International Law and Human Rights Unit

News and Events

Upcoming Events

International Conference on 'Minority Rights, Self-Government and the Law

Date: 15-16 September 2016

Venue: University of Liverpool, Foresight Centre, Halsall Room. 

Minority Rights, Self-Government and the Law Conference - Programme

For more information please contact Seda Alp, Program Officer, RWI Turkey Program



Past Events

International Conference on 'Minority Rights, Self-Government and the Law - 15-16th September. Symposium report 

Inaugural Postgraduate Conference in International Law and Human Rights: International Law and Human Rights in Crisis? - 14/15th June 2016

Ethno-cultural Diversity and Human Rights – Taking Stock and Looking Ahead- 3rd May 2016.Download the full International Symposium - report July 2016.pdf

Human Rights and Security Forum by Johannes Silvis, Judge of the European Court of Human Rights with discussant Professor Fiona de Londras.

On Wednesday 14th April.

International Law and Human Rights Unit host a workshop

The International Law and Human Rights Unit host a workshop on Friday 16th January 2015 on ‘International Commissions of Inquiry: Problems and Prospects’. While commissions of inquiry have existed in one form or another over the past three centuries, they have become particularly prominent over the past 20 years, for example in connection with the conflicts in Dafur, Yugoslavia, Libya, and Syria. While they lack the powers of more formal courts and tribunals, they are today nonetheless a notable feature of the international legal landscape with their findings and legal determinations frequently making headline news. The participants of the workshop included members of the Unit as well as several invited experts from other institutions and who have been involved in the work of commissions of inquiry. The workshop is part of an ESRC funded project and will aim to examine international commissions of inquiry, including their historical and contemporary nature, the role that international law plays within their work, and the impact that their existence and findings have had upon international legal adjudication and the legal frameworks that they apply. The work of the project will culminate in the publication of an edited collection of the work of the participants. 


On 15 October, a well-attended roundtable on the International Criminal Court - Promise and Reality was held in the Rendall Building. Speaking were Dr Scristine Schwoebel, Dr Padraig McAuliffe and Ms Anna-Marie Brennan


On Friday, 19 September, the Unit hosted a one day seminar exploring the representation of human rights in the media in the UK. The motivation behind the seminar was to provide an opportunity to think about the gap between the European and UK institutions and the experience of rights on the ground. The media, which plays no small part in denigrating human rights (particularly, but not exclusively, the tabloid press) and in uncritically celebrating human rights (particularly the so-called progressive press), provided an intuitive starting point for getting to grips with public and individual perception of human. Speakers included Owen Bowcott of The Guardian, Colm O' Cinneida (University College London) and Nicky Hawkins from the charity group Equally Ours


A book that was conceptualised after the Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law Conference in Liverpool in December 2012 is now on sale:

The book has been edited by HRILU member Christine Schwobel; she and Michelle Farrell both have chapters and the contributors were all speakers at the conference.


Dr Jeremie Gilbert (University of East London) will present from his new monograph on Nomadic Peoples and Human Rights on 21 May from 3.30pm in Seminar Room 12, South Campus teaching Hub. 


'The Human Rights and International Law Unit has been awarded £7500 from the Economic and Social Research Council's Transformative Research scheme. The purpose of the funded research is to address the central question of whether contemporary international commissions of inquiry (CoIs), as have been witnessed in, for example, Darfur, Libya,, Syria and North Korea, represent a potentially new informal mode of legal adjudication within the international community. In doing so it will draw attention to some of the problems that they pose, but also assess whether and if so how these might be overcome. The period of research will run between June and December 2014 and will involve collaboration with academics and practitioners external to the University who have expertise in the field. The project will culminate in a symposium on ‘Commissions of Inquiry: Problems and Prospects’ to be hosted by the HRIL Unit in December 2014. Following on from this, the papers presented will be edited by the Unit and published in an academic format and also as a lay summary which will be distributed to various interested parties.'


Dr David White of the HRIL Unit organised a seminar on adjudicating corporate human rights violations on 27 March, which was addressed by President of the European Court of Human Rights, Judge Dean Spielmann, and was attended by more than 50 participants, ranging from senior court officials to lawyers of the court and representatives from the Council of Europe. The seminar developed ideas relating to the perceived need for a specialised forum or instrument for attributing corporate liability for human rights violations.  Further details are available here 


On Wednesday 19th March, PhD candidates Patrick Burchard and Ben Murphy presented legal arguments on the current situation in Crimea. The discussion revolved around topical issues such as: the legality of Russia's actions; the position of international law in light of the UN Charter; the situation in the Security Council, considering Russia's position as a Permanent Member with a veto; and possible theoretical interpretations of the events as they unfold.


Institutute of Irish Studies (University of Liverpool), 12pm, 12th March, Room 209 Irish Studies Cross-Faculty Seminar Series: Dr Padraig McAuliffe gave a seminar entitled: "Is Transitional Accountability a First-Order Priority in Post-Conflict States" exploring the increasing emphasis on prosecutions for human rights abuses and the opportunitycosts of such an approach.