Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights

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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

The Centre is thrilled to be hosting Virgínia Brás Gomes, senior social policy adviser in Portugal’s Ministry of Solidarity, Employment and Social Security and member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, between 3 and 15 May. An important and widely-published commentator on economic, cultural and social rights issues, while at the CIGJ Ms Brás Gomes will be leading a masterclass (open to ANU PhD scholars and Early Career Researchers) and giving a public lecture, and will be available for consultation with students and staff.

Also upcoming is a lecture on May 8th by Dr Roland Rich, former Executive Head of the United Nations Democracy Fund and currently of Rutgers University. In “The United Nations Democracy Fund: dealing with five UN pathologies,” Dr Rich will speak on the UNDEF’s successes despite the many UN Member States who see democracy as a threat, and consider how the Fund has dealt with five UN pathologies, each an impediment to its effectiveness.

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Women in the rulings of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights: Moving beyond the single story

By Mariana Prandini Assis, The New School for Social Research (New York)**

BILLIE ZANGEWA, The Rebirth of the Black Venus, 2010*

BILLIE ZANGEWA, The Rebirth of the Black Venus, 2010*

After a long battle with the mainstream of human rights discourse and institutions dating from at least the era of the League of Nations, feminists organized in a transnational movement[1] have succeeded in placing women’s issues at the centre of human rights debates.

Here I want to take a step back from celebrating these achievements and ask: if women are now part of the transnational discourse on human rights, who are these women? How do transnational human rights institutions represent them? Or, put in other words, who is the female subject of transnational legal discourse and what gendered harms are made visible in this arena?

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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Matt CanfieldWelcome Matthew Canfield!

Our latest Visiting PhD scholar is Matthew Canfield, from the Department of Anthropology at New York University (NYU). Matt has an MA from the Institute for Law and Society at NYU and a BA in Anthropology and International Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Matthew also works closely with food sovereignty movements. In October 2014 he served as the coordinator for the Africa-US Food Sovereignty Strategy Summit in Seattle, Washington and he currently serves on the coordination team of North American participants in the Committee on World Food Security’s Civil Society Mechanism.

Matt’s thesis, Organic Economies: Food Activism and the Public Good in the Age of Global Governance, explores how transnational food activists construct social justice claims within changing forms of local and global governance.

Matt will give an informal seminar next Friday on ‘The promise of participation and the agony of informalism: multi-stakeholder governance and global food security’.

Date/Time: Friday 24 April 2015, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Venue: Coombs Extension Level 3 Meeting Room

For more details, visit RegNet’s events page.

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A Missed Human Rights Opportunity: The Revision of the OECD’s Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises

CNPC Ceremony Image from

CNPC Ceremony
Image from

By Mikko Rajavuori, University of Turku

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is currently revising its Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE Guidelines). Originally issued in 2005, the SOE Guidelines have emerged as one of the OECD’s most successful instruments, as governments around the world have modified their ownership practices to minimise the adverse effects of state ownership on competitive markets through improved corporate governance. Continue Reading →

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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

It has been a busy few weeks at the Centre. Hilary Charlesworth gave a talk this Tuesday on her work on the rituals and ritualism of international human rights law, and (along with Henry Burmester AO QC) a further talk last week on her time at the International Court of Justice. Hilary and Emma Larking also gave an interview, published in the marvelous blog Allegra Lab, where they talk about their recent book on the Universal Periodic Review.

Speaking of blogs, Regarding Rights is currently enjoying voelkerrechtsblog, including this recent interview with Martti Koskenniemi.

Friday, April 10th will see a research presentation by CIGJ Visiting PhD Scholar Mariana Assis, titled “Women’s rights as transnational discourse? Interrogating the female subject in the rulings of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.”

Last, but not least, the South-East Asia Regional Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has released this report, on the death penalty in South-East Asia. The report contains a review of the global application of the death penalty and a summary of the applicable international legal standards, and outlines current reforms of the penalty in South-East Asia.