Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


Leave a comment

Advance Australia Unfair

By Emma Larking,

RegNet, ANU

Australian Foreign Minister, Hon. Ms. Julie Bishop met Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage at the Naval Headquarters on 15th November 2013. Image: navaltoday.com

Australia is pouring money into a system that targets the vulnerable in our region, and it is doing so with considerable secrecy and scant regard for the costs.


Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Examining legal responses to forced migration

Vera's students 1

Emma with Dr Věra Honusková and students from Věra’s ‘Asylum and Refugee Law Clinic’ at Charles University, Prague.

 Emma Larking was a guest speaker at a conference on ‘Legal Responses to Forced Mass Migration: Regional Approaches and Perspectives’ in Olomouc, the Czech Republic, last month.

A focus at the conference on forced migration within Africa provided a fascinating and useful corrective to characterisations of refugee flows into Europe as a crisis. It also challenged the idea – widespread in Europe – that the continent is the primary destination for all people forced into exile in Africa or the Middle East.

Continue Reading →


Leave a comment

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 →


Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Vicky MasonWe are looking forward to welcoming Victoria Mason to the CIGJ next week. Victoria is a Lecturer in Human Rights and Peace and Conflict Studies in ANU’s School of Politics and International Relations, and will be a visitor at the Centre until 31st January 2016.

Victoria’s current projects include work on conflict and conflict resolution in the Middle East (particularly Israel-Palestine and Iraq), the Palestinian question and broader human rights and gender issues in the Middle East. Her wider human rights research includes projects on state violence and state terror, the treatment of refugees, and issues of Islamophobia and anti-Arab discrimination in the West.

Emma Larking was on radio 3CR program, ‘Radical Philosophy’ recently, discussing human rights and Hannah Arendt’s concept of a ‘right to have rights’ with host Beth Matthews.

Listen to the program here.


Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Cynthia BanhamCongratulations to Cynthia Banham

Frequent Regarding Rights contributor and CIGJ member Cynthia Banham has successfully completed her PhD. Titled “The Responses of Liberal Democracies to the Torture of Citizens: A Comparative Study”, Cynthia’s research compares how three liberal democracies – Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom – responded to the torture of their own citizens after 11 September 2001. One of Cynthia’s examiner’s reports described her thesis as “an engaging read from beginning to end,” praising its detailed empirical analysis; another hailed it as a “substantial, original, well-written and well-documented contribution” to the field. This examiner added that, “The writing…was crystal clear, and the structure effective and well thought out.” Congratulations on a fantastic achievement, Cynthia!

Human Rights and the Universal Periodic Review: Rituals and Ritualism released

The new year also saw the publication of a new volume by CIGJ researchers. Edited by Hilary Charlesworth and Emma Larking, Human Rights and the Universal Periodic Review: Rituals and Ritualism (published by Cambridge University Press) provides the first sustained analysis of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and explains how the Review functions within the architecture of the United Nations. Drawing on socio-legal scholarship and the insights of human rights practitioners, essays in the volume consider the UPR’s regulatory power and the rituals and ritualism associated with the Review, and suggests how this ritualism might be overcome. Chapters include an examination of Canada’s appearance before the UPR by Regarding Rights editor, Benjamin Authers, and a consideration of Africa’s engagement with the mechanism by CIGJ affiliate, Takele Bulto.

Talk by  Bryan Stevenson

The upcoming Fifth Annual Human Rights Tertiary Teachers’ Workshop will feature a keynote lecture by Bryan Stevenson, Professor at NYU Law School and Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. One of America’s leading human rights lawyers and clinical law professors, Stevenson has been described by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as American’s own Nelson Mandela and his soon to be released book, Just Mercy, has been described in the New York Times as ‘searing, moving and infuriating memoir’ of his experience in tackling racism and injustice in the American justice system. Bryan will offer his reflections on how to engage and motivate students to protect and promote human rights beyond the classroom.

If you’re interested in attending the Workshop, please register through this webform.


Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Larking Refugees and the Myth of Human RightsRefugees and the Myth of Human Rights

We’re delighted to announce that Refugees and the Myth of Human Rights: Life Outside the Pale of the Law, by CIGJ Laureate Postdoctoral Fellow (and Regarding Rights Co-Editor) Emma Larking, will be published by Ashgate next month. Details, along with information on how to order, can be found here, and you can read the introduction here.

CIGJ Visiting PhD Scholarships

One last reminder that applications for Visiting PhD Scholarships to the Centre close on December 1st!


Leave a comment

Equal freedom for all requires limiting freedom of expression

Neal Jennings Flickr  Photostream

Neal Jennings Flickr
Photostream

By Emma Larking*

Centre for International Governance and Justice, ANU

The federal Government claims that it has a ‘freedom agenda’. Part of this agenda involves repealing section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. This ‘offensive behaviour’ section makes it unlawful to publically offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate people on the basis of their race. The section has been in operation since 1995 and has been restrictively interpreted by the courts: in order to be unlawful the behaviour must have a ‘profound and serious’ impact.

Continue Reading →


Leave a comment

Regional resettlement – solving the ‘refugee problem’ at any price?

Australia - No you can't come in copy

By Emma Larking

Is there anything money can’t buy? It buys most things, apparently. A list compiled recently by American philosopher Michael Sandel includes a prison cell upgrade, the services of a surrogate mother, the right to shoot an endangered black rhino, and admission to a prestigious university.  Sandel’s list is a prelude to his investigation of what he calls ‘the moral limits of markets,’ and to his claim that ‘there are some things money should not buy.’  [1] Here I want to ask if money can buy us out of our moral obligations to asylum seekers. Kevin Rudd would like us to think it can. He maintains that the ‘Regional Resettlement Arrangement’ (RRA) signed last Friday with Papua New Guinea PM Peter O’Neill will ‘ensure that we have a robust system of border security and orderly migration, on the one hand, as well as fulfilling our legal and compassionate obligations under the refugees convention on the other.’

Continue Reading →


Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Image from the Law and Society Association http://www.lawandsociety.org/

Image from the Law and Society Association
http://www.lawandsociety.org/

CIGJ at LSA

A number of RegNet researchers attended the Law and Society Association’s annual conference in early June in Boston. The conference’s overarching theme was ‘Power, privilege, and the pursuit of justice – Legal challenges in precarious times’. Many of panels addressed the potential as well as the limitations of human rights, including a panel on ‘The Extralegal Affairs of Rights’ convened by RegNet’s Kate Henne. Continue Reading →