Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights

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Time to reign in corporate colonisation

By Nathan Willis, Southern Cross University

Route of the pipeline laid out in Kyaukme Town, northern Shan State. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

As ‘corporate colonisation’ extends its reach and grip over land, natural resources and ways of life in some of the poorest places on our planet, lawyers and academics along with grassroots activists are casting a critical eye over existing corporate accountability mechanisms and searching for new ways to ensure corporations based in wealthy countries take responsibility for their actions abroad.

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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Welcome Nathan Willis

Nathan Willis

Our most recent Visiting PhD scholar, Nathan Willis, joined us early in the new year. Nathan is based at Southern Cross University and his PhD research analyses the use of rule of law concepts by foreign investors in Rakhine (Arakan) State, Myanmar (Burma). He also considers what legal strategies are available to communities in Rakhine State to safeguard their interests in land and natural resources.

Nathan completed the Juris Doctor degree at the University of Southern Queensland in 2012 and was awarded the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. He is a Registered Nurse and has specialised in both International Health and Development and Aged Care. Nathan has been a lovely addition to the CIGJ and RegNet community and we will be sorry to farewell him at the end of this month. Happily, though, he leaves us with our first  Regarding Rights post for the year – Nathan’s consideration of whether Australia’s Corporations Act should be reformed in order to restrain ‘corporate colonialism’ will be published next week.

Congratulations Cheryl White

We are thrilled to congratulate Regarding Rights contributor and much-valued member of RegNet, Cheryl White on the successful completion of her PhD. Cheryl’s thesis, ‘From Expressivism to Communication: A Study of the Trial Procedure of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia’ undertook a close study of the first trial in the ECCC and, on this basis, critiqued prevailing theories of international criminal justice. Describing the thesis as ‘a pleasure to read’, one of her examiners elaborated: ‘This [is] an excellent submission, based on a theory crafted from original thinking and deep and mature reflection. The work has balance, high calibre conceptualisation and engagement with theory, thorough and wide-ranging research, sophisticated and meticulous analysis, an original methodology and a wonderful drafting style throughout.’

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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

We are happy to announce the successful recipients of CIGJ Visiting PhD Scholarships for 2014: congratulations to Mariana Assis (The New School for Social Research); Ciara O’Connell (University of Sussex); Mikko Rajavuori (University of Turku); Yvette Selim (University of New South Wales); and Nathan Willis (Southern Cross University). We also look forward to welcoming Jonathan Kent (University of Toronto) and Betheli O’Carroll (University of Queensland) as Visiting PhD Scholars at the Centre later this year. We will introduce all our PhD visitors individually to Regarding Rights readers over the course of the year – and we look forward to their contributions to our human rights conversation! Our thanks as well to everyone who applied – the strength of the applications we received made our decision-making extremely difficult. If you missed out this year, please do think about applying again next year.