Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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Refugees and Transitional Justice: Reflections on fieldwork from Liberia

By Jacqueline Parry

Centre for International Governance and Justice

Advocates for Human Rights Report on the work of the Liberian TRC with diasporic communities
Available at http://tinyurl.com/k29qqeh

Jacqueline recently completed five months fieldwork in Liberia and Buduburam refugee camp, Ghana, in order to explore how refugees interacted with the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as well as issues of transitional justice more broadly. This blog post sets out some initial reflections from that period of fieldwork.

Both refugees and transitional justice have the ability to convey potent messages about state sovereignty. Sovereignty, the set of norms held by the international community concerning the legitimate organisation of political authority, has changed over time and according to context.[1] Since the Second World War the understanding of sovereignty has shifted from being a purely territorial matter to incorporating – in rhetoric if not in fact – a particular type of relationship between the state and its citizens.[2] Continue Reading →


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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Ten Years of the ACT HRA: Artwork by Alicia Mozqueira

Ten Years of the ACT HRA: Artwork by Alicia Mozqueira

July 1st marks the ten year anniversary of the ACT’s Human Rights Act – Australia’s first law dedicated to the recognition of human rights. Together with the ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Helen Watchirs, the Centre is hosting a conference to mark the anniversary. The conference will review the operation of this historic legislation and identify ways it might be strengthened. The day will begin with a welcome to country by Violet Sheridan and an introduction by Hilary Charlesworth, CIGJ director and Chair of the original Bill of Rights Consultative Committee. Speakers include Jon Stanhope, former Chief Minister of the ACT, Helen Watchirs, Attorney-General Simon Corbell, the ACT’s new Chief Justice, Helen Murrell, Andrew Byrnes (UNSW), Jeremy Gans (Melb Uni), Simon Rice (ANU), Heidi Yates (Women’s Legal Centre), and Noor Blumer (former president, ACT Law Society).


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Should we play the rights card? Criminalising alcohol consumption while pregnant

Graphic sourced from the 'Drinking Diaries' blog: www.drinkingdiaries.com/2010/08/31

Graphic sourced from the ‘Drinking Diaries’ blog: www.drinkingdiaries.com

By Mhairi Cowden

Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

A recent study, undertaken by the Lililwan Project, found that 50% of 8 year old aboriginal children  attending school in the Fitzroy Valley have signs of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). FASD is more widespread than many imagine. It is referred to as an ‘invisible disability’ as it often goes undetected. In order to address this, the Northern Territory Government is currently considering a proposal to introduce legislation allowing criminal prosecutions of pregnant women for drinking. Continue Reading →


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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Betheli O’CarrollThe CIGJ is delighted to welcome its most recent Visiting PhD Scholar, Betheli O’Carroll. Betheli is a PhD Candidate in the TC Bernie School of Law at the University of Queensland. Her research examines law and practice relating to fitness for trial in Australia and asks whether the current regime sufficiently protects the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities. Betheli will be a visitor at the Centre until early August.