April news from International Law at Westminster

5 May 2015

Professor Hélène Lambert has been spending the month of April at the University of Melbourne Law School as a Dyason Fellow working on a co-authored book on Statelessness and International Refugee Law with Melbourne academic Prof. Michelle Foster. This project builds on a research consultancy study that she wrote for the UNHCR (October 2014) and an article published in the International and Comparative Law Quarterly (January 2015). On Thursday 23 April, she presented a seminar paper to Melbourne Law School on the topic of Statelessness, Arbitrary Deprivation of Nationality, and Refugee Status to an audience of academics, JD students and practitioners.

On 23-24 April, Dr Marco Roscini participated in the State Rights workshop at the University of Alabama. This project is devoted to the question of whether fundamental rights of states, which appear to be recognized in the provisions of a number of conventional and customary sources of international law, actually exist. These purported rights include the right to self-defence, the right to existence, the right to private life/noninterference, the right to permanent sovereignty over natural resources; the right to be free from economic coercion, and the right to peaceful nuclear energy. If in fact they do exist, what is their source and legal character? What are their juridical implications – e.g. when they come into conflict with the legal obligations of the right holder, or with the actions of other states and international organizations? The papers presented and discussed at the workshop will comprise a special issue of the Cambridge Journal of International & Comparative Law, which is being organized by Professor Daniel Joyner and Dr. Marco Roscini.

Marco Roscini’s Cyber Operations and the Use of Force in International Law (OUP, 2014) has been reviewed by James A. Green (University of Reading) for the Journal on the Use of Force in International Law. According to the review: "It will come as no surprise to anyone who has read any of Roscini’s previous work to hear that Cyber Operations and the Use of Force in International Law is a very well written book. It is engaging to read, focused and clear throughout. There are helpful touches, like the bullet point summaries at the end of each chapter listing the key points made therein, or the handy tables setting out the analysis in a different form for quick reference. As has been noted above, the book is extremely well researched and provides detailed analysis on virtually any question that one might raise on the application of the jus ad bellum or jus in bello to cyber warfare. Marco Roscini is now one of the leading legal experts in the world on cyber operations and Cyber Operations and the Use of Force in International Law....forms one-third of a recent 'holy trinity' of major works on the topic. It is essential reading for anyone interested in cyber war and international law." (1 Journal on the Use of Force in International Law (2014), p. 394).

On 2 April, Sherif Elgebeily was awarded his PhD discussing a thesis on The UN Security Council and the International Rule of Law. Dr Elgebeily was supervised by Dr Marco Roscini, Professor Hélène Lambert and Ruth Mackenzie. Congratulations!

A delegation from Westminster Law School attended an international conference in Algeria to deliver the first phase findings of an international research project, “A Human Rights-based Approach to Higher Education in the Maghreb (ABDEM)”. The EU-funded project has engaged the expertise of Westminster Law School alongside partner universities and research-led institutions in Spain, Italy and the Maghreb. The aim of the research project is to contribute to higher education programmes in the Maghreb region through the facilitation of a human rights-based approach (HRBA) to higher education based on the UN World Programme for Human Rights Education. This is not only in terms of curricula, but also potentially through university governance models that will ensure and promote the rights of all members of the university community. The wide-ranging research project has been awarded approximately €1 million in EU-funding over three years. The funding has been provided through the TEMPUS scheme, the European Union’s programme which supports the modernisation of higher education in the partner countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the Mediterranean region, mainly through university co-operation projects. ABDEM is divided into three key phases. For the first phase, members of the project team at Westminster Law School collected widespread and extensive data on the rights-based approach to higher education in the United Kingdom, and together with other partners for their countries, produced a national report identifying good rights-based practices in the UK. After one year, these preliminary findings, together with draft national reports, were presented to delegates at the international conference in Setif, Algeria on 4 March 2015. The conference was attended by the Westminster Law School project group, Dr Paresh Kathrani and Margherita Blandini, and three members of staff from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Dr Dibyesh Anand, Dr Farhang Morady and Dr Oliver Phillips. Dr Paresh Kathrani, Lecturer in Law at Westminster Law School, who leads the University of Westminster team, said:"Westminster Law School is delighted to be able work with colleagues from the EU and the Maghreb on a human rights-based approach to higher education in institutions in North Africa. The University of Westminster has a proud legacy in promoting the rights of groups through education and looks forward to continuing this heritage in collaboration with colleagues."For the next stage of the project, the project team will explore developing an extensive training programme for trainers based on the rights-based approach to higher education. The third and final stage will involve the creation of an inter-university and interdisciplinary Masters programme based on this rights-based approach. The partners on the project are: University of La Rioja - the general co-ordinator of the project; University of Zaragoza; University of Extremadura and University of La Coruña (Spain); University of Bergamo (Italy); the Institute of Press and Information Science; and the National Institute of Labour and Social Studies (Tunisia); the University Mohamed V Souissi and University Hassan II (Morocco); and the Mohamed Lamine Debaghine - University Sétif 2, the co-ordinator of the project in the Maghreb, as well as the Ecole Nationale de Sciences Politiques (Algeria).


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