Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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Rethinking the International Criminal Justice Project in the Global South

By Michelle Burgis-Kasthala*

Centre for International Governance and Justice, RegNet, ANU

ICC in Ivory Coast in 2013. Image: BBC News

ICC in Ivory Coast in 2013. Image: BBC News

Concerns about the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) continuing relevance in Africa following exit announcements by Burundi, South Africa, and Gambia are widespread. But the picture across the continent is more complex. While some African states have clearly rejected the Court, the majority remain members. How can we explain the fracturing of the Court’s support in Africa? More fundamentally – what is the best way of studying international criminal justice and its effects in the Global South – whether in Africa or elsewhere?

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Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration: Common Controversies

By Anthea Roberts,

Centre for International Governance & Justice, RegNet

My previous blog provided an introduction to investment treaty law and arbitration. In this blog, I consider some controversial aspects of an area of law that has only recently attracted widespread public attention.

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An Introduction to Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration

By Anthea Roberts,

Centre for International Governance & Justice, RegNet

High profile cases in which corporations have taken states to arbitration, such as the case brought by tobacco company Philip Morris against Australia, have drawn public attention to an area of treaty law that has until recently been poorly understood except by a small club of experts. This blog provides an introduction to investment treaty law. A subsequent blog will discuss some of its more contentious aspects.

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The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants – What’s Missing?

By Emma Larking

Centre for International Governance & Justice, RegNet

The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants adopted by the UN General Assembly in September commits states to negotiating by 2018 ‘Global Compacts’ on refugees, and for safe, orderly and regular migration. Unfortunately, these Global  Compacts will not be legally binding. As currently envisaged, they represent a disastrous missed opportunity.

When the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was first drafted, the UN Secretary General expressed regret that it did not include a binding resettlement mechanism.[1] Continue Reading →


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Law and Emancipation

By Hilary Charlesworth,

Centre for International Governance and Justice

Hilary Louvain

On 21st April, CIGJ Director Hilary Charlesworth was awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the Faculty of Law and Criminology at the Catholic University of Louvain. With Professors Michael Grimaldi from the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) and Jonathan Simon from the University of California, Berkeley, Hilary was honoured in a ceremony based on the theme, ‘Law and Emancipation’. This is the address given by Hilary at the conferral ceremony:

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Weaving intellectual property policy in small island developing states

By Miranda Forsyth

Centre for International Governance & Justice, ANU

Weaving Intellectual PropertyIn their new book, Miranda Forsyth and Sue Farran consider the challenges of creating appropriate intellectual property frameworks in developing economies, focusing on small island states in the Pacific.  The book draws together policy considerations, theories of development and law and empirical studies. It offers a competing model of intellectual property regulation to the usual Western framework, based on local conceptions of culture and indigenous understandings about use, knowledge and transfer of intangible property. This post is an edited version of Miranda’s discussion of the book at a RegNet ‘bookclub’ earlier this year.

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The starting point for Weaving intellectual property policy is that Pacific islands have become a site of global pressure to enact an increasing number of intellectual property (IP) laws. In response to this pressure, since 2000 there has been a proliferation of new legislation and policies dealing with IP in countries in the region.

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Law as a site of politics: an interview with Hilary Charlesworth

By Mareike Riedel

Centre for International Governance and Justice, RegNet, ANU

Hilary-Charlesworth

This interview with CIGJ Director, Hilary Charlesworth, appeared first on Völkerrechtsblog.

Hilary Charlesworth is best known for her work on feminist theory and international law, however her intellectual curiosity extends far beyond this – for example she recently explored the role of rituals and ritualism in human rights monitoring and in 2011 she was appointed judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice for the Whaling in the Antarctic case. In 2015 Völkerrechtsblog had the pleasure to meet with Hilary Charlesworth in her sunny Canberra office and talk with her about the old and new boundaries of international law and what feminism in international institutions has in common with space food.

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The Trials and Travails of Universal Jurisdiction: The FDLR Trial in Germany

By Christoph Sperfeldt, Centre for International Governance and Justice, RegNet, ANU

The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart

On 28 September 2015, a four-year landmark universal jurisdiction trial came to an end: The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart, Germany, convicted Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni, the President and Vice-President of the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), and sentenced them to 13 and 8 years in prison, respectively. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the judgment as an excellent example of how national criminal courts and the United Nations can work together to end impunity for serious international crimes.

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Making reparation for Khmer Rouge crimes at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Khieu Sampham and Nuon Chea image from www.cambodiatribunal.org/

Khieu Sampham and Nuon Chea
image from www.cambodiatribunal.org/

By Cheryl White

Centre for International Governance and Justice

The magnitude of crimes of mass atrocity and the depth of the harm they cause, personal and societal, render reparations awards inadequate in real terms. However, representative justice process and tangible reparations, although limited, may give new hope to victims of crimes in contexts where previously the hope of a meaningful remedy had been lost. This may now be playing out in Cambodia, where after more than thirty years victims of the Khmer Rouge regime have rights to participate in trials of the leaders of the regime, and to receive tangible reparations. Continue Reading →


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The Internationalist Dream

By Hilary Charlesworth

Kofi Annan speaking at a World Organisation Against Torture meeting in Geneva in 2010. Portrayed in the painting is banker Jean-Gabriel Eynard, Geneva’s ambassador to the Congress of Vienna in 1815.  Image by Pierre Abensur http://tinyurl.com/lj35tr4

Kofi Annan speaking at a World Organisation Against Torture meeting in Geneva in 2010. Portrayed in the painting is banker Jean-Gabriel Eynard, Geneva’s ambassador to the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
Image by Pierre Abensur http://tinyurl.com/lj35tr4

Centre for International Governance and Justice, RegNet, ANU

Regarding Rights is pleased to publish Hilary Charlesworth’s review of two recent books, Kofi Annan’s memoir (co-written with Nader Mousavizadeh) Interventions: A Life in War and Peace, and Mark Mazower’s Governing the World: The History of an Idea. This review first appeared on Inside Story.

Kofi Annan’s memoir and Mark Mazower’s intellectual history of the international realm complement each other nicely. Annan’s book recounts some of his experiences as a senior official of the United Nations, including nearly a decade as secretary-general from 1997, all linked by the possibilities of international intervention. It is a personal account of events such as NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999, the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals in 2001, East Timor’s path to independence in 2002 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The focus is Annan’s own engagement with and reflections on these occurrences. The tone is one of pride and, occasionally, ruefulness. Mazower has a more ambitious and critical agenda: to chronicle the concept of international cooperation from its first appearance in the eighteenth century until today. Continue Reading →