Students Staff

6 February 2015

Essex presence at Magna Carta conference

Filed under: Latest news, People pages, Research impact — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 5:27 pm
Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury

Essex graduate Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury was one of those participating in the Magna Carta event

Essex alumni have played a key role in an international conference marking the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.

Opened by Essex graduate and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow MP, the four-day Human Rights in the Modern Day Commonwealth: Magna Carta to Commonwealth Charter conference brought together parliamentarians, experts and academics.

One event focusing on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights featured an all-Essex panel: Chair of our Human Rights Centre Professor Sir Nigel Rodley was joined by Essex Honorary Graduate and former member of staff Baroness Onora O’Neill, and Dr Corinne Lennox who graduated in 2000 with an MA Theory and Practice of Human Rights.

Participants also included Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, the first female Speaker of the Bangladesh Parliament, who graduated from Essex in 2000 with a PhD and picked up an Honorary Degree last year.

The conference was hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK at the Houses of Parliament. The programme included the practical and social understanding of rights and freedoms, protection of women and girls, FGM, the death penalty, equality, LGBT rights, freedom of speech and a free press, terrorism and the right to a fair trial.

 

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26 November 2014

Professor warns of more asylum seeker deaths in the Mediterranean

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 5:47 pm
Professor Steve Peers

Professor Steve Peers

Professor Steve Peers, from our School of Law and Human Rights Centre, has appeared on Dutch national television talking about new measures aimed at reducing the number of asylum seekers attempting to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean.

Speaking on Niewsuur, which is broadcast by Nederlandse Omroep Stichting, Professor Peers said: “I think in an area the size of, as large and as rich as Europe you could say that another 100,000, 200,000 more people could be accommodated, although that’s a small portion of the overall numbers in the tens of millions worldwide. But I think politically that’s not realistic. It wouldn’t be easy to get elected as a politician who said ‘let’s have another 50,000 people in France’, or ‘20,000 in the Netherlands’.”

Professor Peers warned that the new measures are likely to result in more asylum seekers drowning in their bid to reach the EU, and human traffickers being the main beneficiaries of the Frontext co-ordinated sea operations.

Watch Professor Peers’ appearance (at 02.00 and onwards).

 

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3 October 2014

Landmark refugee project

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , , , — Communications Office @ 2:37 pm

Professor Geoff Gilbert from our School of Law and Human Rights Centre has been awarded $50,000 for a project which could improve the welfare of millions of refugees around the world.

Professor Geoff Gilbert

Professor Geoff Gilbert

Professor Gilbert, an expert in international refugee law, will explore new solutions for dealing with refugee crises which, if implemented, could contribute to the protection of refugees from arrival to the eventual long-term solution to their displacement.

The project is funded by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and will culminate in December when Professor Gilbert, and Senior Research Officer Anna Magdalena Ruesch, will present their recommendations in Geneva.

Professor Gilbert explained: “Traditionally there have been three solutions to international refugee crises: placing people in refugee camps; repatriation, and resettlement in other countries. These solutions have not evolved since the UNHCR was founded in 1950, in the wake of World War II, and we are now seeing third generation refugees being born in camps, and people living their whole lives without proper access to basic human rights like health, education and work.”

He added: “We are at a point now where we need new solutions that really empower refugees, and that we can implement the minute they are displaced.”

Professor Gilbert and Ms Ruesch will make two field trips, to north Africa and south America, where he will meet with refugees and displaced people, agencies and non-governmental organisations, as well as government officials, judiciary and civil society.

They will explore how utilising different sets of laws can reshape UNHCR solutions and improve refugee prospects.

Dr Clara Sandoval and Lorna McGregor, both of the Human Rights Centre and School of Law, will advise as experts in the rule of law.

In February 2014 Essex became the first university in the UK to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

 

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25 September 2014

Essex experts influence ECHR decision

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 4:12 pm
Professor Noam Lubell

Professor Noam Lubell

Judges at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have found that the detention of an Iraqi national by British forces in 2003 was not arbitrary, after experts from our School of Law and Human Rights Centre supplied independent advice.

Professors Françoise Hampson and Noam Lubell provided guidance on how human rights obligations and the law of armed conflict should be applied in the case of Hassan v the UK.

Professor Lubell explained: “The detention regime under the law of armed conflict significantly differs from human rights law in a number of aspects, and the Court need to examine the legality of British procedures in a complex case to which both bodies of law apply.”

The Essex lawyers provided the Court with a detailed expert opinion, analysing the applicable law, and suggesting how the two bodies of law could be applied together in practice. The judgement noted in detail the analysis provided by them.

Professor Lubell added: “It’s a very important case, because the Court has gone further than ever before in presenting and clarifying its approach to international humanitarian law and human rights obligations during armed conflict.”

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27 June 2014

Campus close-up on BBC Persian

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 4:14 pm
Dr Ahmed Shaheed

Dr Ahmed Shaheed

Essex-based UN Special Rapporteur Dr Ahmed Shaheed has appeared on BBC Persian talking about the challenges of his mandate.

Dr Shaheed, a Visiting Professor at our Human Rights Centre responsible for reporting on the human rights situation in Iran, explained how he conducts his research without access to the country.

Filmed largely at our Colchester Campus, the interview shows how Dr Shaheed conducts the judicial and legal research for his report preparations at Essex where there is an expert community of international lawyers.

Speaking during the interview, Dr Shaheed explains: “Non-cooperation by countries is not a new subject, North Korea also doesn’t allow any rapporteurs to enter. Iran also doesn’t have a shining reputation in this area. Since 2005, no rapporteurs have been allowed into the country…so I never expected open arms.”

Watch the interview, with subtitles, on YouTube.

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17 April 2014

Film festival appearance for slavery expert

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 3:00 pm

The UK’s only film festival dedicated to the art of adaptation welcomed Essex’s Fernne Brennan this month to talk about Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave.

Fernne, an expert in the transatlantic slave trade reparations, led a question and answer session at From Page to Screen, Bridport’s Film Festival.

Speaking after the event, Fernne, of our School of Law and Human Rights Centre, said: “I’m hoping that the young generation coming up in schools are going to actually not only watch the film but want to know about what’s happened and what’s happening now regarding slavery.”

 

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26 March 2014

Our expert in reparations debate

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 1:50 pm

Fernne Brennan, from our School of Law, helped make the case for slave trade reparations on BBC 1’s The Big Questions this week.

Fernne Brennan, School of Law

Fernne Brennan, School of Law

Hosted by Nicky Campbell, The Big Questions audience discussed the Caribbean Community (Caricom) call for reparations from former slaving nations, and how psychological trauma caused by slavery is affecting descendants today.

Fernne Brennan, a leading expert on the transatlantic slave trade, argued that reparations are not just about money and called for the former slave-trading nations of western Europe to “talk about the issues that plague us now.”

Watch The Big Questions on iPlayer.

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24 January 2014

Lord Dyson to speak on human rights

Filed under: Campus news, What's on — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 4:28 pm
Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls, when he visited our Colchester Campus

Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls, when he visited our Colchester Campus

One of our 2013 honorary graduates will talk about the European Convention on Human Rights at the 2014 University of Essex-Clifford Chance Lecture this week.

The Right Honourable Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls, who collected his honorary degree at last summer’s graduation ceremonies, is guest speaker at the annual event which is chaired by Professor Francoise Hampson of the School of Law.

His lecture, entitled ‘The extraterritorial application of the European Convention on Human Rights: Now on a firmer footing, but is it sound?’ takes place on 30 January at the Clifford Chance offices in Canary Wharf, from 5.30.

The event is open to all. Register your place by calling 01206 873484.

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10 January 2014

Re-live the power of Human Rights Day

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 4:21 pm
The articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights written on the steps in chalk

Students wrote the articles of the UDHR on the steps in chalk

International Human Rights Day may have been marked on our Colchester Campus more than a month ago but anyone wishing to remind themselves of the powerful ways in which our staff and students marked the day can watch a video of the recital of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Organised by our Arts Office, the recital took place in front of the steps between Squares 3 and 4 which that morning had been marked with the articles of the declaration by a small team of dedicated students.

More than 30 members of the University community took part in the 17 minute long recital.

It was just of many activities organised by staff and students to mark the day.

Watch the video.

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Essex’s lead role in new global think tank

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , , , , — Communications Office @ 3:52 pm
Dr Ahmed Shaheed

Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Visiting Professor in our School of Law

Essex human rights experts have played a key role in the foundation and organisation of a new Geneva-based independent think tank dedicated to analysing and strengthening global human rights policy.

The Universal Rights Group is the world’s first independent think tank dedicated exclusively to human rights. It will provide scientifically-sound research, analysis and advice as well as a forum for discussion.

Several of Essex’s world-renowned human rights practitioners play key roles in the organisation of the Group. Dr Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran, and a member of our School of Law and Human Rights Centre, is Chairperson of the Board of Trustees which will help develop the work of the Group.

Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, and Professor Paul Hunt, both also of Law and the Human Rights Centre, are members of the Board of Trustees while Scott Sheeran is a member of the Advisory Committee.

The URG will officially be launched at an event in Geneva on 20 January and its first policy reports are due to be published in February.

 

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