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UCL INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

UCL INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS E-Newsletter March 2010

UCL Institute for Human Rights is launched EVENT DISCUSSING CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY COINCIDES WITH LAUNCH OF IHR The UCL Institute for Human Rights was officially launched on 15th October 2009 in parallel with a high -profile event on corporate social responsibility (CSR). The event was entitled ‘Corporate Social Responsibility & Human Rights: Have Ten Years of Voluntarism Worked?’. While international corporations are taken to court for complicity in human-rights abuses and the trade in child labour and sweatshops is still a scourge throughout the world, this event asked whether the international approach to CSR of the last ten years has worked. Roger Smith, Director of JUSTICE; Dr Leif Wenar, Philosopher; Martin Summers, Corporate Social Responsibility Representative for British American Tobacco; Dr Colm O'Cinneide, Legal Adviser (Equalities) to the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights and Richard Howitt, MEP, debated the issue following an introduction to the Institute by IHR Co-Director Dr George Letsas. Click here for more information on the event and its conclusions.

Institute supports visual exhibition documenting conflict in Darfur The IHR co-organised an event with the International Conflict Resource Centre. The depictions of the Janjaweed militia attacking innocent civilians is explicitly documented in this collection of artistic works. The exhibition highlights the prominent role of visual evidence in contributing to a more personal and engaging commentary on this conflict. The exhibition also coincided with UCL Darfur Week, an initiative organised by the UCL Student Union and the UCL Friends of Médecins Sans Frontières Society (FoMSF). For more information on this event click here. www.ucl.ac.uk/human-rights UCL FACULTY OF LAWS - BENTHAM HOUSE - ENDSLEIGH GARDENS - LONDON WC1H 0EG Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4556 Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 1424 email: human.rights@ucl.ac.uk


UCL INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Opportunity for Institute to work with charity Amicus PROPOSED INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER CAPITAL PUNISHMENT LEGISLATION IS DISCRIMANTORY The Institute is working with Amicus, an NGO focused on capital punishment in the USA, on an excellent research proposal for a 2yr project aimed at investigating whether capital punishment legislation is discriminatory, and therefore, unconstitutional. A potential impact of the project would be litigation in front of the Supreme Court to abolish capital punishment on the grounds of unconstitutionality. The project would create a total of 18 internships for UCL students (9 based in London and 9 based in various state prosecutors’ offices in the USA). The Institute and Amicus are working closely with Henriette Bruun to adapt the original Amicus proposal for the ESRC research grant criteria. Visit the IHR website to find out more on the progress of this project - www.ucl.ac.uk/human-rights

China and Human Rights: Unique new course created by the Institute The Institute for Human Rights has initiated a unique new course for practitioners and diplomats, on human rights in China. This course for experts will give the highest level training to anyone wanting to work in China or engage with human rights issues in China. It brings together experts and expertise in an intensive period of training, focusing on both the legal and historical background and the practical questions faced by practitioners in the Chinese context. The course will take place on 19th-23rd July 2010. Look out for more information on the UCL Institute for Human Rights ‘Events‘ page regarding this project.

Download the official IHR audio podcast from iTunes LEARN ABOUT WHY THE IHR EXISTS AND WHAT IT HOPES TO ACHIEVE IN THE FUTURE Listen to Dr. Saladin Meckled-Garcia, Co-Director of the IHR, speaking on the need for UCL's newest centre:  Why the institute was set up (00:30)  Why the time is ripe for an institute for human rights (00:42)  Examples of work undertaken by the institute (02:55)  Student involvement in the institute (07:08)  The benefits of a cross-disciplinary approach (08:53)

Click the iTunes logo or click here to listen to the podcast.

 David Cameron’s commitment to scrap the Human Rights Act (10:11)

www.ucl.ac.uk/human-rights UCL FACULTY OF LAWS - BENTHAM HOUSE - ENDSLEIGH GARDENS - LONDON WC1H 0EG Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4556 Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 1424 email: human.rights@ucl.ac.uk


UCL INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

UCL moot court winners receive their prizes in Strasbourg IHR and UCL STUDENT HUMAN RIGHTS PROGRAMME ORGANISED EVENT CHALLENGED STUDENTS The Institute for Human Rights would like to congratulate the winners of the Human Rights Moot Competition. The finals took place Friday, 5th March in the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Presiding over the final were Judges Christos Rozakis (President), Dean Spielmann and Sverre Erik Jebens. This particular mooting competition is unique to UCL and as the founding organisation, the IHR hopes to develop and expand the programme next year to include other university participants. The winners of the Mooting Final were: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Samuel Steel Yannick Hefti James Burcher Theresa Glatter

Visit the website for more information on this successful event.

IHR-organised staff research seminars to debate human rights IN-HOUSE SEMINARS DESIGNED TO ALLOW UCL STAFF TO VOICE OPINIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES The Institute aims to establish a inter-departmental seminar each academic term where staff across UCL can come together to listen to a paper delivered by their colleagues researching human rights-related topics. The first seminar will take place on 29th April 2010, in the Moot Court Room in Bentham House at 1pm. All are welcome to attend and bring their lunch. If you would be interested in presenting a paper, please contact the Institute: human.rights@ucl.ac.uk Along with staff seminars, the IHR hopes to encourage cross-departmental research by extending a call for research proposals. We hope to provide contacts and connections for those interested in conducting research alongside their UCL colleagues.

Institute initiates human rights clinic ACCESS TO JUSTICE PROJECT FOR GENERAL PUBLIC The IHR has initiated a human rights clinic offering assistance to members of the public in securing their rights. The clinic will act as a drop-in centre where advice can be sought on human rights issues affecting people’s lives directly. Law students working with legal experts and practitioners will be available for consultation and will assist in researching potential cases. Whilst UK citizens have a number of rights under the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights, obtaining advice and support for legally securing these rights can be difficult and costly. Because of this the IHR is promoting access to justice through access to human rights expertise. The clinic will be launched in 2011. Visit the IHR website for more details. www.ucl.ac.uk/human-rights UCL FACULTY OF LAWS - BENTHAM HOUSE - ENDSLEIGH GARDENS - LONDON WC1H 0EG Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4556 Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 1424 email: human.rights@ucl.ac.uk


UCL INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Lecture criticising genocide denial CO-DIRECTOR OF THE IHR EXPLAINS THE IMMORALITY OF DENIAL IN LUNCH HOUR LECTURE Co-Director of the UCL Institute for Human Rights, Dr Saladin Meckled-Garcia, recently gave a public lecture as part of the university's Lunch Hour Lecture series. The lecture was entitled: "See no evil: the (im)morality of denying genocide". Marking Holocaust remembrance day on 27th January, this lecture focused on the status of Genocide denial, working through a number of 20th and 21st century genocides. The talk outlined the recurrent sinister motives of systematic genocide deniers. To tackle this question, the lecture moved through a discussion of the ethical grounds for the special category of Genocide as a political crime and its relation to human rights. It engaged with the troubling question of censorship and freedom of expression, and concluded by locating the special (im)moral status of denial in the nature of Genocide as a political crime. More information and a video of the event can be found here.

IHR spearheads Europe-wide human rights research network Links have been forged with a number of European human rights research institutes and centres creating a network of human rights researchers. From this, a new human rights research network is taking shape. This exciting new initiative is the first of its kind with the objective of harnessing the collective human rights expertise of European academia. The European Human Rights Research Network is a consortium of academic organisations that promote and conduct research in all areas pertaining to Human Rights. The network facilitates collaborative projects, provides exchange opportunities for students and academics, and hosts an annual conference to showcase current research projects as well as collaborative workshops, seminars and public events. Visit the IHR website for more information on this project.

Economic and Social Rights Dataset Project IHR RESEARCH PROJECT WITH LASTING SOCIAL SIGNIFICANCE The Institute is engaged in a project to map the economic and social rights achievements of states throughout the world. The project involves IHR staff and research interns from the IHR Human Rights Monitoring Project. It is pioneering the setting up of human rights indicators for economic and social rights which will be used to establish a ranking index for states. The project is ongoing and the dataset will be updated every year. The project extends existing research at UCL which has mapped the human rights commitments of states to international human rights treaties, the Nominal Human Rights Commitment Database (a publicly accessible database which records the treaty ratifications and reservations of all states in the UN system). www.ucl.ac.uk/human-rights UCL FACULTY OF LAWS - BENTHAM HOUSE - ENDSLEIGH GARDENS - LONDON WC1H 0EG Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4556 Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 1424 email: human.rights@ucl.ac.uk


UCL INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Human rights symposia Institute for Human Rights symposia series The Institute is running a series of ongoing symposia bringing together leading experts in the field to discuss cutting edge research on specific human rights ‘hot topics’. There will be two sets of symposia per year starting with a symposium ‘Human rights as guides to foreign policy’. We are pleased to announce that Charles R. Beitz, Director of Princeton University’s Center for Human Values and author of The Idea of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2009) will be speaking at this symposium on 15th June 2010. The current speakers will be: in Symposium 1 - Charles R. Beitz and Katrin Filkschuh, Symposium 2 - John Tasioulas and Henry Shue and finally, in Symposium 3 - Joseph Raz and Allan Buchanan. Other notable speakers will also attend. The symposia will be followed by a panel session which will be open to all in contrast to the symposia itself where attendees will be invited by the IHR. The second symposium in the series will focus on human rights and religion on 8th and 9th October 2010. Experts from a number of key institutes will come together to debate and examine key issues on the interaction between rights to freedom of religion and expression and the demands of citizenship. The symposia will take place on 15th June 2010 and 8th and 9th October 2010, respectively.

Some info about the UCL Institute for Human Rights The UCL Institute for Human Rights (IHR) was established to bring the university’s multidisciplinary expertise to bear on human rights. The institute brings together expertise from UCL Laws, Political Science, Economics, Philosophy, Epidemiology and Public Health with student activists, nongovernmental organisations and other parties to undertake rounded research with the aim of influencing

human rights policy around the world. The priorities of the institute include quality research with a potential for social impact, facilitating access to justice, contributing to public debate, in fo rm ing a nd e d ucat i ng practitioners and producing requests and findings as central human rights issues.

Co-Directors Dr Saladin Meckled-Garcia (UCL Political Science) Dr George Letsas (UCL Laws) Administrator Kimberlee Sue Moran (UCL Laws) Communications and Marketing John Young

www.ucl.ac.uk/human-rights UCL FACULTY OF LAWS - BENTHAM HOUSE - ENDSLEIGH GARDENS - LONDON WC1H 0EG Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4556 Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 1424 email: human.rights@ucl.ac.uk


UCL Institute for Human Rights eNewsletter