Autumn news from International Law at Westminster Research Group

8 January 2016

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As it is the start of the new academic year, we thought it a good time to reflect on the Group’s most successful recent activities.

Professor Hélène Lambert together with fellow academics, Professor Jane McAdam (University of New South Wales) and Professor Michelle Foster (University of Melbourne) have been awarded a Discovery Grant by the Australian Research Council of AUS-$-360,000. This award will facilitate research on a new project titled The Concept of Imminence in International Protection of Refugees and Other Forced Migrants: Towards a Coherent Framework’. The project is at the cutting edge of research relating to the law on international protection of forced migrants and is of significance, especially in the light of the mass influx of refugees from Syria. Professor Lambert was also an invited speaker on ‘Europe’s normative power in refugee law’ at the Colloque international sur les Frontières, sociétés et droit en mouvement - les politiques migratoires méditerranéennes, de l'Europe au Sahel (Université d’Aix-en-Provence, France, 8-9 October 2015).

The autumn term was also marked by two successful public events. The first, held in September, was a conference on the impact of economic crisis on law, Adrift in European Crisis: Interrogating the Impact of Global and Regional Legal Reforms on Economic Rights’. This event was hosted by Dr Ioannis Glinavos and sponsored by the Manchester Journal of International Economic Law. The second was a November panel discussion, chaired by Professor Marco Roscini, titled ‘Iran Nuclear Deal: Problems and Prospects’. This was an ideal platform to discuss the implications of the July 2014 Iran nuclear deal with the P5+1 and attracted a wide audience, including some diplomats from the Middle Eastern countries, academics and students.

Another member of the Research Group, Ms Ruth Mackenzie, chaired a panel discussion at the annual conference of the European Society of International Law at the University of Oslo on 10 September. The theme of the conference was ‘The Judicialization of International Law: A Mixed Blessing’ and the panel discussion was titled, ‘Should We (Still) Worry About Fragmentation’.

Westminster Law School is a partner of two EU-funded human rights projects, both of which are led by Dr Paresh Kathrani (a member of the Group). The first project, ‘Abdem’, on the development of human rights training programmes for University lecturers in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, entered its second stage this year, during which members will design and deliver pilot training programmes. Westminster Law School hosted a very successful 3-day international conference in October 2015, organised by Dr Paresh Kathrani and Margherita Blandini, with colleagues from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy and Spain, where project partners discussed the design of the pilot programmes with experts from Geneva. Training commenced in December.The second project, titled Europe after World War 2: Multidimensional Effects of Integration as a Guarantee for State and Human Security’, with partners in Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy, started in October 2015 with a meeting in Poznan, Poland. Dr Paresh Kathrani attended. Its aim is to consider the legacy of the Second World War and its ramifications for Europe today. It will consist of a series of events including conferences in Lithuania and the Czech Republic and a high school student competition.

Furthermore, the Group welcomed Jules Lepoutre, who is a PhD student at Lille University, France, and a visiting researcher at Westminster Law School for the academic year 2015/16. Mr Lepoutre has recently co-published two articles in renowned French newspapers La Mode and Libération, both of which discuss the issues of deprivation of nationality in France in the context of post-Paris attacks.

Finally, members of the Group regularly contribute to various publications on some of the most topical subjects. Dr Glinavos has recently published two posts, the first on Kluwer Arbitration Blog, titled ‘Digging Up the Past: Can Greece Handle Another PSI Challenge?’ and the second for The Conversation, ‘Why Leaving the Euro is Back on the Agenda in the Greek Election'. He is also an author of the forthcoming chapter in Lessons from the Great Recession (Emerald, 2016), titled ‘Solar Eclipse: Investment Treaty Arbitration and Spain’s Photovoltaic Troubles’. Professor Lambert contributed to OxHRH Blog ‘Mass Flight of Syrian Refugees: What are the Legal Obligations of States?’ (21 September 2015). Professor Roscini has recently contributed to the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Insight ‘The Cases Against the Nuclear Weapons States’. He also presented two conference papers, the first during the October 23-24 Rome Conference on International Humanitarian Law and Modern Warfare, titled ‘Do We Really Need Special Rules for Cyber Warfare?’ and the second at the University of Sheffield Conference on Non-State Actors and Responsibility in Cyberspace: State Responsibility, Individual Criminal Responsibility and Questions of Evidence, titled ‘Digital Evidence as a Method of Proof Before the International Criminal Court’, held on 18 September.

We wish you all a Happy New Year and we look forward to reporting more exciting news from the International Law at Westminster Research Group.


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