2014 has been another successful year for the Oxford Human Rights Hub. Thanks to the dedication of our Director, Prof Sandy Fredman, our Associate-Directors, staff, editorial team, and the enthusiasm of our contributors, we continue to forge stronger connections between human rights practitioners, policy makers and academics across the globe.
The Blog will now take a break until 5 January 2015, but before we go, we wanted to share with you some of the wonderful moments of 2014.
2014 saw the Blog go from strength to strength. We published 232 blogs on cutting-edge human rights developments. Our contributors are located in more than 36 countries around the globe, writing about human rights law issues concerning more than 54 different jurisdictions.
In April 2014, Laura Hilly and Claire Overman edited the first of our annual anthologies – titles Global Perspectives on Human Rights. This publication is available as an e-book on our website. The next edition of Global Perspectives on Human Rights is due out in early 2015 – so watch this space!
In June 2014 we were delighted to win the OxTalent Award for use of technology for outreach and engagement.” The OxTalent Awards is an annual event which recognises staff and students from the University of Oxford who have been innovative in their use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. In the same month we were also awarded a 5 year British Academy Grant which will go towards securing the ongoing operations of the OxHRH Blog.
We are grateful to all of our contributors, our staff editorial team, in 2014 consisting of Laura Hilly, Karl Laird, Claire Overman, Rachel Wechsler, Chintan Chandrachud and our Regional Correspondents who volunteer their time to extend the reach of our Blog.
We have brought more than 23 speakers to Oxford to participate in the Oxford Human Rights Hub Seminar Series in 2014, due largely to the efforts of our Research Coordinator, Meghan Campbell. We welcomed many high-profile speakers, including Justice Rosie Abella, Justice Susan Baer and Justice Yvonne Mokgoro speaking on the relationship between identities and judging as a part of a special series graciously funded by the Bapsybanoo Marchioness of Winchester Lecturership. A review of all events can be found in our Event Archive, along with photographs and podcasts of most events.
We were also privileged to co-host three successful conferences in 2014. The first, Women and Poverty: A Human Rights Approach was held in April in Kigali, Rwanda in partnership with the Oxford Martin School’s Human Rights for Future Generations Programme, the University of Cape Town, the University of Rwanda, and with the support of the Chief Justice Sam Rugege, Chief Justice of Rwanda. You can watch a video summary of the conference here. A special edition of the African Journal of International and Comparative Law, edited by Meghan Campbell, Laura Hilly and Jaakko Kuosmanen will be published in the new year, showcasing some of the excellent contributions from this conference.
In May we partnered with Oxford Pro Bono Publico to hold a one-day symposium on ‘Public Interest Lawyering in the Twenty-First Century’. Fifty students, academics and practitioners gathered at Pembroke College, Oxford, to discuss the challenges facing pro bono and public interest lawyers today, as well as the impact of OPBP’s pro bono research over the past fourteen years.
In November members of the OxHRH team travelled to São Paulo, Brazil to take part in the ‘Gender, Race and Poverty: Addressing Multiple Identities Through Law’ workshop. This international workshop is the results of collaborative efforts between FGV Direito SP, the Oxford Human Rights Hub at the University of Oxford and the University of Witwatersrand.
Finally, in early December, we celebrated International Human Rights week by hosting a fascinating workshop run by the foremost public interest litigator from South Africa, the Legal Resources Centre. The workshop focused on implementing the Right to Education through litigation and is also part of our ongoing close relationship with the LRC.
Looking forward to 2015
While 2014 has been a busy year, there are no signs of the OxHRH slowing down in 2015! We will be launching our new Webinar series in early 2015, allowing an even wider audience to engage in our comparative human rights law conversations. We have a great line-up of speakers for 2015, with the first being Professor Jill Marshall from the University of Leicester speaking on ‘Human Rights and Personal Identity’ on 24 February 2015.
We will be welcoming new staff to the OxHRH – including new editors and for the first time, a dedicated post-doctorate researcher to help us expand our activities and maintain the great momentum that has been generated over the past three years.
All that remains is to thank all those who support the work of the Oxford Human Rights Hub. Particular thanks go to the Oxford Faculty of Law and in particular, the Dean, Professor Timothy Endicott for the unwavering support. Gullan & Gullan ensured that we always put our best face forward throughout 2014 by offering us pro bono design and digital image support. Hart Publishing has continued to support our social media competitions and has provided us with invaluable publishing support. We also thank our major funders – the Higher Studies Fund, the Oxford Martin School, the Bertha Foundation and the British Academy. Particular thanks too to Karl Laird, who is leaving us to take up a position with the Law Commission, after performing the role of managing editor of the Blog over the past five months with so much skill and dedication.
Wishing you a happy and safe holiday period, and looking forward to connecting again in 2015!