The Human Rights Program organizes dozens of events annually, ranging from formal lectures to brown bag lunches to workshops and panels. Speakers include advocates, scholars, government officials, community leaders, and policymakers. We often collaborate with students groups and other schools and programs on campus to sponsor events.

November 21, 2019

Can ‘Terrorists’ Make ‘Law’ and Do ‘Justice’?

When: 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Where: WCC 3016

Please join us for a talk by Ben Saul, Challis Professor of International Law and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the University of Sydney who is currently Visiting Faculty at Harvard Law School.

Non-state armed groups are commonly perceived as lawless entities that rule out of the barrel of a gun. Based on interviews with “terrorist” groups from Algeria to Colombia to Syria, this book-in-progress challenges these assumptions and finds that armed groups are often bursting with (illicit) law and legal institutions, whether to discipline their fighters, control populations, resolve private disputes, or tax commerce. This research has implications not only for improving human rights under insurgent rule, but also for how the world ought to engage (or not) with ‘terrorist’ governance.

Lunch will be served.


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November 25, 2019

Is Palestine a State? An Act in Four Stages (1919, 1948, 1988, 2012)

When: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Where: WCC 3015

Is Palestine a state? And if so, when did it become a state? The question has long perplexed international lawyers, and has been answered unsatisfactorily. Given that Palestine has instituted cases before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) an answer to this very difficult question is in need of clarity. Victor Kattan, Senior Research Fellow at the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore (NUS), will address these questions on Monday, November 25, in a talk that will explore four key stages in the Palestinian people’s long quest to achieve statehood are revisited: (i) 1919 when the Covenant of the League of Nations was adopted. (ii) 1948 when the United Kingdom terminated its mandate over Palestine. (iii)1988 when Jordan recognised the secession of the Palestinian people to establish a state in the territories occupied by Israel in the June 1967 war, and (iv) 2012 when the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution conferring on Palestine non-member observer state status.

Kattan is also an Associate Fellow at NUS Law and an associate member of Temple Garden Chambers in London. He was a legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team during the UN General Assembly’s decision to confer observer statehood on Palestine on 29 November 2012.

Co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program and the Program on International Law and Armed Conflict.

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