Happy New Year from the OxHRH Team!

by | Dec 22, 2016

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As 2016 draws to a close, we take this time to reflect back on the latest OxHRH activities. We also want to offer our most sincere and warm thanks to all our readers, authors, contributors and supporters. It is through your passionate voices and hard work that the OxHRH has become a leading global platform on human rights.  

The OxHRH has started off the academic year on a remarkably strong footing. We began the year by publishing the third edition of the OxHRH Blog Anthology: Global Perspectives on Human Rights. The Anthology has been carefully curated and draws together themes explored on the OxHRH Blog. Each chapter opens with expert commentary on the cutting edge and challenging developments in human rights law. The OxHRH Anthology is an invaluable research and teaching resource.  Past editions have been included on reading lists in the US and UK.

The OxHRH’s flagship activity, the OxHRH Blog, combines the best of technological engagement and high-quality legal scholarship. It is a democratic and dynamic space for debate and discussion on human rights. It is an established resource, reflected by the 14,000 unique visitors each month to our website and our almost 10,000 Twitter followers. Thousands of people have viewed and read our blogs analysing the latest constitutional and human rights developments in relation to Brexit and Miller. Our blogs have significant real world impact. A series of OxHRH blogs on the need to give due regard to children’s rights have been drawn upon in debates in the House of Lords and our recent blog on fundamental rights in Cyprus has been retweeted by the High Commissioner for the Republic of Cyprus.

The OxHRH continues to be a strong and passionate voice for upholding human rights. We have made several submissions to Parliament on how to ensure robust human rights protection post-Brexit. In October, OxHRH Director Professor Sandra Fredman, and OxHRH Deputy Director Dr Meghan Campbell, joined with Oxford colleagues Professor Alan Bogg and Professor Alison Young in submitting a report to the Joint Committee on Human Rights explaining how existing domestic and international legal frameworks could compensate for the role that EU law currently plays in protecting worker’s rights. Professor Fredman and Dr Campbell also collaborated with Oxford colleagues Professor Anne Davies and Professor Mark Freedland, and Professor Judy Fudge, University of Kent, on a report to the Women’s and Equalities Committee. In light of Brexit, this report assesses how best to address the potential challenges to equality law in the UK. In addition, Professor Fredman was invited to give oral evidence to the House of Commons Women’s and Equalities Committee on 15th November. Her specific remit was to make practical recommendations on protecting and promoting UK equality law after the UK leaves the EU.

OxHRH is delighted to announce the publication in the African Journal of International and Comparative Law of the papers from its 2014 conference in Rwanda, exploring the potential for human rights law to combat women’s poverty. The conference was jointly hosted with the Oxford Martin School Human Rights for Future Generations project and the University of Cape Town, with the support of the Chief Justice of Rwanda.  This special edition of the journal canvasses the difficulty of translating legal commitments into practice and emphasizes the importance of taking a holistic perspective to human rights approaches to women’s poverty. It makes a timely and important contribution to the debates on the role of human rights in alleviating poverty.

The year ahead is similarly full of exciting projects. The OxHRH has been awarded grants from Open Society Foundations and the Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Account Awards to develop an online course on the role of strategic litigation in guaranteeing the right to high-quality education for all learners. We are also in the process of developing a webinar on the complex relationship between business and human rights. In the new year we will be hosting a series of seminars including a conversation on Miller, Brexit and human rights with Paul Craig and Alison Young; on litigating from social change with Oxfam; on human rights in a post-Brexit world with Rebecca Hilsenrath (Equalities and Human Rights Commission) and a graduate student workshop on human rights. We remain committed to fostering a global community and of upholding the universality of human rights.

We are incredibly grateful for all the hard work of the members of our team, the pro-bono support from Kathryn McConnachie and Carli Schoeman and to the financial support from the Bertha Foundation, the British Academy, Open Society Foundations, Hart Publishing and OUP, as well as the University of Oxford and the ESRC.

Apologies for our technical problems over the past few days. We are now winding down for Christmas, but will be back with more human rights updates and scholarship on 2nd January 2017. Seasons greetings and a happy new year to all of our followers and readers from the Oxford Human Rights Hub!


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