A podcast series from the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, sharing our public lectures and events from key scholars and practitioners. The TJI is a world-leading research institute investigating themes of conflict, transitional justice, human rights, gender and international law. Learn more about our research, public events, taught postgraduate programmes (LLM Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice; LLM Gender, Conflict and Human Rights) and our PhD community at www.transitionaljustice.ulster.ac.uk.
Avoiding the Colonial Trap: Reflections on the Politics of Knowledge
The COVID-19 pandemic has made historical and contemporary colonial relationships between and within States more salient. This situation is also apparent within the research process itself, adding a new dimension to pre-existing debates on positionality and the politics of knowledge production. With reference to a research project focusing on colonial legacy and Transitional Justice in Colombia, this seminar –conducted by Claire Wright– offers a series of reflections on the ways in which the pandemic has affected research inequalities between the Global North and Global South. To conclude, we look at what COVID-19 can teach us in terms of opportunities to decolonise our research.
Climate Change, the Courts and the Rights of Children & Future Generations
In this Ulster University Public Lecture, Prof Aoife Nolan discusses the role of courts in considering the rights of children and future generations in the context of the urgent global challenge presented by climate change. Children and future generations will bear the burden of environmental decisions made today. However, these non-voting groups cannot input effectively into decision-making around the environment. This lecture analyses the role that courts should adopt with regard to enforcing the constitutional rights of children and future generations in environmental protection cases. Responding to this ever-more prominent theme in child and youth-focused and driven environmental advocacy and litigation, the lecture focuses on how these groups' position ‘outside democracy’ can and should shape the courts' role when deciding whether to impose constitutional constraints on democratic decision-making in the environmental protection context. Aoife Nolan is Professor of International Human Rights Law and Co-Director of the Human Rights Law Centre at the University of Nottingham and Visiting Professor at Ulster University. Professor Nolan’s professional experience in human rights and constitutional law straddles the legal, policy, practitioner and academic fields. She is Vice-President of the Council of Europe's European Committee of Social Rights, which she joined in 2017. She has published extensively in the areas of human rights and constitutional law, particularly in relation to children's rights and economic and social rights. She currently leads a major three-year international research project on ‘Advancing Child Rights Strategic Litigation’. Professor Nolan has acted as an expert advisor to a wide range of international and national organisations and bodies working on human rights issues, including numerous UN Special Procedures, UN treaty bodies, the Council of Europe, multiple NHRIs and NGOs. She has held visiting positions at academic institutions in Europe, Africa, the US and Australia. She is an Academic Expert member at Doughty Street Chambers where she co-leads the Children’s Rights Group. Her recent work has focused on climate justice and the rights of children and future generations. In January 2021, she was invited to join the advisory board to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on its forthcoming General Comment No.26 on children’s rights and the environment with a special focus on climate change. This event was hosted by the School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences, School of Law and Transitional Justice Institute. The event was held in the Conor Lecture Theatre, Birley Building, Ulster University, York Street, Belfast, BT15 1ED, 10th November 2023. Prof Siobhán Wills (TJI Director) chaired the lecture.
What is it like to do a PhD in Law at Ulster University?
In this webinar PhD researchers and staff at Ulster University discuss what is it like to do a PhD in Law at Ulster. PhD researchers Roua Al-Taweel, Micheál Hearty and Leah Rea discuss why they wanted to do a PhD, their experience of applying to Ulster and their PhD journey to date. Prof Rory O'Connell then discusses the studentship opportunities at Ulster and Prof Karen Fleming highlights the AHRC Northern Bridge DTP. Prof Siobhán Wills outlines the work of the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) and Prof Gráinne McKeever research on law and social justice. The session concludes with Prof Cath Collins who explains the components of a research proposal.
Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival: Palestinian Human Rights NGOs
In a dawn raid on 18 August 2022, Israeli forces forcibly shut down seven Palestinian human rights groups’ offices. On 26 August 2022, twenty-four UN appointed human rights experts stated that these forced closures, along with other measures ‘restricting the legitimate activities of human rights defenders,’ has resulted in ‘serious infringements of the rights to freedom of association, opinion and expression and the right to participate in public and cultural affairs, which Israel is fully obliged to fulfill, respect and protect.’ .
The Europe Social Charter at Sixty - Social Rights webinar
We are pleased to share this recording of a conversation on the future of the European Social Charter (ESC), the main instrument protecting social rights within the Council of Europe, as well as on its relationship to the European Union.The conversation, organised by ANESC (UK and Ireland) featured two interventions. A first intervention by Prof Aoife Nolan discussed the achievements of the European Social Charter and of its monitoring body (the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR)), as well as the challenges ahead, with a particular emphasis on the Collective Complaints Mechanism which allows NGOs and unions to address situations of non-conformity to the ECSR, and on the role of civil society in the reporting mechanism of the Charter. A second intervention by Prof Olivier De Schutter explored the relationship of the ESC to the EU. While the EU has adopted the Charter of Fundamental Rights (including a set of social rights and principles) that is binding on the EU institutions and on the EU Member States in the implementation of EU law, and while the EU institutions have endorsed the European Pillar of Social Rights, the relationship of these instruments to the Council of Europe’s Social Charter and, more generally, the role of the ESC in law - and policy-making in the EU remain debated. This event, the European Social Charter at Sixty: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects for the Protection of Social Rights in Europe took place at 10-12 am. Irish Time (CET) - 10th May 2022, chaired by Ms Eleanor Sharpston, a former Advocate General to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Human Rights Violations in the context of Militarised Policing in Brazil - 22 Jun 2022
Human Rights Violations in the context of Militarised Policing in Brazil: The Right to Mental Health June 21st 2022 Parallel event to the UN Human Rights Council, organised by the Maranhense Human Rights Society (SMDH), Ulster University (Northern Ireland), and Goiás State University (Brazil). The speakers include three mothers whose children were killed by police and who are now campaigning for an end to racist police violence in Brazil and for justice for the families of victims. Attendees who sign up to the event were sent a link to the film “It Marked My Life a Lot” (Brazil/UK 2020, 40 minutes) available here https://vimeo.com/720832298 prior to event. The film was produced in collaboration with mothers, teachers, and human rights defenders in Rio's favelas. We also hear from the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, and former UN Special Rapporteurs Dainius Puras and Cristof Heyns. Speakers at the Event: Vanessa Francisco Sales, human rights defender from the Alemão complex of favelas, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and mother of Agatha Sales killed by police in 2019 Bruna da Silva, human rights defender from the Maré complex of favelas, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and mother of Marcus Vinicius killed by police in 2018. Ana Paula Oliveira, one of the leaders of the movement Mothers of Manguinhos, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and mother of Johnatha killed by police in 2014. Siobhán Wills, the Director of the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University, Northern Ireland, and co-director of the film It Marked My Life a Lot. Diogo Diniz Ribeiro Cabral, human rights defender and lawyer for the Bom Acerto community in Balsas city, Maranhão, Brazil. Luiz Eduardo Lopes Silva, Professor of History at the Federal University of Maranhão and member of Maranhense Human Rights Society (SMDH) and the Network of Security Observatories, Brazil. Moderator: Ulisses Terto Neto, law professor at Goiás State University (Brazil) and research assistant at Ulster University (Northern Ireland).