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It was with great pleasure that on 29 March 2017 we welcomed Professor Michael Dougan at UWE Bristol. He shared his views on the consequences of Brexit on the UK and the EU. His distinguished professorial address could not have come at a better time on the day Prime Minister Theresa May sent the letter of notification to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, to trigger the application of Article 50 TEU (Treaty on European Union).
Prior to the Distinguished Professorial Address by Professor Michael Dougan on 29 March 2017, the International Law and Human Rights Unit organised a workshop. This was to discuss the legal implications of Brexit not on the UK, as it is so often deliberated in the news but on the EU. The workshop focused on three themes:
- EU citizenship
- the new EU external borders and;
- mixed agreements.
Academics were gathered from Birmingham City University, the University of Bristol, the University of Warwick, UWE Bristol and, of course, the University of Liverpool represented by Professor Dougan as guest discussant. Four academics agreed to present short papers with a view to kick-starting a debate on each theme.
Dr Anicée van Engeland, Senior Lecturer in International Security at Cranfield University, came to UWE Bristol on 8 March 2017 to be a guest speaker. She shared with us her views on how Islamic law and human rights law can be reconciled.
The picture of a young African boy holding a Kalashnikov in his hands has come to represent the archetypal child soldier drawn into a conflict he does not understand. It is thus claimed that children are not culpable for crimes they might commit during the conflict and, consequently, should not be prosecuted.
Noëlle Quénivet, Associate Professor in International Law at UWE Bristol, challenged this view at the CALR forum on 1 March 2017 at UWE Bristol. Alison Bisset, Associate Professor in Human Rights Law at the School of Law of University of Reading, responded to her paper. Noëlle Quénivet’s presentation, based on a paper that has been accepted for publication in the European Journal of International Law, argued that first, international law does not prohibit the prosecution of children for war crimes and second, in certain, narrow circumstances children having committed such crimes should be prosecuted.
Brexit: A word that one cannot escape if reading newspapers, watching the TV or listening to the radio. It is everywhere. Yet what it means in legal terms is often misunderstood and its repercussions on the legal, and notably constitutional framework in the UK, is overseen. On 22 February 2017 the Centre for Applied Legal Research organised its first CALR forum of the academic year 2016/2017 on the subject at UWE Bristol.
Three staff members of the Bristol Law School, Christian Dadomo, Martina Gillen and Noëlle Quénivet, shared their views about Brexit, Article 50 TEU and the British Constitution, whilst offering an international, European and national legal perspective on the Brexit debate.
‘Change but Not Novelty: Conditionality to International Aid at a Crossroads’
We welcomed Gilles Landry Dossan as a guest speaker at UWE Bristol on 9 December 2015. He 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 (Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific) 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.
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'.
‘Rainbow Refugees: Challenges in Protecting LGBT Asylum Seekers in the Global Refugee Crisis’
Paul Dillane was a guest speaker at UWE Bristol on 30 September 2015. 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 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) 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 LGBT applicants and shared with the audience his and his NGOs (non-government organisation) experience of dealing with asylum seekers.
The guest lecture was followed by a panel discussion with Dr Miltos Hadjiosif, Senior Lecturer at UWE Bristol and Adam Reuben, UWE Bristol. 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 LGBT grounds. As a clinical psychologist Dr Hadjiosif provided some interesting insights in relation to vicarious trauma and re-traumatisation, 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 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or intersex) 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.