Guest Speaker Series

2021/22 guest speakers

Reasons to Rethink Human Rights Penality

Tuesday 22nd November, 3:30 - 5:00pm

Prof Natasa Mavronicola

Human rights law is often associated with the protection of personal autonomy and freedom against coercive and carceral State power, with viewing the criminalisation and coercive suppression of human activity with suspicion, and with closely safeguarding criminal suspects and defendants from excesses, abuses, and arbitrariness in the operation of the State’s penal apparatus. Yet human rights law, as interpreted and applied by authoritative bodies, is also replete with positive obligations to criminalise, police, criminally investigate, prosecute and punish human rights violations. This phenomenon may be referred to as ‘human rights penality’. In this talk, I make the case for rethinking human rights penality from the perspective of a constructively critical supporter of human rights. I identify some of the key ways in which human rights penality is bad for human rights, and invite those committed to human rights to rethink in more protective terms the obligations to which human rights penality is attached.

Bio

Natasa Mavronicola is Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Birmingham. Natasa researches and teaches in the areas of human rights, public law, and legal theory, as well as on the interplay between counter-terrorism and human rights and intersections between human rights and criminal justice. She has published on these topics in a number of journals and edited collections. Her recent monograph, Torture, Inhumanity and Degradation under Article 3 of the ECHR: Absolute Rights and Absolute Wrongs (Hart Publishing 2021), examines the concept of an absolute right and its concretisation in the right not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. A book she has co-edited with Dr Laurens Lavrysen, titled Coercive Human Rights (Hart Publishing 2020), explores the prospects and pitfalls of mobilising the criminal law and criminal justice apparatus through human rights.

 

The event will take place in the Events Space, ground floor, School of Law and Social Justice Building.

Register your attendance: https://ilhru-rethink-human-rights-penality.eventbrite.co.uk 

 

Litigating for climate justice? Climate change before the ECHR

Tuesday 6th December, 4:00 - 5:30pm

Corina Heri

Climate cases are currently proliferating before different human rights courts and bodies, as well as domestic courts. As litigants increasingly turn to rights, demanding state action and contesting the impacts of anthropogenic climate change, they are presenting rights and the bodies that interpret them with unprecedented challenges. On the regional and international levels, these challenges go beyond the scope of the individual case, and concern core questions about human rights bodies’ role and interpretative regimes. In the present talk, Corina Heri explores the adequacy of existing human rights for responding to climate change, the strategic potential of rights-based arguments, and the opportunity to challenge enduring myths around litigation. She does so by looking specifically at the European Court of Human Rights, where anticipation around the fate of pending climate cases is growing.

Bio

Corina Heri is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zurich, where she co-leads the “Climate Rights and Remedies” research project and researches international human rights law in theory and practice. Her work has appeared in the Human Rights Law Review, the European Journal of International law, and the German Law Journal, among others. Her monograph, “Responsive Human Rights: Vulnerability, Ill-Treatment and the ECtHR”, was published by Hart Publishing in 2021.

 

The event will take place in the Events Space, ground floor, School of Law and Social Justice Building.

Register your attendance: https://ilhru-litigating-climate-justice.eventbrite.co.uk