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The Venice Academy of Human Rights includes this year an opening lecture by Branko Milanović, the author of the most commented globalization chart: the so called ‘elephant chart’, first published in a 2012 World Bank working paper (see also his book Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization). A great start to a programme on ‘Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights as an Answer to Rising Inequalities’, which includes courses by Olivier De Schutter and other prestigious international lawyers. Below are the details of the programme. And yes, I know, this introduction is not needed -it’s in Venice!

Key Facts
Theme: Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights as an Answer to Rising Inequalities
Dates: Monday, 3 July – Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Application Deadline: 14 May 2017
Faculty: Branko Milanović (opening lecture), Olivier De Schutter (general course), Wilfried Altzinger, Andreas Føllesdal, Dzidek Kędzia, Miloon Kothari, Manfred Nowak, Kate Pickett, Heisoo Shin
Participants: Academics, practitioners, PhD/JSD and master students
Type of courses: Lectures, seminars, discussion sessions and panel presentations
Number of hours: 34 hours
Venue: EIUC, Monastery of San Nicolò, Venice – Lido, Italy

You can view the detailed programme here.

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as an Answer to Rising Inequalities
Instead of “the end of history”, we have lived through a major financial crisis, including a debt crisis in Europe that is far from over, and we are currently witnessing threats to democratic governance both from outside and from within the democratic system. Whether these are only temporary setbacks in the global spread of liberal democracy and neoliberal capitalism has to been seen. However, it is reason to pause and reconsider the prospects for economic and social justice against the background of rising inequalities in the world.
The Venice Academy of Human Rights 2017, in co-operation with PluriCourts – Centre of Excellence for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, looks at these developments from an interdisciplinary perspective that combines law, economics, politics and sociology. Lectures and seminars by the distinguished faculty discuss the question what role do human rights play in enabling and promoting social justice. Are human rights an effective tool for the promotion of economic and social equality? Do human rights impose limits to privatization of particular goods and services? How do human rights enable a just economic and social order? These are but some of the questions that participants of the Academy will discuss in an intense programme over ten days next summer.

Venice Academy of Human Rights
The Venice Academy of Human Rights is an international programme of excellence for human rights education, research and debate. It forms part of the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC).
The Academy offers interdisciplinary thematic programmes open to academics, practitioners, doctoral and master students with an advanced knowledge of human rights. Participants attend morning lectures, participate in discussion sessions and workshops and can exchange views, ideas and arguments with leading international scholars and experts. This includes the opportunity for a number of participants to present and discuss their own “work in progress” such as drafts of articles, chapters of books or doctoral theses and receive comments from faculty members and peers.
At the end of the programme, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance issued by the Venice Academy of Human Rights.

By Jessica Almqvist

 The engagement of domestic courts in the application and interpretation of international law is a recurrent theme in the contemporary legal debate. A growing number of cases reveal how domestic judges are eager to act as guardians of international law. This approach is also present in human rights research fosters an image of the domestic judge as a principal guarantor of access to justice and legal remedies in response to human rights violations. The same theme is gaining relevance as a result of the progressive development of international criminal law. The Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (1998) affirms the existence of a universal duty to investigate and prosecute those responsible for grave crime. While acknowledging that domestic judges may not always be able or willing to meet this duty in practice, the Rome Statute insists on their primary responsibility to bring the perpetrators of grave crime to justice (art. 17).

The trust placed in domestic judges in international law has not fostered a balanced view of their role in international law. Not enough attention has been paid to their possible implications in the commission of human rights abuses and grave crime. Even so, recent empirical research on judicial behaviour reveals that judges are shaped by the political context in which they perform their functions. Specifically, domestic courts that operate in political contexts known to be hostile towards the idea of human rights, such as military dictatorships, tend to conform their decisions with the politics of repression promoted by such political regimes. Even if domestic courts may in some cases provide forums to express dissent against political measures in dictatorial regimes, in others, judges may well sympathize with the politics of these regimes, and participate actively or passively in the enforcement of repressive measures. Indeed, real life examples of judicial heroism in these circumstances are actually quite rare.

Even so, there are hardly any international law cases involving the criminal investigation and prosecution of judges, prosecutors or lawyers for judicial complicity in grave crime. The Justice case adjudicated in Nuremberg in 1947 following the end of the Second World War is unique in that it prosecutes ten jurists, two of them judges, for having participated and contributed to the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The concept of complicity in serious human rights abuses is recognised in several key treaties: article 3.e of the Genocide Convention (1948), article 3 of the Apartheid Convention, and article 4.1 of the Torture Convention. It is also included in article 7.1 of the ICTY Statute, article 6.1 of the ICTR Statute, and article 25.3 of the Rome Statute. The concept has become popular in contemporary international criminal justice. Several cases attest to a genuine interest in not limiting international criminal investigations and prosecutions to high-ranking military and political leaders, but to consider the involvement of other actors in the commission of grave crime. To illustrate, ICTR has prosecuted members of government, the Church, businesses, the armed forces and the police, journalists, and even a musician. In a similar vein, the ICTY has brought a range of persons to justice, including political leaders, military commanders, the police, and prison guards. However, none of these tribunals have adjudicated important cases involving judges, prosecutors and lawyers. The narrow mandate of the hybrid or mixed criminal tribunals, such as the Extraordinary Chambers in Cambodia and the Special Court of Sierra Leone, requiring the investigation and prosecution of the persons most responsible for the atrocities perpetrated in these countries, has led to the exclusion of officials from medium or lower rank positions. The Rome Statute does not impose any formal restriction ratione personae, which requires the ICC to exclude these cases. The focus of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor on persons who bear the greatest responsibility for grave crime is the result of a prosecutorial strategy that may change in the future.

In this light, I highly recommend you to read the recently published Usted también, doctor? Complicidad de jueces, fiscales y abogados durante la dictadura, edited by Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky. The book provides a rich, thoughtful, and also provocative collection of studies on judicial complicity in grave crime during the Argentinean dictatorship. Its publication could not be timelier, considering the initiation of judicial proceedings against judges, prosecutors and lawyers in Buenos Aires last year (2014). The focus of the book goes well beyond international and national legal analysis. It entails excellent accounts of the sociological, anthropological and political dimensions of judicial participation in grave crime, which should be of interest to international lawyers. At the heart of the book is the need to deepen our understanding of the role of the judges, lawyers and prosecutors during the Argentinean dictatorship. Also under consideration is what the judges have done given the circumstances prevailing at the time? Furthermore, can the lawyers, prosecutors and judges who participated in the commission of these crimes be held legally responsible for their acts and omissions? How was law taught during the time of the Argentinean dictatorship)? Did a judicial reform or vetting take place in the Argentinean democratization process? Is judicial complicity a question of international and Argentinean law?

Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) of the Utrecht University, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, Utrecht University
Postdoc in judicial independence and human rights in new democracies
Deadline for application: 4 January 2015

Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky dará una conferencia el próximo miércoles 5 de noviembre en la Universidad de Warwick. Esta es la información por si alguien estuviese interesado:

PUBLIC LECTURE: Debt and Human Rights: The Case of Financial Complicity

Wednesday 5 November, 4-5.30pm in S0.21, Social Sciences Building, followed by a drinks reception.

Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the United Nations’ Independent Expert on the Effects of Foreign Debt and other Related International Financial Obligations of States on the Full Enjoyment of All Human Rights, particularly Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, will be presenting a chapter from his edited collection (with Jernej Letnar Cernic), Making Sovereign Financing and Human Rights Work. Tim Jones, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer with the UK’s Jubilee Debt Campaign and columnist for The Guardian, will act as discussant. For further details see our poster for the event.

If you are interested in attending this lecture, please register here or email u.martin@warwick.ac.uk

I have got a nice email asking “Do you have an idea for a new book?” If so, maybe the new series on Human Rights and International Law of Routledge Law is the place to submit your proposal. The email says:

Edited by Professor Surya P. Subedi (University of Leeds), this series will explore human right law’s place within the international legal order, looking at how human rights impacts on areas as diverse and divisive as, for example, security, terrorism, climate change, refugee law, migration, bio-ethics, natural resources, and international trade. The objective of the series will be to publish books that explore the interaction, interrelationship and potential conflicts between human rights and other branches of international law.

We are now inviting anyone interested in writing a new book to submit your proposals. If you can offer a unique perspective, expert critical analysis and dynamic new ideas on this rapidly developing subject area then please get in touch.

Find out more here.

Ralph Wilde ha publicado  ‘Human Rights Beyond Borders at the World Court: The Significance of the International Court of Justice’s Jurisprudence on the Extraterritorial Application of International Human Rights Law Treaties’ Chinese Journal of International Law (2013) 12(4) 639-677. El artículo puede ser descargado libremente, porque se ha publicado con el formato “open access”.

¡Felicidades a Juan Pablo y Jernej por este excelente nuevo libro! Más abajo pueden encontrar los enlaces para leer el índice, el prólogo del profesor Philip Alston y el primer capítulo. También hay un enlace para obtener un descuento sobre el precio fijado, por si quieren recomendarlo a sus bibliotecas o comprarlo.

Making Sovereign Financing and Human Rights Work
Edited by Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky and Jernej Letnar Černič

Poor public resource management and the global financial crisis curbing fundamental fiscal space, millions thrown into poverty, and authoritarian regimes running successful criminal campaigns with the help of financial institutions are all phenomena that raise fundamental questions around finance and human rights. They also highlight the urgent need for more systematic and robust legal and economic thinking about sovereign finance and human rights.

This edited collection aims to contribute to filling this gap by introducing novel legal theories and analyses of the links between sovereign debt and human rights from a variety of perspectives. These chapters include studies of financial complicity, UN sanctions, ethics, transitional justice, criminal law, insolvency proceedings, millennium development goals, global financial architecture, corporations, extraterritoriality, state of necessity, sovereign wealth and hedge funds, project financing, state responsibility, international financial institutions, the right to development, UN initiatives, litigation, as well as case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America. These chapters are then theorised by the editors in an introductory chapter.

In July 2012 the UN Human Rights Council finally issued its own guidelines on foreign debt and human rights, yet much remains to be done to promote better understanding of the legal and economic implications of the interface between finance and human rights. This book will contribute to that understanding as well as help practitioners in their everyday work. The authors include world-renowned lawyers and economists, experienced practitioners and officials from international organisations.

Table of contents: http://www.hartpub.co.uk/pdf/9781849464383.pdf
Foreword by Philip Alston and the first chapter: http://www.hartpub.co.uk/pdf/samples/9781849464383sample.pdf

Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky is Sovereign Debt Expert at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
Jernej Letnar Černič is Assistant Professor of Human Rights Law, School of Government and European Studies, Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia

June 2014 390pp Hbk 9781849464383 RSP: £75 / €97.50
DISCOUNT PRICE: £60 / €78
To receive 20% discount online please write ref: AE7 in the voucher code field and click apply.
http://www.hartpub.co.uk/BookDetails.aspx?ISBN=9781849464383

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