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Past events

Guest Speaker, Gilles Landry Dossan: ‘Change but not Novelty: Conditionality to International Aid at a Crossroads’, 9 December 2015, UWE

Gilles Landry Dossan argued that the issue of conditionality has raised several questions when discussing the state of the North-South cooperation. Does the Cotonou Agreement, identified as a new stage in the EU / ACP, escape from the logic of conditionality? The special character of EU-ACP relations in the field of cooperation and development aid imposes the need to put this Agreement into perspective regarding the conditionality for aid. If Cotonou aims to be a bridge between two periods in the EU / ACP relations (before and after Cotonou) and the materialization of a new approach, how does it take into account the issue of conditionality? What form does the conditionality take in the Cotonou Agreement and how can we analyse it considering the previous agreements? It must first be emphasized the predominance of political conditionality and the fight against poverty and then examine the innovations introduced by this new agreement. Beyond these aspects, considered from an international law perspective, we should also discuss international law itself and determine what Cotonou tells us about international law as a legal order. Does the myth of development through the law resist to the analysis of the international social realities after decades of cooperation?

Gilles Landry Dossan is a Researcher and PhD Candidate in International Law at the Centre for European Studies of the University Jean Moulin in Lyon, France. He has recently published a book on ‘Conditionality to International Aid.'

Guest Speaker, Paul Dillane: ‘Rainbow Refugees: Challenges in Protecting LGBT Asylum Seekers in the Global Refugee Crisis’, followed by a Panel Discussion, Miltos Hadjiosif and Adam Reuben, 30 September 2015, UWE

Paul Dillane started by describing the global refugee crisis and providing some figures to give the audience an idea of the current situation. He also pointed out that a number of States prohibit homosexual relations and that LGTB individuals are persecuted on the basis of their gender or relations with their partners. He then proceeded to explain the concept of a refugee and the asylum process, focusing on LGTB applicants and shared with the audience his and his NGO’s experience of dealing with asylum seekers. The guest lecture was followed by a panel discussion with Miltos Hadjiosif (HAS, UWE) and Adam Reuben (UWE). Mr Reuben explained the training he received as a case officer working for the Swedish Migration Agency and how he dealt with applicants, especially those who claimed to have been persecuted on LGTB grounds. As a clinical psychologist Mr Hadjiosif provided some interesting insights in relation to vicarious trauma and retraumatisation, stressing that one should not lose sight of the human side of the interaction between the case officer and the applicant.       

Paul Dillane is the Executive Director of UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG), the only national organisation offering support and advocating for the rights of LGTBI-persons seeking asylum in the UK. Prior to taking up this role with UKLGIG, Paul Dillane was a refugee specialist for Amnesty International UK which saw him involved in asylum, extradition and human rights litigations.

Panel Discussion, Phil Cole, Christian Dadomo, Simon Thompson: ‘Human Rights, Statelessness and Citizenship’, 22 April 2015, UWE

Simon Thompson (HSS, HAS, UWE) began by explaining that the political theory of recognition might assist in understanding the issue of statelessness. He made two claims. First, the idea of a right to have rights does raise important questions for our understanding of human rights, and in particular the idea that such rights are due to humans in light of their inherent dignity. Second, the idea of such a right can cast light on contemporary issues including the condition of statelessness and the practice of deportation. Phil Cole (HSS, HAS, UWE) argued that the question of membership, non-membership and statelessness poses a radical challenge for liberal political theory as such. Rather than being marginal figures in liberal political theory, the stateless compel us to question its very foundations and imagine a new vision of a global political community, a post-national world made up of transnational belonging. Christian Dadomo (Law, FBL, UWE) then stated that the link between citizenship/nationality and rights is probably best illustrated by the concept of EU citizenship. After introducing the concept, its application and implications he explained that the concept is not without problems and flaws as EU citizenship is granted on the basis of nationality of an EU Member State and EU Member States remain so far free to determine national laws relating to the conferral and withdrawal of nationality.

Guest Speaker, Yeshim Harris: ‘Will Cyprus ever be resolved: Can South Africa Come to the rescue?’, 19 November 2014, UWE

For four decades now, talks about the future of the island of Cyprus have failed to find a solution for the ongoing conflict. The recent peace process is also facing a serious deadlock at present. Whilst there are great divisions which characterise each situation, there are common traits in the elemental foundation of most conflicts. From neighbourly bickering to all-out sectarian warfare, a fundamentally personal human experience is played out. Each one of these has its own unique journey and needs its own unique solution. Ms Harris examined whether it was possible to learn about the experiences of the peace processes in Northern Ireland and South Africa. A blog post summarising the speech is available on the Centre for Legal Research blog.

Ms Yeshim Harris is the co-founder and Director of Engi Conflict Management. She has initiated and worked on various peace-building projects and has provided advice and training to public, academic and civic organisations in the UK and overseas. She is well versed in the Cyprus conflict and has led a number of initiatives on the island.

Workshop, Yeshim Harris, Aida Abzhaparova and Noelle Quenivet: ‘Practice-Orientated Workshop on Conflict Resolution’, 19 November 2014, UWE

The event started with an academic introduction by Aida Abzhaparova and Noëlle Quénivet to the topic of conflict resolution from two perspectives, namely International Relations and International Law. The workshop then was led by Ms Yeshim Harris, co-founder and Director of ENGI, a social enterprise that focuses on the effective and non-violent management of conflict, nationally and internationally. This part of the workshop lasted for two hours where students were offered the opportunity to gain and practice skills associated with conflict resolution and dispute settlement notably through a series of exercises in conflict resolution. A blog post summarising the event is available on the Centre for Legal Research blog.

Seminar, Aida Abzhaparova: ‘Turbulent Times, Murky Boundaries and (In)Securities: (Un)Veiling Identity of Women in Kazakhstan’, 5 November 2014, UWE

It has been more than two decades since the Soviet Union collapsed and the Republic of Kazakhstan entered the international system as an independent and sovereign state. This seminar will look at how the government defined, constructed and developed the main directions of Kazakhstan's development.

Seminar, Aida Abzhaparova and Maryam Abdullah: ‘Female Genital Mutilation: Where Culture Clashes with Security of Women and Girls’, 24 September 2014, UWE

This seminar investigated FGM as a practice-based social phenomenon within the security framework and aimed to bridge the gap between the public political and personal private spaces in dealing with FGM. Furthermore close attention was paid to potential clashes between the cultural and harmful dimensions of FGM as practice. A summary of the seminar is available on the Centre for Legal Research blog.

Distinguished Professorial Address, Professor Michael Schmitt, The Law of Cyber Conflict: Quo Vadis, 28 February 2014, UWE

This address considered the state of the international law norms governing cyber warfare. As cyber warfare capabilities develop and societies become increasingly wired, are such norms likely to survive intact? If not, how might they evolve. Professor Schmitt offered his thoughts on the subject based on his experience as Director of the Tallinn Manual on the International Law of Cyber Warfare project.

Michael Schmitt is the Charles H. Stockton Professor and Chairman of the International Law Department at the United States Naval War College. He is also Professor of Public International Law at the University of Exeter and Senior Fellow at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

Debate, Richard Edwards and Simon Thompson: Free Speech Versus Hate Speech, 19 February 2014, UWE

The Unit organised a debate on how free 'free speech' should be. Richard Edwards and Simon Thompson, presenting two opposing views, engaged in a discussion about the legitimacy of hate speech.

Guest Speaker, Solon Solomon: 'Sky-Skating International Law: Is There a Stratosphere', 13 February 2014

Solon Solomon from Dickson Poon School of Law (King's College London) presented a paper entitled, 'Sky-Skating International Law: Is There a Stratosphere?' as part of the UWE Bristol Centre for Legal Research (CLR) Forum.

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