Conference on Disasters, Displacement, & Human Rights

“Bridging the Collaborative Gap”
September 25-27, 2015
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Call for Presentations

Earthquakes and tsunamis. Development-induced displacement. Armed conflict, terrorism, and human trafficking. Fifty-one million recognized refugees worldwide. Securitization, deportation, and criminalization regimes. Climate change and environmental chaos. Humanitarianism, human rights, and international criminal prosecutions. The quest for peace and justice. The age of the anthropocene. The world has no shortage of problems and possibilities associated with disasters, displacement and human rights. And they are not just academic.

The University of Tennessee is holding its second conference on Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights (DDHR). The 2015 conference theme is “Bridging the Collaborative Gap.” Collaborations within anthropology and across disciplines are increasingly vital for understanding the complexity of disasters, displacement, and human rights issues today. In both local settings and across the globe, from the distant past to anticipations of the future, communities of diverse experiences and aspirations directly confront the problems that preoccupy academic researchers. The 2015 DDHR conference aims to problematize and foster the practice of collaboration among academic disciplines and with DDHR-affected communities.

The organizers encourage the participation of researchers, practitioners, and students who address the broad themes of disasters, displacement and human rights from a range of perspectives, time periods, and contexts. We especially seek contributions from international researchers and practitioners who exemplify collaboration and/or cross-training within and/or outside of anthropology.

International Summer School on Human Rights & The Arts

The first Galway International Summer School on the Arts and Human Rights will take place from 9–11 July 2015 in National University of Ireland, Galway.  Co-directed by Prof. Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights and Dominique Bouchard, Curator at the Hunt Museum, it will bring together arts practitioners with human rights activists and scholars to explore their shared space.  Events will take the form of panel discussions, exhibitions and performances.

The global theme for 2015 will be “Belonging”.  The Summer School will consist of keynote addresses, plenary discussions, and themed discussions on three parallel tracks – literature and human rights; the visual arts and human rights; and music and human rights.  The opening speaker will be the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Cultural Rights, Farida Shaheed.

Law Students: Come to Copenhagen

The Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts) and PluriCourts – Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order is hosting a high-level summer school for PhD students working on international law and with a special interest in interdisciplinary studies of international law and its social and political context. We particularly welcome students and scholars who are writing up a PhD thesis that involves an interdisciplinary study of one or more international courts.

The iCourts/PluriCourts summer school is based on the principle of participant contributions to the knowledge community.

This means that students who sign up for the summer school are expected to contribute to discussions and to participate in the exercises that are part of the learning program.

As you learn more through active participation, the summer school requires of you that you will be willing to share your work through presentations and to share your intellectual curiosity with others by asking questions and giving comments to other participants.

Participation and expenses: The course is offered free of charge but the participants carry out expenses relating to travel and accommodation.

iCourts will offer 5 scholarships to be awarded with regard to the quality of the projects. The grants will cover travel and accommodation during the conference.
If you wish to apply for an iCourts grant, please send a mail to indicating your motivation for participation and enclosing a budget and proceed to register as below.

Deadline for submission
1 April 2015. Please use this registration form.

LCIL Friday Lecture ‘Investment Tribunals and Human Rights’ by Professor Ursula Kriebaum

This lecture explores the uneasy relationship between investment arbitration and human rights. Observers have criticized the paucity of references by investment tribunals to human rights documents. What are the reasons for this reluctance to engage in a discussion on human rights? Is investment arbitration the proper forum for the pursuit of human rights? Is there a need to change the current practice and if so, how?


Ursula Kriebaum is Professor for Public International Law at the University of Vienna, Department of European, International and Comparative Law. Her academic research focuses on international investment protection law and arbitration and international and European human rights law. She teaches International Law at the University Vienna and also acts as consultant for law firms in investment arbitration cases and human rights cases. She received her legal education at the University of Vienna (Austria) and the University of Bourgogne (Dijon, France).

She received the Diploma of the International Human Rights Institute – Strasbourg in 1995, her Dr. jur. (JD) with distinction in 1999 and her Dr. jur. habil. in 2008 (both University Vienna). She is the author of several publications in the fields of international investment law and investment arbitration and human rights law.

She served as legal expert in various investment arbitrations and human rights cases; is a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and an Alternate Member of the Court of Conciliation and Arbitration within the OSCE. She has worked in the office of the legal adviser of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was legal expert in the team of the Austrian Special Envoy for Holocaust Restitution Issues. She was delegate to the UN Preparatory Committee for an International Criminal Court. She was appointed as a candidate for the 2007 election as judge at the European Court of Human Rights by the Austrian government. From 1999 to 2002 she was a Member of the Austrian Human Rights Advisory Board nominated by Amnesty International. Since 2001 she has served as consultant of the National Fund for Victims of National Socialism of the Republic of Austria.

Speaker: Professor Ursula Kriebaum, Professor for Public International Law, University of Vienna

Date: Friday, 1 May 2015

Time: 1pm with sandwiches from 12.30pm

Venue: Finley Library, Lauterpacht Centre, 5 Cranmer Rd, Cambridge

Advancing the Legal Profession in Europe & Eurasia: Empowering a New Generation of Lawyers, Promoting Justice, and Protecting Rights

Please join us for a panel and roundtable discussion with our ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) colleagues visiting from our overseas offices as well as U.S. based experts working in the field of legal education, legal profession reform, and access to justice and human rights. Our panel discussion will focus on changes within legal communities and how we can empower them during the next decade. Our roundtable discussion will explore the role of the justice system in advancing human rights.

Canadian Lawyers Abroad – Avocats canadiens à l’étranger: Using Law to Improve Lives

For this edition of the Progressive Lawyer Spotlight, we shine it on Canadian Lawyers Abroad – Avocats canadiens à l’étranger, an amazing organization that supports good governance, rule of law and human rights work in the developing world and Canada. We recently spoke to Executive Director Brittany Twiss who took time out of her very busy schedule to fill us in on what CLA-ACE is all about.

Progressive Lawyer: Please give us an overview of the kind of projects CLA-ACE is involved in.

Brittany Twiss: CLA-ACE is a catalyst for positive social change. Through education and engagement we are increasing access to justice for marginalized populations worldwide, and enabling law students and lawyers to use their legal training to make a difference. Two extraordinary women, Yasmin Shaker (International Trade and Investment Counsel, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development) and Catherine McKenna (Ottawa Centre Candidate, Liberty Party of Canada), founded CLA-ACE in 2005 in Ottawa.

At present, we have three major programs in operation:

National Dare to Dream Program

We are positively transforming the way First Nation, Métis, and Inuit youth aged 11-14 perceive and engage with the justice system through meaningful interaction with legal professionals and fun, justice-focused learning activities. Dare to Dream is now in operation in Toronto, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Calgary and the Siksika Nation, with over 150 students and 80 volunteers participating.

National Student Chapter Program

We have Student Chapters at 15 law schools across Canada where we educate and engage students on pressing social justice issues. In the fall of 2014, we worked with various refugee law experts to draft a report and host an intensive two-day conference on “Access to Justice for Refugees” at UOttawa. After attending the conference, the students from across Canada returned to their schools to host their own refugee rights events and contribute reports to our national student journal.

International Student Internship Program

We enhance the capacity of international and indigenous human rights organizations, and provide law students with important learning experiences beyond the classroom. Since 2005, 120 students have provided valuable legal assistance to 35 organizations in 10 countries. In the summer of 2015, students will be placed in Kenya, Ghana, Namibia, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Alaska, D.C., and throughout Canada.

PL: How do you pick partner organizations?

BT: We collaborate with other non-profit organizations that share our mission to use law to improve lives. Typically an intern host organization will conduct work in the areas of human rights, good governance and/or the rule of law, and will be working towards increasing access to justice for marginalized or underserved populations. The host organization is required to provide our interns with a legal supervisor and substantive, meaningful and educational legal tasks. Continue reading “Canadian Lawyers Abroad – Avocats canadiens à l’étranger: Using Law to Improve Lives”

Concert For Social Justice

Jackson Browne, David Crosby & Graham Nash, Melissa Etheridge, Tom Morello, Dennis Haysbert, Chad Lowe, Martin Sheen, and Alfre Woodard to perform April 8, 2015, at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angele

The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights is pleased to join The GRAMMY Museum® in celebrating the launch of their Speak Up, Sing Out songwriting contest with The Concert For Social Justice on April 8, 2015, at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. Jackson Browne, David Crosby & Graham Nash, Melissa Etheridge, La Santa Cecilia and Tom Morello are the first performers announced for the concert, which will also feature special performances from actors Dennis Haysbert, Chad Lowe, Martin Sheen, and Alfre Woodard, and the winner(s) of the Speak Up, Sing Out songwriting contest.

“Music has always been at the heart of social justice in America,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “Abolitionists in the 1860s and civil rights protesters in the 1960s both marched to anthems of peace and justice. With this concert, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and the GRAMMY Museum seek to teach our young people that music can be a force for good in the world.”


Lecture: Palestine and the International Criminal Court

Tuesday 17 March 2015, 7pm at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut


Raji Sourani – Director, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Shawan Jabarin – Director, Al-Haq

Civil society discusses prospects for justice following Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute and the ICC prosecutor’s ongoing preliminary examination into alleged grave crimes.

SCL Lectures are public and free of charge. Registration is not necessary, seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

The views and opinions expressed in or during the Supranational Criminal Law lectures are not necessarily those of the host and/or participating organisations, namely the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) and the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University.

Leadership Changes In A World In Turmoil

ANNUAL SERGIO VIEIRA DE MELLO DEBATE, THURSDAY 12 MARCH 2015 | 18:30 Leading international journalist Christiane Amanpour talks with the UN’s top human rights and refugee chiefs. This event will be broadcast on CNN.

Sergio Vieira de Mello’s long and distinguished UN career saw him dealing with refugee and human rights issues from Bangladesh, Cyprus and Mozambique in the 1970s, through to Peru, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Timor Leste in the 1990s.

He became UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2002, as well as the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Iraq in 2003.

More than a decade on from Sergio’s tragic death in a Baghdad terrorist attack, the world sadly continues to be plagued by conflict and crisis.

Leading international journalist Christiane Amanpour, herself a veteran reporter from conflicts all over the globe, talks with the UN’s human rights and refugee chiefs about leadership challenges in a world in turmoil.

Entrance is free, but you must register to access the Palais des Nations. See below for important information on security, access and CNN filming.




guterres.jpg António Guterres
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
zeid-al-hussein.jpg Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights


amanpour_3.jpg Christiane Amanpour
Chief International Correspondent, CNN

Security and access

All attendees who do not hold a UN badge are kindly requested to register before midnight 10 March 2015.

  • Each registration is valid for one person.
  • You must enter the UN via the Pregny Gate on Avenue de la paix.
  • Please bring a photo identification with you.
  • There is no parking available for non-accredited vehicles; the closest bus stop is “Appia”

CNN Filming

This event will be filmed for the television show “Amanpour”, CNN International’s flagship global affairs interview program. The event will be broadcast on CNN International at 20:00 the same evening.


Please be seated before 18:25. The doors to the Assembly Hall will be closed from 18:30 to enable filming to begin on time. You will not be able to enter the main part of the Assembly Hall after this time.

Seating is available on a first-come first-served basis.


This event will be conducted in English; simultaneous translation English/French will be available.