law of force, the law of armed conflict, and human rights law. The discussion will be based on the relevant case-law, and legal policy documents, including the recent legal opinion of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Wednesday 27 February 2013Transforming Pain into Hope: Human Rights Defenders in the Americas
Nancy Tapias Torrado, Researcher on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas, Amnesty International
Leonor Rebassa, Campaigner for the Human Rights Defenders in the Americas, Amnesty International
Human rights defenders in the Americas have made fundamental contributions to the advancement of human rights. However, they are systematically harassed, attacked, stigmatized and subjected to unfounded criminal charges in almost every country in the Americas to prevent them from speaking out for the rights of the most marginalized. Those particularly targeted include people working on issues related to land and natural resources; the rights of women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, abuses against migrants as well as those working to ensure justice for human rights abuses, plus journalists, bloggers and trade unionists. The speakers presented Amnesty International’s campaign and Amnesty International's Report Transforming pain into hope: Human rights defenders in the Americas, which are based on the analysis of around 300 cases of attacks against human rights defenders in more than a dozen countries in the Americas, primarily between January 2010 and September 2012. (Report and current public campaigning actions are available at: http://amnesty.org/en/campaigns/human-rights-defenders-americas).
Wednesday 25 January 2012Women, armed conflicts and peace operations: victims, actors and agents
Ruth Abril-Stoffels, Professor of International Law, Universidad CEU-Cardenal Herrera, Valencia, Spain
Wednesday 18 April 2012Nuts, Sluts and Perverts: conflict and challenges in the domestication of Human Rights law
Elizabeth Stokes, Senior Lecturer, School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London
Wednesday 28 September 2011Human Rights: Ten Years After September 11th
John Strawson, Reader and Interim Director of the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London
Wednesday 12 October 2011Doing justice or meddling in transitions? Universal jurisdiction and Spanish prosecution of crimes committed in Rwanda and DRC
Rosa Ana Fernandez Alija, Lecturer, University of Barcelona, Spain
This event is co-hosted by the London Transitional Justice Network.
Wednesday 26 October 2011Migrant workers and camel jockeys: a look at exploitation in the Gulf
Wednesday 9 November 2011Gender-based violence in war and the question of accountability: The case of Bosnia
Maja Korac, Reader, School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London and Olga Martin-Ortega, Senior Research Fellow, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London
Wednesday 23 November 2011The Human-Rights Compliance of UK Anti-Terrorism Legislation in the Light of Domestic and International Case Law
Carmen Draghici, Lecturer, School of Law, City University
Wednesday 9 February 2011
A film following the battle for the International Criminal Court. This 2009 film follows ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and his team for three years across four continents as he carries out his work pursuing perpetrators of international crimes committed in Uganda, Congo, Colombia and Sudan.
Wednesday 23 February 2011After Egypt: Human Rights, Reform and Revolt in the Arab World. A Panel Discussion
Lawrence Joffe, Middle East Expert and Journalist and John Strawson, Reader in Law and Director of the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, School of Law, University of East London.
This seminar will discuss the impact of the Egyptian January 25th Revolution on the Arab world and the wider Middle East. As revolts spread to Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Iran the speakers will assess the prospects for human rights and democracy in the region.
Wednesday 2 March 2011Transitional Justice in the former Yugoslavia in focus: discussing key issues, major actors and (in) voluntary consequences: A Panel Discussion
Iva Vukusic, Sense News Agency, Arnaud Kurze, Department of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University and Dr Olga Martin-Ortega, CHRC, School of Law, University of East London.
This event is co-hosted by the London Transitional Justice Network.
Wednesday 23 March 2011Counterterrorism, Development and Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: Convergences, tensions and uncomfortable parallels
Dr Joel Busher, Research Fellow, School of Law, University of East London
Podacts available here: Counterterrorism, Development and Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: Convergences, tensions and uncomfortable parallels
Wednesday 6 April 2011Civil Liability of Corporate and Non-state Aiders and Abettors of International Terrorism as an Evolving Notion under International Law
Dr Sascha Bachmann, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Portsmouth
Podcast available here: Civil Liability of Corporate and Non-state Aiders and Abettors of International Terrorism as an Evolving Notion under International Law
Wednesday 29 September 2010
LLM Inaugural lecture: Perspectives in International Law
John Strawson, Reader in Law and Interim Director, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, School of Law, University of East London
Wednesday 13 October 2010
Who cares about victims? Victim participation at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia
Johanna Herman, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, School of Law, University of East London
Policy Paper on victim participation at the ECCC or Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia
Wednesday 27 October 2010
Book Launch: Laws attack on Middle East Peace: Can Palestinian-Israeli Negotiations succeed?
At a critical stage of the Middle East peace process Professor Bill Bowring, (Birkbeck, University of London) and John Strawson (UEL) debate Strawson’s recent book Partitioning Palestine: Legal Fundamentalism in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (Pluto Press 2010).
Professor Bill Bowring, Birkbeck College, School of Law, University of London and John Strawson, Reader in Law and Interim Director, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, School of Law, University of East London.
Wednesday 24 November 2010Should there be a universally established human right to a good, clean and healthy environment? Conflicts and debates
Dr. Stephen Turner, Senior Lecturer, University of Winchester
Dr. Turner is the author of “A Substantive Environmental Right” (Kluwer, 2009)
Monday 12 April 2010The Security Council and Children and Armed Conflict
Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Wednesday 10 February 2010Human Rights, Sovereignty and Military Intervention
Professor Michael W. Doyle, Harold Brown Professor of International Affairs, Law and Political Science, Columbia University
Wednesday 3 March 2010
Surviving field research: Working in violent and difficult situations; a panel discussion
Professor Chandra Lekha Sriram, Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega, Johanna Herman, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, University of East London, School of Law
Hosted by SOAS
Wednesday 10 March 2010
Widows, War and Peace: the why, the wherefore and the how
Augustina Akoto, Lecturer, University of East London School of Law
Wednesday 21 April 2010
A showing of this 2009 film, which follows ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and his team for three years across four continents as he carries out his work pursuing perpetrators of international crimes committed in Uganda, Congo, Colombia and Sudan.
Past Seminars/Launch - 2009
Wednesday 2 December 2009Breaking the link between natural resources and armed conflict: The Kimberley Process on rough diamonds
Wednesday 18 November 2009Islamic law in post-conflict Muslim states: Research and practice
Siraj Sait, Senior Lecturer, University of East London School of Law
Thursday 12 November 2009Civilian casualties and international humanitarian law: Lessons from Iraq?
John Sloboda, Professor of Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London and Executive Director, Oxford Research Group, and Co-founder Iraq Body Count
Friday 16 October 2009Surviving field research: Working in violent and difficult situations
A roundtable discussion featuring Lars Waldorf, University of York, Oliver Richmond, University of St Andrews, and Chandra Lekha Sriram, Olga Martin-Ortega, and Johanna Herman, University of East London. Followed by a drinks reception.
Wednesday 7 October 2009War, conflict, and human rights: theory and practice
A panel discussion featuring Chandra Lekha Sriram, Olga Martin-Ortega, and Johanna Herman, University of East London.
Monday 2 March 2009
Launch of "Just Peace? Peacebuilding and rule of law in Africa: Lessons for policymakers"
The CHRC launched the policy paper "Just Peace? Peacebuilding and rule of law in Africa" with a panel discussion hosted by the Royal African Society and SOAS. The paper provides lessons from the CHRC's forthcoming edited volume on rule of law in African countries emerging from violent conflict, funded by a British Academy larger grant. Please contact Johanna Herman for hard copies of the publication.
Chair: Chandra Lekha Sriram, Director, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict
Stephen Brown, University of Ottawa, The Rule of Law and the Hidden Politics of Transitional Justice in Rwanda
Olga Martin-Ortega and Johanna Herman, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, Too much, too soon? Exploring Rule of Law programming in Liberia
Sarah Maguire, Independent rule of law expert, Creating demand in Darfur - circling the square
Discussant: Ademola Abass, Brunel University School of Law
The CHRC thanks the British Academy for its support to the project and the reception.
Wednesday 11 February 2009“From Global Apartheid to Global Village: Africa and the United Nations”
Dr. Adekeye Adebajo, Executive Director, Centre for Conflict Resolution
Cape Town, South Africa
Dr. Adekeye Adebajo Podcast
Wednesday 25 February 2009“Britain's democratic vision for Iraq”
John Strawson, UEL School of Law
Wednesday 25 March 2009
“Too much, too soon? Exploring Rule of Law programming in Liberia”
Johanna Herman, Research Fellow, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict
Wednesday 15 October 2008
“Multinational Corporations in War Zones: What Role for Human Rights?”
Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, School of Law, UEL
Wednesday 12 November 2008
“Punishment Without a Trial? UN Counter-terrorism and the Crisis of Human Rights”
Dr. Carmen Draghici, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, School of Law, UEL
Wednesday 26 November 2008
“Where Next for the International Criminal Court? Assessing Justice Challenges in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Sudan."
Dr. Phil Clark, Oxford University
Wednesday 13 February 2008
Ten years after Pinochet: The future of universal jurisdiction
Alun Jones QC, Head, Great James Street Chambers
Michael Caplan QC, Partner, Kingsley Napley
Jordi Palou-Loverdos, Lawyer, mediator, Veritas Rwanda Forum
Dr. Víctor M. Sánchez, Professor, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Wednesday 16 April 2008
How to be a human rights activist
Widney Brown, Amnesty International
Thursday 21 February 2008Prosecuting the Media: Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide in ICTR Jurisprudence
Agnès Hurwitz, ICTY
Wednesday 7 March 2008
The international law of occupation: Are human rights the emperor’s new clothes?
Aeyal Gross, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University
Wednesday 23 April 2008
In cooperation with the Refugee Research Centre:
Refugee women in conflict and post conflict situations: the challenges they face and present
Professor Rebecca M.M. Wallace, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
Wednesday 7 May 2008
In cooperation with the Refugee Research Centre:
What kind of Liberation? Diaspora Mobilization, Women's Rights and Violence in Post-Invasion Iraq
Dr Nadje Al-Ali, Director, Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London
Tuesday 2 October 2007Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Obligations
Sapna Malik, Partner, Leigh Day & Co
Dr Ralph Wilde, Reader, University College London
Discussant: Professor Chandra Lekha Sriram, CHRC
Chair: John Strawson, Reader, University of East London
Thursday 25 October 2007Peace Process in Nepal
Prakash A. Raj, Nepal Council of World Affairs
Wednesday 28 November 2007Preventing Ethnic and Religious Conflict
Chris Chapman, Conflict Prevention Officer, Minority Rights Group International
Thursday 8 February 2007Protection of human rights in the war on terror: Challenges and opportunities
Martin Scheinin, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights While Countering Terrorism
Commentators:John Kissane, Head of Human Rights Compliance and Delivery, UK Department for Constitutional Affairs
Wednesday 21 February 2007
Selectivity in International Criminal Prosecutions: The Legitimacy Challenge
Robert Cryer, University of Nottingham School of Law
Wednesday 7 March 2007Muslim Women’s Rights, the Politics of ‘Islam,’ and the ‘War on Terror’
Ziba Mir-Hosseini, London Middle East Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies
Wednesday 14 March 2007Accountability of Rebel Groups in the International Law of Armed Conflict: Lessons from Congo’s War
Phoebe Okowa, Queen Mary University London, School of Law
Wednesday 21 March 2007Coming out in Arabic: Islam, human rights, and gay rights
Brian Whitaker, The Guardian, Middle East correspondent
Wednesday 18 April 2007Terrorism, National Security and the Protection of Human Rights
Professor Bill Bowring, Birkbeck College, University of London, School of Law
Thursday 31 May 2007Legislative Change in the Post-Revolutionary Iranian Law of Marriage and Divorce: Two Examples
Professor Louise Halper, Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, USA
Interdisciplinary seminarsCounter-terrorism, Human Rights and International Legality
The unsatisfactory results of the global fight against the growing phenomenon of terrorism have demonstrated the inadequacy of international legal tools to address this challenge efficiently. Ad hoc solutions have been developed by major key players such as the United Nations and the European Union, but the legitimacy under international law of actions undertaken by such organizations remains largely debatable, and so does the expansion of prerogatives of their executive organs. Nor are the measures adopted in the war on terror perceived as fully compatible with international human rights law guarantees. This seminar sought to provide an interdisciplinary approach to these issues, gathering perspectives from scholars, practitioners, human rights activists. It aimed to achieve a discussion of practicable solutions for ensuring the efficacy of the struggle against terrorism, while safeguarding the credibility of international action, and making counter-terrorism coherent with international law principles and human rights standards. The seminar took place on 10 June 2008.
The participants of the seminar where the following: Dr. Pete Fussey (Senior Lecturer in Criminology, School of Law, University of East London); Dr. Matthew Happold (Barrister, Reader, Law School, University of Hull); Dr. Carmen Draghici (Leverhulme Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, School of Law, University of East London; Organizer of the event); Prof. Chandra Lekha Sriram (Professor in Human Rights, Director of the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, School of Law, University of East London); Prof. Bill Bowring (Barrister, Professor of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London); Dr. Fernando Val-Garijo (Assistant Professor, Department of Public International Law, UNED, School of Law, Madrid, Spain); David Marrani (Lecturer in Public and Comparative Law, Department of Law, University of Essex); John Strawson (Reader in Law, School of Law, University of East London) and Saleh Mamon (CAMPACC).
Presentations and papers
Extraordinary Rendition: Illegal Limbos, Legal Safeguards and International Responsibility by Dr. Fernando Val-Garijo.
Islam and the Politics of Terrorism: Aspects of the British Experience by John Strawson.
Business and Human Rights in Conflict Seminar
The Centre on Human Rights in Conflict held a seminar on Business and Human Rights in Conflict on 14 June 2007.
This seminar sought to explore the role of private sector in situations of armed conflict. The economic dimension of intrastate armed conflicts has gained unprecedented academic and policy attention in recent years. Many of today’s conflicts have close links with the exploitation of and trade in natural resources, with the revenues generated from such trade exercising significant influence over their character and duration. Companies, particularly multinational enterprises, are key actors in the exploitation and trade of natural resources in conflict zones and therefore could play an important role in both the perpetuation and the resolution of such conflicts.
The main objective of this seminar was to bring together the different perspectives of those working on the relationship between private sector activities and human rights, in particular the impact of business activities in conflict zones. Academics of different disciplines, civil society and advocacy groups, the business community, and government bodies and policy makers, often deal with these issues in relative isolation from each other. This seminar sought to contribute to a cross-sector dialogue and to identify areas for research and policy collaboration in this field. Links to presentations are available from this page.
The seminar was organised in three sessions and covered the following issues:
This session was chaired by John Strawson, reader at the University of East London, and analysed case studies of particular business sectors, countries, and new actors:
- “Human rights and hydrocarbons: what lies ahead?”by Dr. Christopher Waters, University of Reading
- “Multinational Corporations in Colombia: Oil, bananas and forced displacement,” by Melanie Jacques, Queen Mary, University of London
- “Companies, timber and arms in Liberia,” by Seema Joshi, Global Witness
- “Corporate Mercenaries: The threat of private military and security companies,” by Ruth Tanner, War on Want
This session was chaired by Professor Rebecca M.M. Wallace, professor of International Human Rights Law at Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University. It covered the international legal framework that governs the relationship between business and human rights, with particular focus on the legal instruments and voluntary initiatives relating to companies’ activities in conflict zones:
- “International Legal Responses to Business and Human Rights in Conflict: The United Nations,” by Sorcha MacLeod, University of Sheffield
- “Permanent sovereignty over natural resources : Framework of Protection in Situations of Armed Conflict,” by Dr. Phoebe Okowa, Queen Mary, University of London
- “The legal responsibility of Directors to act in the best interest of the companies,” by Stephen Turner, Queen Mary, University of London
- “Human rights and transnational corporate accountability in the UK”, by Sapna Malik, Parner, Leigh Day & Co.
Policy, advocacy and business responses
This session was chaired by Professor Kofi Kufuor, University of East London. This session analysed the policy, advocacy and business priorities in the development of voluntary initiatives and in the engagement of business, civil society and governments to provide effective responses:
- “Campaigning for human rights standards on business’s responsibilities,” by Nicholas Dearden, Amnesty International UK
- “Business recognition of human rights,” by Diego Quiroz-Onate, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (UN SR Business and human rights report available here)
- “Multistakeholder initiatives,” by Nick Baker, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- "Engaging businesses to tackle conflict: perspectives from a peacebuilding NGO," by Canan Gündüz, International Alert
- "The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights," by Amanda Gardiner, International Business Leaders Forum
Wednesday 4 October 2006
Crimes Against Humanity: Developments in International Criminal Law
Geoffrey Robertson, Q.C.
Article about the Geoffrey Robertson lecture in The Patriotic Vanguard: Sierra Leone News Portal
News Release on Geoffrey Robertson's lecture
Wednesday 18 October 2006
Bait and Switch: Human Rights and US Foreign Policy
Julie Mertus, American University, School of International Service
Julie Mertus Presentation
Wednesday 1 November 2006
Mashood Baderin, Brunel University, School of Law
Mashood Baderin Presentation
Wednesday 8 November 2006Islam, British Muslims, and the “War on Terror”
Javaid Rehman, Brunel University, School of Law
Wednesday 15 November 2006
Extra-territorial human rights obligations in times of armed conflict and peacekeeping operations
Basak Cali, University College London, Department of Political Science
Wednesday 29 November 2006
The Toyota Land Cruiser as Postmodern Tank: Evaluating the Role of the Humanitarian International
Kurt Mills, University of Glasgow, Department of Politics