Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights

Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Sally Engle Merry Visiting

Sally Engle Merry

Sally Merry, Adjunct Professor at RegNet and Professor of Anthropology in the Institute for Law and Society at New York University, returns to the CIGJ next week. On Tuesday she will present a seminar considering how the soft power of international human rights law is hardened through the use of quantitative performance measures.

A human rights assessment of the proposed needle and syringe exchange program in Canberra’s prison

Next week’s post, written by Anita Mackay – a recent visitor at the CIGJ – considers the human rights implications of the needle and syringe exchange program which the ACT government wants to introduce in Canberra’s Alexander Maconochie prison. The program aims to reduce the spread of blood-borne viruses in the prison, where up to 65% of inmates have Hepatitis C and there is evidence to suggest some prisoners contracted the virus while in prison.



Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance and Justice – News and Events

Megan MitchellSource: NSW Commission for Children and Young People

Megan Mitchell
Source: NSW Commission for Children and Young People

Australia Appoints its First National Children’s Commissioner

Monday saw the appointment of Australia’s first National Children’s Commissioner. Megan Mitchell, the current NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People, will assume the post on 25 March 2013, for a period of five years. Regarding Rights contributor Mhairi Cowden’s examination of the role of the Commissioner, published earlier this year, suggests that the new Commissioner will need to “engage in child centred approaches to representation” if the position is going to effectively protect and promote children’s rights in Australia. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

IGLP Workshop

CIGJ PhD Scholar, Suzanne Akila

CIGJ PhD Scholar, Suzanne Akila

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.

Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Dr Susan Harris RimmerWelcome to Dr Susan Harris Rimmer

Susan Harris Rimmer has recently joined the ANU School of Regulation, Justice and Diplomacy as Director of Studies for the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy.

Susan brings 14 years’ experience as a lawyer, researcher, campaigner, and policy analyst on issues of human rights, refugees, international development, and women’s policy to the APCD. She is the outgoing President of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, and a past board member of the UN Women National Committee Australia. Susan is the author of Gender and Transitional Justice: The Women of East Timor (Routledge 2010) and many refereed articles, and was the winner of the 2006 Audre Rapoport Prize for Scholarship on the Human Rights of Women.

Susan’s research encompasses a broad range of issues in human rights, feminism, and international law; we at Regarding Rights are particularly looking forward to learning more about her developing work in diplomacy, human rights and civil society movements, and on the role of diplomacy as a normative practice to diminish conflict.

Welcome, Susan!

Special Forthcoming Issue of Intersections

Hilary Charlesworth and Margaret Jolly are co-editing a special upcoming issue of the journal Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance & Justice: News and Events

Sally MerrySally Merry to Visit CIGJ
Sally Merry, Adjunct Professor at RegNet and Professor of Anthropology in the Institute for Law and Society at New York University, returns to the CIGJ in March. Sally is the author (with Mark Goodale) of The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law Between the Global and the Local and of Human Rights and Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice. Her work highlights what she describes as ‘the vernacularisation’ of rights, or how international human rights are interpreted and realised at the local level.

 Visiting PhD Scholarships Reminder
A reminder to PhD scholars that applications for visiting scholarships at the Centre, close at the end of this month.

The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration – Cause for Celebration?
Civil society organisations have long advocated for a regional Human Rights mechanism for South East Asia. Their efforts were finally rewarded on the 18 November 2012, with the Phnom Penh Statement heralding the adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. But is the Declaration really cause for celebration? Continue reading

Leave a comment

Law and Society Association Early Career Workshop

Early Career Academics are invited to apply for the 2013 LSA Early Career Workshop, to be held in conjunction with the Society’s conference in Boston next year. Co-chaired by Eve Darian-Smith and Michelle McKinley, the Workshop will offer ECA’s an unique opportunity to learn about and discuss the intellectual and methodological questions motivating socio-legal scholarship, exposure to the LSA’s Collaborative Research Networks, and the chance to get feedback on their work from researchers in the field.

Details can be found at here. Applications are due 15 January 2013.

Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Visiting PhD Scholarships for 2013

Applications are now open for the Centre for International Governance and Justice’s 2013 Visiting PhD Scholarship.

Offered under the auspices of Professor Hilary Charlesworth’s Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship, ‘Strengthening the International Human Rights System: Rights, Regulation and Ritualism’, the scholarship is designed to encourage doctoral students working in the area of human rights to visit the Centre for International Governance and Justice and to participate actively in its research life. Between 2 and 4 visiting scholarships, to a maximum of AUD $1500, will be awarded in 2013. Continue reading