Last month Suzanne Akila attended the Institute for Global Law and Policy’s (IGLP) 4th annual workshop for early career researchers in Doha, Qatar. Suzanne is a PhD scholar at CIGJ whose work examines how and why states act to protect the human rights of their citizens abroad. According to Suzanne
Examples such as Guantánamo Bay illuminate the role that states can take in securing and protecting the rights of their citizens…and the dire result if they do not. It also demonstrates that the law, while providing an important infrastructure for identifying wrongdoing and establishing legal procedures, does not and cannot exclusively explain how states decide to intervene…
My work explores the key factors and conditions that influence the exercise of state action to protect citizens abroad. It seeks to understand the regulatory forces of action and inaction by actors in international law and the process by which states choose to resolve disputes by judicial or non-judicial means.
Suzanne found the IGLP workshop, in which participants are immersed in an intensive program combining seminar presentations, writing workshops, lectures, and discussion groups, stimulating and enriching. She also benefited from the feedback provided by workshop participants in relation to her own work. For example, she noted the challenge provided by Professor Karen Engle’s insight that even ‘non-judicial’ or ‘non-legal’ pathways to rights and justice (such as diplomatic negotiations) operate ‘within the shadow of the law’ and subject to its constraints.
Rights, Ritualism, and the UPR
Next week’s featured post on Regarding Rights considers the United Nations’ human rights monitoring mechanism, the Universal Periodic Review. Drawing on the terminology employed by Professor Hilary Charlesworth in her project ‘Strengthening the International Human Rights System’, RegNet PhD scholar Shane Chalmers uses the concepts of ritual and ritualism to interrogate the power and potential of the UPR, and finds reason to celebrate ‘the contention of many voices’ in the review process.