Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Event: 1/19 Current Human Rights Developments and Challenges in Europe: A conversation with the European Commissioner for Human Rights
On Wednesday January 19, 2022, from 12:30 – 1:30 pm EST, the American Society of International Law's Human Rights Interest Group invites you to join the next installation of the series "Human Rights Talks", in which the presidents or heads of regional and universal human rights bodies are invited for keynote speeches and conversations on current human rights developments and challenges, and on the response from the institutions that they lead. This event will focus on Europe. Some of the important current human rights themes in Europe include immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers; safety of journalists, freedom of expression and media freedom; human rights of LGBTQI+ persons; children's rights; the rights of Roma; and Transitional Justice.
In this context, the mandate of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe includes: fostering the effective observance of human rights, and assisting member states in the implementation of Council of Europe human rights standards; promoting education in and awareness of human rights in Council of Europe member states and identifying possible shortcomings in the law and practice concerning human rights.
During this event, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe will refer to the main current human rights developments and challenges in Europe, and the response of the institution, in terms of priorities and work plan.
Sunday, January 16, 2022
Lisa Cosgrove and Allen F. Shaughnessy, Mental Health as a Basic Human Right and the Interference of Commercialized Science, Health and Human Rights Journal (2020), https://cdn1.sph.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2469/2020/06/Cosgrove.pdf. Abstract pasted below.
Although there is consensus that a rights-based approach to mental health is needed, there is disagreement about how best to conceptualize and execute it. The dominance of the medical model and industry’s influence on psychiatry has led to an over-emphasis on intra-individual solutions, namely increasing individuals’ access to biomedical treatments, with a resultant under-appreciation for the social and psychosocial determinants of health and the need for population-based health promotion. This paper argues that a robust rights-based approach to mental health is needed in order to overcome the effects of commercial interests on the mental health field. We show how commercialized science—the use of science primarily to meet industry needs—deflects attention away from the sociopolitical determinants of health, and we offer solutions for reform.
Friday, January 14, 2022
The following calls for inputs have been issued by the UN Human Rights Mechanisms with deadlines in January-March 2022 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:
Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence – Call for inputs on roles and responsibilities of non-state actors in transitional justice processes. Deadline January 14, 2022. Read more.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for comments and textual suggestions on Draft Convention on the Right to Development. Deadline January 16, 2022. Read More.
Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health – Call for contributions for report on violence and its impact on the right to health. Deadline January 18, 2022. Read more.
Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions – Call for input on the state of knowledge and implementation of the United Nations Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions [The Minnesota Protocol]. Deadline January 30, 2022. Read more.
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Call for submissions. Report on the militarization of indigenous land. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Call for submissions for study on treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements, between indigenous peoples and States, including peace accords and reconciliation initiatives, and their constitutional recognition. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.
Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children – Call for inputs on report on trafficking of persons in the agricultural sector. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.
Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity – Call for inputs on report on the realization of the right of persons affected by violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, in relation to Sustainable Development Goals. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.
Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association – Call for inputs on the trends, developments, and challenges to the ability of civil society organizations to access resources, including foreign funding. Deadline February 2, 2022. Read more.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - Call for inputs for report on internet shutdowns and human rights. Deadline February 10, 2022. Read more.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on the issue of child, early and forced marriage. Deadline February 15, 2022. Read more.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the realization of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl. Deadline February 18, 2022. Read more.
Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights – Call for inputs on “secondary sanctions, civil and criminal penalties for circumvention of sanctions regimes, and over-compliance with sanctions” and “Unilateral sanctions in the cyber world”. Deadline February 28, 2022. Read more.
Working Group on the use of mercenaries – Call for inputs on victims of mercenaries, mercenary related actors, and private military and security companies. Deadline February 28, 2022. Read more.
Special Rapporteur on the right to development – Call for inputs on the right to development COVID recovery plans and policies and the right to development. Deadline March 1, 2022. Read more.
Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights – Call for inputs on Mercury, artisanal and small-scale gold mining and human rights. Deadline March 7, 2022. Read more.
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – Shadow reports for review of the U.S. due March 21, 2022. Read more.
This information was compiled by Khala Turner, a 3L at St. Louis University School of Law, from https://ohchr.org/EN/Pages/calls-for-input.aspx.
Monday, January 3, 2022
The 2022 AALS Annual Meeting is being held this week January 5-9, 2022. The following human rights-related sessions may be of interest to law professors attending the meeting:
Wednesday January 5, 2022
Did Democracy Stumble? Pandemic Lessons from Around the Globe
Sponsored by Comparative Law, Co‐Sponsored by East Asian Law & Society, International Human Rights, and Law, Medicine and Health Care Sections
Thursday January 6, 2022
International and Comparative Legal Research
Sponsored by Law in the Americas, Co‐Sponsored by Comparative Law
New Voices in Human Rights
Sponsored by International Human Rights Co‐Sponsored by International Law
Friday January 7, 2022
Is Climate Stability a Human Right?
Sponsored by International Human Rights, Co‐Sponsored by Children and the Law, Natural
Resources and Energy Law
Saturday January 8, 2022
The Agony and Ecstasy of Teaching Human Rights Law in the Field
Sponsored by International Human Rights, Co‐Sponsored by New Law Professors
The Challenges and Opportunities of Teaching International Law Responses to the Climate Change Crisis
Sponsored by International Law, Co‐Sponsored by Environmental Law, and Natural Resources
and Energy Law
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
The Human Rights at Home LawProfs Blog and the Reproductive Rights Law Profs Blog are planning a symposium on the U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision which is anticipated by Summer 2022. The symposium will The Reproductive Rights and Human Rights at Home Blogs will cross-post essays featuring reactions and takes on the Jackson decision with a view towards international and comparative law. If you are interested in writing a blog post as part of this symposium, please email HRAH Blog Editor Lauren Bartlett before March 1, 2022.
Monday, December 20, 2021
UCI Law International Justice Clinic Successfully Urges LA County to Implement Global Treaty on Gender Justice
By Mary Hansel, Co-Editor
Since 2019, Prof. Mary Hansel and her students in the UCI Law International Justice Clinic (IJC) have advocated for Los Angeles County to pass a measure implementing the United Nations Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW is the core international human rights treaty for intersectional gender justice and has been ratified by all but six countries — including the United States. In response to the U.S.’s failure to ratify the treaty, grassroots advocates have focused on passing local CEDAW measures; indeed, a Cities for CEDAW movement has emerged (as discussed in previous posts here, here and here). The local measures, to date, have brought about remarkable strides in gender justice and helped promote human rights awareness.
Recently, after nearly three years of IJC advocacy, the County passed a binding ordinance implementing CEDAW. The ordinance provides that CEDAW “must be integrated in the County’s role as an employer, service provider, and community and business partner, and must apply to women and girls of all identities and categories.” It explicitly addresses gender justice in the areas of economic development, education, housing and homelessness, gender-based violence, healthcare, criminal justice and voting rights. The County has already started conducting a gender impact assessment to take stock of how it can align its activities with the ordinance and further promote gender justice. IJC is hopeful that this ordinance will improve the lives of the County’s 10 million residents.
Prof. Hansel has been invited to join the National Cities for CEDAW Advisory Committee. As a Committee member, she looks forward to facilitating the implementation of CEDAW in local jurisdictions across the country.
Sunday, December 19, 2021
By Sandy Recinos, ’23, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, Northeastern University School of Law
On March 30th, 2021, Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken decisively repudiated the report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights, Secretary Mike Pompeo’s human rights advisory committee. This bold and controversial move ended any notion that the Biden administration would carry on with the Commission’s ideas or initiatives. Blinken specified that human rights are universal and co-equal; that unlike what was noted in the report, there is no hierarchy that makes some rights more important than others. Yet on November 14th Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for international Studies held a three-day conference featuring six of the twelve members of the Commission. Day three of this conference was titled, “Where do we go from here?”
The conference, Inalienable Rights and the Traditions of Constitutionalism was held in person at Notre Dame Law School. At first, the event was invite-only, with only a few invitations extended to human rights attorneys and advocates who were critical of the Commission’s report. As the date approached, however, conference organizers announced the event would give Zoom access to invitees, be shared on a YouTube livestream, and generally invite comments and discourse from Commission critics. The schedule was divided into five themes led by five keynote speakers and respondents, followed by questions from the audience, and panels discussing the keynote presentation and the theme.
This direct line of access to the Commission members is a stark contrast to the Commission’s policies prior to the creation of its report. A coalition of human rights organizations sued Secretary Pompeo in March of 2020 for violating the Federal Advisory Committee Act’s requirement for transparent operations. They described the Commission’s process as one that continuously held closed-door meetings outside of the public view or did not provide adequate notice of meetings. Human rights groups and State Department diplomats also said they were being sidelined and taken out of the key conversations regarding international human rights commitments and foreign policy decisions.
So, does the Committee members’ willingness to entertain questions, criticism, and competing ideas represent a positive development and a shift in their process for future endeavors? Well, as Commission member Paolo Carozza of the University of Notre Dame said in the final panel of the conference: the Commission is dead, and future efforts will not be made under the Commission’s authority and name. However, the ideas articulated in the Commission report, such as prioritizing religious freedom and property rights over other human rights and anchoring human rights principles in natural law, seem to have found a home at the Kellogg Institute of Notre Dame.
This shift to an academic setting has multiple implications. On the one hand, Notre Dame breathes new life into ideas that the Biden administration tried to banish. The university and the Kellogg Institute also put institutional weight behind future endeavors to promulgate the report and its ideas. A panelist on the last day of the conference suggested Notre Dame host student seminars, symposiums inviting worldwide contributions to address outstanding questions, and annual conferences on unalienable rights specifically for journalists and judges. Another spoke about actively seeking institutions and organizations abroad that resonate with the report and collaborating with them to further these ideas abroad.
On the other hand, Notre Dame is far less politically insulated than the Commission and will invite much more critique. At the conference, voices like Harvard University’s Martha Minnow encouraged inclusion of more diverse perspectives to better reflect American tradition and ideals. On its website, the Kellogg Institute touts that its conference format was intended to enrich public discourse by featuring voices with views on human rights across the political spectrum. However, some attendees believe there wasn’t enough pushback and questioning of ideas presented to create a truly rich conversation. Occasionally, tougher questions were not addressed, or questioners were cut off with a promise for a conversation at a later time. One attendee said they would only attend this conference again if Notre Dame guaranteed much more robust dialogue instead of the tiptoe critique that they saw at this year’s conference.
While the Commission on Unalienable Rights is officially dead, human rights attorneys and advocates must keep an eye on developments at Notre Dame. No one should be lulled into thinking that the ill-conceived parts of the Unalienable Rights report will simply go away quietly.
Monday, December 13, 2021
On Thursday, December 16th at 14:00-15:30 ET, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will hold a hearing on the right to housing in the United States. Participants include the Center for Human for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law has convened a delegation of experts working to combat the criminalization of homelessness in the United States, including advocates from the National Homelessness Law Center, the ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU of Southern California, and California-based NGO Reach for the Top. Directly impacted people from across the country will also testify to the Commission, calling attention to human rights violations and offering emerging better practices.
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Events: 12/10 Human Rights Cities: Why and How? at Northeastern and CCR/ICAR Major Takeaways from the 2021 UN Treaty Negotiations
On Friday December 10, 2021, Human Rights Day, there are two events that might be of interest:
The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable and the Center for Constitutional Rights will host a webinar on the major takeaways from the 2021 UN Treaty Negotiations. Panelists include June Lorenzo, Legal Counsel, International Indian Treaty Council; Ruwan Subasinghe, Legal Director, International Transport Workers Federation; and Dominic Renfrey, Advocacy Program Manager, Center for Constitutional Rights. Friday December 10, 2021, from 12-1pm ET. Register for this webinar here.
The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) at Northeastern University School of Law will mark Human Rights Day 2021 with an informative talk by Morten Kjaerum, president of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI). Friday December 10, 2021, 1-2pm ET. To register for this webinar and for more information, visit: https://law.northeastern.edu/event/human-rights-day/.
Monday, December 6, 2021
The following calls for inputs have been issued by the UN Human Rights Mechanisms with deadlines in December 2021 and January 2022. Law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission.
Special Rapporteur of the Independence of Judges and Lawyers – Call for inputs on report on Protection of lawyers. Deadline December 6, 2021. Read more.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for contributions on report on normative standards and obligations under international law in relation to the promotion and protection of the human rights of older persons. Deadline December 6, 2021. Read More.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on Thematic studies of the expert mechanism on the right to development. Deadline December 31, 2021. Read more.
Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation – Call for input to 2022 reports: indigenous peoples and people living in rural areas. Deadline December 31, 2021. Read more.
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – The U.S. will be reviewed at the 10th session of CERD in April 2022. Civil society submissions for the List of Themes will likely be due in mid-January 2022. and shadow reports will likely be due sometime in March 2022. Check the CERD webpage for updates.
Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence – Call for input to 2022 report on the roles and responsibilities of non-state actors (armed groups and other NSAs) in transitional justice processes aimed at addressing the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in conflict and authoritarian settings. Deadline January 14, 2022. Read more.
Working Group on the Right to Development – Call for comments and textual suggestions on the Draft Convention on the Right to Development. Deadline January 16, 2022. Read more.
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Call for inputs on 2022 report on the militarization of indigenous land. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Call for inputs on student on treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements, between indigenous peoples and States, including peace accords and reconciliation initiatives, and their constitutional recognition. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.
Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons especially women and children – Call for inputs on trafficking of persons in the agricultural sector. Deadline January 31, 2022. Read more.
This information was compiled by Khala Turner, a 3L at St. Louis University School of Law, from https://ohchr.org/EN/Pages/calls-for-input.aspx.
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Evaluating the Implementation of Human Rights Law: A Data Analytics Research Agenda, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Vol. 43, 2021 Forthcoming. Abstract below.
The United Nations’ reporting process, a built-in component of all major human rights treaties, enables monitoring and evaluation of countries’ progress toward human rights goals. However, the operation and effectiveness of this process have been largely under-studied. This Article lays the foundations for a data analytics research agenda that can help assess the reporting process and inform human rights law implementation. As a first step, we use a relatively new set of computational tools to evaluate the Concluding Observations issued by a human rights treaty body, the Committee on the Rights of the Child. The Concluding Observations provide both an appraisal of states’ practices and a set of recommendations that act as an agenda for the state going forward. Using text and data analytics tools, we mined the text of Concluding Observations issued by the Committee on the Rights of the Child over a twenty-seven year period to identify the topics addressed in each report and parsed the language of these reports to determine the tenor and tone of the Committee’s discussion. We then mapped our findings by state and year, to form a detailed descriptive picture of what the Committee has said, and how the Committee has delivered its message(s), across both geography and time. In doing so, we hope to show how these data analytics tools can contribute to a deeper understanding of the Committee’s work and, more broadly, of the effectiveness of the reporting process in securing and protecting human rights.
Monday, November 29, 2021
November 22, 2021 – Last week Mr. Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, urged the United States of America to overhaul legislation to prevent increasing exclusion, discrimination and hate speech and crimes against minorities, saying the legal landscape for the protection of human rights is far from comprehensive or even at times coherent.
“What you have now is a patchy tapestry of laws first drafted more than 60 years ago, showing signs of fatigue,” Fernand de Varennes, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, told reporters at the end of a 14-day visit to the United States.
“The United States is a nation of paradoxes when it comes to human rights and minorities, espousing itself as the land which welcomes the world’s tired, poor, and huddled masses yet where support for slavery led to one of the world’s most brutal civil wars, where racial segregation persisted late into the 20th century, and where indigenous peoples’ experiences have for centuries been one of dispossession, brutality and even genocide,” he said.
“Though there were significant and hard-won human rights gains made mainly during the civil rights movement in the 1960s, the USA stands out among Western democracies for its incomplete patchwork of human rights recognition and their legal protection, with minorities and indigenous peoples, most likely left behind in times of upheaval, uncertainty and crisis.
“Recent years have seen these deficiencies in human rights and the phenomenal growth of hate speech in social media, growing inequalities between have and have nots, often minorities and indigenous peoples, creating toxic conditions and an unhealthy pandemic of the mind, a poisoning of individual minds and society in many parts of the country.”
You can read his full statement on OHCHR’s website here.
Mr. Varennes will present his final report on his visit to the U.S. to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in March 2022.
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
On Wednesday December 1, 2021, from 2-3 ET/1-2 CT/12-1 MT/11-12 PT, the National Homelessness Law Center will host a webinar to present its soon-to-be released report, Housing Not Handcuffs 2021: State Law Supplement. The 2021 report supplements the Housing Not handcuffs 2019 report, which tracked close to 200 cities for their laws criminalizing homelessness and found increases in the number of local laws criminalizing homelessness. This Supplement tracks state laws and finds 48 out of 50 states & DC with some form of law criminalizing homelessness at the state level. The webinar will focus on the experience of people with criminalization, the findings of the report, concerning trends, and exciting efforts to repeal state laws. Confirmed speakers for the webinar include:
- Rajan Bal - report lead author, formerly with the National Homelessness Law Center, now at Children’s Law Center
- Joe Abraham - pro bono counsel Law Office of Joseph M. Abraham, PLLC
- Delaware State Rep. Eric Morrison, (RD-27)
- Oregon State Rep. WInsvey Campos (RD-28)
- To be moderated by Tristia Bauman, Senior Attorney at the Law Center.
To register for the webinar, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OQWAMtwtSHGGrTpsVti1bQ.
Monday, November 15, 2021
By Kaeleigh Williams, 2L at St. Louis University School of Law
Last week, voters in Maine voted to add a “right to food” amendment to the state’s constitution. The amendment, which is the first of its kind in the United States, provides Mainers with a constitutional right to grow, harvest, and consume their own food, and it includes protections for rights to seed saving and seed sharing.
The amendment was approved by the state legislature by a two-thirds vote earlier this year, but it needed approval from voters in order to become a constitutional amendment. It was approved by 60 percent of voters, according to Ballotpedia.
Maine, a state with a bustling agricultural industry, has been at the forefront of the food sovereignty movement, which envisions a food system where producers also have control over how their goods are sold and distributed. The goal of the referendum was to ensure local communities have more control over their food supply, Heather Retberg wrote in the Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election.
As a constitutional amendment, the measure will preempt existing Maine laws and regulations, leaving them vulnerable to legal challenges. The Bangor Daily News editorial board, which opposed the bill, said the amendment “raises a host of questions about what this language would mean for existing laws and regulations spanning from food safety and animal welfare to environmental protection.”
States such as Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and North Dakota have pressed similar legislation addressing food sovereignty, and advocates of the new amendment say it will open the door for more states to follow suit.
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Martha F. Davis, Access to water is a human right. When will the U.S. government agree?, WBUR (Nov. 3, 2021). Excerpt below:
“Water is life, and water policy should be a central concern of nations as they gather for the COP26 in Glasgow this week. The need to prioritize water is all around us: more flooding and drought, the growing incidents of water contamination and rising costs of maintaining potable water for drinking, cooking and hygiene.
For the first time at a U.N. climate conference, concerned members of the water sector — governments and non-governmental partners — have come together to sponsor a Water & Climate pavilion where attendees can hear from experts, conduct side discussions, network and engage with youth activists around water issues. The stated intent is to develop a ‘unified voice on the role of water in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement and to support ambitious and science-based global climate action.’
Unfortunately, the United States has often been on the sidelines during international discussions of water challenges.”
Monday, November 8, 2021
Event: 11/10 Webinar: Refugees and Asylum in USA: Review of Domestic Interpretations are at Odds with International Guidance
Wednesday November 10, 2021, at 12noon ET, the American Bar Association will host a webinar entitled Refugees and Asylum in the U.S. & Review of Domestic Interpretations at Odds with International Guidance. This webinar will review the differences between the Refugee and Asylum processes (which includes Withholding of Removal) in order to provide clarity to new practitioners about the start contrasts between the two USA refugee programs and to inform on international law compliance. This program’s speakers will focus on two topics:
Topic 1: The Hon. Paul Grussendorf
Paul Grussendorf has worked with both the refugee and asylum programs in the United States and abroad. He headed a law school legal clinic at the George Washington Law School representing asylum seekers, served as an Immigration Judge handling asylum cases, worked as a Supervisory Asylum Officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services [CIS], as a refugee officer with Refugee Affairs Division of USCIS, and as a refugee officer and supervisor with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Topic 2: The Hon. Jeffrey Chase
Jeffrey Chase is a retired Immigration judge for New York City. He has written extensively about the inter relationship of international law sources with the U.S. national law when administering cases involving asylum and refugee applications. He has a blog entitled Opnions/Analysis on Immigration Law. He coordinates The Round Table of Retired Immigration Judges, an informal group of Retired Immigration Judges from both the trial and appellate level, who weigh in on topics relating to the administration of justice by the Immigration Court. The Round Table files amici briefs, and has issued position papers and testimony on issues affecting due process and the administration of justice by the Immigration Courts.
For more information and to register for this webinar, visit: https://americanbar.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_72UYwCvkT8Cnih3XEaj-6Q.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
On Wednesday November 3, 2021, at 5:00pm ET, the American Society of International Law's Rights of Indigenous Peoples Interest Group is holding a webinar on Indigenous Peoples and Constitutional Reform.
Over many years, Indigenous Peoples have successfully developed and applied international law to protect and promote their rights and interests in domestic and transnational forums. In 2007, this global movement led to the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Almost fifteen years after the adoption of this international standard, it is time to take stock and assess whether and how Indigenous Peoples' rights are respected in domestic law. This webinar will provide an update on constitutional and public law reform to recognize, protect and promote the status and rights of Indigenous peoples in three common law countries.
- Shea Esterling, Senior Lecturer, University of Canterbury, Co-chair, Rights of Indigenous Peoples Interest Group (Moderator)
- Harry Hobbs, Senior Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney, Co-chair, Rights of Indigenous Peoples Interest Group
- Dani Larkin (Bundjalung, Kungarykany), Lecturer, University of New South Wales
- Darcy Lindberg (Plains Cree), Assistant Professor, University of Victoria
- Valmaine Toki (Ngati Wai, Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua), Professor, Waikato University
This event is free and open to all, but advance registration is required to receive the Zoom link.
Monday, November 1, 2021
David Birchall, Corporate Power over Human Rights, Encyclopedia of Business Ethics (October 4,2021), Abstract Below.
The business and human rights (BHR) movement has developed rapidly since the 1990s, in lockstep with spiralling corporate size, wealth and influence. BHR attempts to hold corporations to account for human rights abuses. As such it does not address corporate power directly, and it is not of fundamental importance to BHR whether corporations are growing more powerful in relation to governments, society, or smaller businesses. Rising corporate power, does, however, have marked effects on access to human rights.
Corporations evidently hold the power to abuse human rights and to avoid accountability for these abuses. This clear from numerous major cases, from the Bhopal gas leak to the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, both of which resulted in major fatalities and demonstrated the failures of current practices, regulation and remedy. Environmental degradation with fatal consequences, modern slavery, and complicity with oppressive regimes are all examples of corporations using their power to further their profits through rights abuse.
Sunday, October 31, 2021
The following calls for inputs have been issued by the UN Human Rights Mechanisms with deadlines in November 2021 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:
Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities – Call for inputs on Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities on Artificial Intelligence and the rights of persons with disabilities. Deadline November 3, 2021. Read more.
Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues – Call for inputs on upcoming country visit to the United States of America. Deadline November 7, 2021. Read more.
High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights – Call for inputs on social development challenges faced by persons with albinism. Deadline November 30, 2021. Read more.
Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Balakrishnan Rajagopal and Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier de Schutter– Call for inputs on report on Decriminalization of homelessness and extreme poverty. Deadline November 30, 2021. Read More.
Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Balakrishnan Rajagopal and Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier de Schutter – Call for inputs on Decriminalization of homelessness and extreme poverty. Deadline November 30, 2021. Read more.
This information was compiled by Khala Turner, a 3L at St. Louis University School of Law, from https://ohchr.org/EN/Pages/calls-for-input.aspx.
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Laura T. Dickinson, National Security Policymaking in the Shadow of International Law, Utah Law Review, Vol. 2021, No. 3 (2021). Abstract below.
Scholars have long debated whether and how international law impacts governmental behavior, even in the absence of coercive sanction. But this literature does not sufficiently address the possible impact of international law in the area of national security policymaking. Yet, policies that the executive branch purports to adopt as a wholly discretionary matter may still be heavily influenced by international legal norms, regardless of whether or not those norms are formally recognized as legally binding. And those policies can be surprisingly resilient, even in subsequent administrations. Moreover, because they are only seen as discretionary policies, they may be more easily adopted than formal legal interpretations. For all of these reasons, the impact of international law on national security policymaking is a crucial unexplored area in the debate about the efficacy of international law.
This Article describes how the norms and values embedded in international human rights law can sometimes be adopted, if not as a matter of formal law at the international level, then as a matter of official policy and practice. In addition, it surveys the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach, using two different Obama administration counterterrorism policies and Trump administration successor policies as case studies. Ultimately, I argue that the emergence and persistence of such policies is evidence of international law’s constraining impact. International law, it turns out, casts a long shadow as its paradigms get translated into policy. I also analyze the attributes of these policies, including their “legalistic” character and the consequences of creating policies of this type. This analysis suggests that importing international law paradigms into national security policymaking can be a pragmatic and effective alternative to formal international lawmaking, though it also may side-step the process of creating robust new international law rules. Therefore, it is a practice that executive branch officials from the United States and other countries, human rights organizations, and administrative, constitutional, and international law scholars should at least consider, while weighing both the pros and cons. In addition, the stickiness of such policymaking, even across administrations, illustrates the importance of institutional path dependence, the role of lawyers, the constraint of interoperability with key U.S. allies in multilateral military actions, and the way norms get embedded in government organizations.