RightsCast brings you discussion on a wide range of contemporary and enduring human rights issues from the University of Essex Human Rights Centre.
Bringing together diverse voices from all over the world, we apply a human rights lens to better understand current events, to discuss key issues, and to explore how to achieve social change.
From grassroots movements to major international affairs, join us each week as we talk to the people behind the stories and seek to create a dialogue around the role of human rights in our daily lives.
Human Rights Centre: https://bit.ly/2Wm2z3S
Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights: Avoiding the Terrorist Trap (with Tom Parker)
Tom Parker, a counter-terrorism practitioner and former UN war crimes investigator, recently published a book called Avoiding the Terrorist Trap, in which he argues that counter-terrorism strategy grounded in respect for human rights is the only truly effective approach to defeating terrorism. In this episode, Tom joins Daragh Murray in a discussion exploring everything from why people engage in terrorism, to how existing counter-terrorism approaches can be counter-productive.
Tom Parker has worked as a European Union-sponsored adviser to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in Baghdad, Iraq, prior to which he served as a Counter-Terrorism Strategist at the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) and as the Adviser on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF). He has also served as the Policy Director for Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights for Amnesty International USA, as the Special Adviser on Transitional Justice to the Coalition Provisional Authority, as a war crimes investigator with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in both Bosnia and Kosovo, and as an Intelligence Officer in the British Security Service (MI5).
Tom’s book, Avoiding The Terrorist Trap: Why Respect For Human Rights Is The Key To Defeating Terrorism is available now.
Qualified Immunity: How Police Get Away with Murder (with Haim Abraham, Nimra Azmi, Joanna Schwartz and Jennifer Page)
The doctrine of qualified immunity protects government officials from being held personally liable for constitutional violations, and thus poses a significant challenge for individuals seeking compensation for abuses of public power in the US. In light of continuing police brutality against Black Lives Matter protesters, many are calling for the doctrine to be reformed or abolished.
In this episode, Dr Haim Abraham is joined by Nimra Azmi, Prof. Joanna Schwartz and Dr Jennifer Page to discuss how qualified immunity shields police officers from personal liability for wrongful use of force, and how other avenues of justice and reparations might be explored.
Nimra Azmi is a staff attorney at Muslim Advocates, where she she uses litigation and other tools of legal advocacy to protect American Muslim individuals and communities from discrimination and bigotry.
Joanna Schwartz is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. She teaches Civil Procedure and a variety of courses on police accountability and public interest lawyering. Professor Schwartz is a leading expert on police misconduct litigation in the US. Professor Schwartz additionally studies the dynamics of modern civil litigation. She is co-author, with Stephen Yeazell, of a leading casebook, Civil Procedure (10th Edition).
Dr Jennifer Page is a postdoctoral fellow at University of Zurich’s Department of Philosophy, where her research focuses on reparations and state accountability.
Dr. Haim Abraham is a Lecturer at the University of Essex School of Law. His research focuses on the liability of public bodies and officials and private law theory, and he teaches Tort Law, The Law of Obligations, and Contract Law. Dr. Abraham holds a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from the University of Toronto, a Master of Law degree from the University of Cambridge, and a Bachelor of Law degree combined with the Interdisciplinary Honours Program in the Humanities from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he was on the editorial board of the Israel Law Review.
Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights (with Prof. Başak Çalı and Dr Corina Heri)
Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibits the restriction of rights for any other purpose than those for which they are prescribed. It aims to prevent the abuse of power by state authorities, or the restriction of rights for illegitimate purposes. In this episode, Prof. Başak Çalı and Dr Corina Heri join Daragh Murray to discuss the history of Article 18, the case law around it, and whether it can speak to the rule of law crisis unfolding in Europe today.
Prof. Başak Çalı is Professor of International Law at the Hertie School and Director of the School's Centre for Fundamental Rights. Çalı is the Chair of European Implementation Network and a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex. She has acted as a Council of Europe expert on the European Convention on Human Rights since 2002. She received her PhD in International Law from the University of Essex in 2003.
Dr Corina Heri is a researcher in international human rights law. She has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) since 2017. Before that, she completed her PhD research at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in 2017.
A Guide to On/Offline Protestor Privacy (with Shakiba Mashayekhi, Leenah Bassouni and Rachael Cornejo)
Open Source Researchers of Color (OSROC), a collective of open-source researchers and investigators, recently published a guide to help protestors protect themselves against police surveillance both online and offline. Their guide includes tips on how to communicate safely before and during protests, how to evade facial recognition technology, and how to responsibly post or preserve photos and videos.
Access the Protestor Privacy Guide here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12On3cg4figX2arDOl3ymDGOyBqbtpB1bNVh7maCurRU/edit
Read more about the project here: https://citizenevidence.org/2020/06/03/protecting-protester-privacy-against-police-surveillance/
Shakiba Mashayekhi is a member of OSROC and has previously worked as a Project Manager at UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Investigations Lab. @shxiba
Leenah Bassouni previously worked as an open source investigator at the Human Rights Investigations Lab at UC Berkeley and is currently a postgraduate student in MA Human Rights Law at SOAS. @diasporaleenah
Rachael Cornejo previously worked as an open source investigator at the Human Rights Investigations Lab at UC Berkeley and also works at the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. @RachaelCornejo
The Hostile Environment and No Recourse to Public Funds (with Kimberly Garande, Andy Jolly and Koldo Casla)
No Recourse to Public Funds is a key part of the UK government's Hostile Environment policy, designed and intended to make the lives of illegal immigrants difficult. In this episode, Kimberly Garande of We Belong and Andy Jolly of the University of Wolverhampton join Daragh Murray to discuss the impact that NRPF has on migrants' lives, and how hostile environment policies more widely have turned regular people, from NHS workers to school teachers, into agents of border enforcement. Plus, Koldo Casla of the University of Essex explains how the No Recourse to Public Funds policy puts the UK in breach of its international human rights obligations.
Kimberly Garande was born in Zimbabwe and migrated to the UK aged 9. She now works as Outreach Officer at We Belong, an organisation of young UK migrants campaigning for a shorter, more affordable route to settlement.
Andy Jolly is Research Associate at the Institute for Community Research and Development, University of Wolverhampton. He is a qualified social worker who previously led a project working with families with No Recourse to Public Funds.
Koldo Casla is a lecturer at Essex Law School and Deputy Director of the Human Rights Clinic. He previously worked on social and economic rights in the UK at Just Fair.
Holiday Hunger: The Right to Food and Free School Meals (with Candice James and Imogen Richmond-Bishop)
In England, 1.3 million school-aged children rely on Free School Meals throughout the year. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has launched a food voucher scheme to ensure that children who were missing school do not go hungry. However, by planning to end the voucher scheme before the summer holidays, the government is leaving children to go hungry and increasing the strain on local organisations already struggling to meet the basic needs of desperate families across the UK .
In this episode, we hear from Candice James, who manages a community centre in Brixton and works directly with families who rely on free school meals or who have been newly plunged into poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Imogen Richmond-Bishop of Just Fair and Sustain, who are preparing to take a legal case to prevent #HolidayHunger.
Many have spoken out about this issue and are placing pressure on the government to reverse their decision to end the food voucher scheme, including 16-year-old student Christina from London and footballer Marcus Rashford. You can read more about their campaigns here:
The Good Law Project and Sustain’s campaign: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/dont-let-children-go-hungry/
Christina’s petition: https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-don-t-take-away-lunches-for-1-3-million-kids-on-free-school-meals
Marcus Rashford’s letter to MPs: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jun/15/protect-the-vulnerable-marcus-rashfords-emotional-letter-to-mps
Candice James is Manager of Loughborough Community Centre at Max Roach in Brixton, South London. Twitter: @can_jam
Imogen Richmond-Bishop is Communications, Research, and Advocacy Manager for Just Fair, an organisation which monitors and advocates for the protection of economic and social rights (ESR) in the UK. She is also the Right to Food project coordinator for Sustain: The Alliance for Better Food and Farming.