CCJHR Seminar: Gender, Security and Islam: Negotiating religion, culture and conflict in Pakistan

CCJHRCentre for Criminal Justice and Human RightsFaculty of Law, UCC and School of Asian Studies, UCC present a seminar on Gender, Security and Islam.

Prof Shaheen Sardar-Ali, Professor of Law, University of Warwick and Vice-President UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

‘The Dynamics of Family Law Reform in Pakistan: A Gender Perspective’

Prof Javaid Rehman, Professor of Islamic Law and Human Rights, Brunel Law School

‘Sexual Minorities and Islamic State Practices: Examining the issue of the rights of LGBT and other sexual minorities in Pakistan’.

Thursday Jan 23rd, 3-5pm

Venue: Aras na Laoi, Moot Court room

(first floor, to the left of the Law Dept reception office)


All Welcome. This event is organised in association with the LLM in International Human Rights Law and Public Policy, UCC Faculty of Law


Biography: Professor Shaheen Sardar-Ali

Shaheen Ali is Professor of Law at the University of Warwick, and Vice-Chair of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. She has an LLB (Peshawar), LLM (Hull), MA (Peshawar) and PhD (Hull) and has written extensively in the field of Islamic law, human rights, women and child rights. She was formerly Professor of Law University of Peshawar, Pakistan for twenty-five years and Director Women’s Study Centre at the same university. Shaheen served on the National Commission of Inquiry on Women as well as the Prime Minister’s Consultative Committee on Women in Pakistan. She also served as the first woman cabinet Minister for Health, Population Welfare and Women’s Development in the Government of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan (formerly known as the North west Frontier Province) and the first Chair of the National Commission on the Status of Women of Pakistan. Shaheen has consulted with a range of national and international organisations including the British Council, DFID, NORAD, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNDP to name a few, as well as providing expert legal opinions in the area of Islamic law in UK and US courts. She was also a member of the British Council Task Force on Gender and Development and a founder member and Co-ordinator of the South Asian Research network on Gender, Law and Governance (SARN). She is a member of the International Advisory Board of the University of Oslo and is recipient of numerous honours and awards for her work on Muslim women’s rights. She has published extensively on issues relating to Islamic Law, Gender and Human Rights.

Professor Javaid Rehman is Head of the School of Law at Brunel University, London and Professor of Islamic Law, Muslim constitutionalism and human rights. He was born and brought up in Punjab, Pakistan. After having received his first University degree in History and English Literature (Government College Lahore, Punjab University), he came to the United Kingdom where he studied Law (LLB, Hons.) at the University of Reading. He completed a PhD in International Law in 1995 (Hull University, UK) and was appointed to his first full-time lectureship in September 1996 at the Law Department, Leeds University. He was invited to take up a Chair in Law at Ulster University in 2002. Since August 2005, Javaid Rehman has been a Professor of Islamic Law, Muslim constitutionalism and International Law at Brunel University. He has been invited to provide legal opinion in a number of high profile cases involving Islamic law, international terrorism and human rights law. Professor Rehman has written extensively on the subject of Islamic Law, International human rights and minority rights, with over one hundred publications to his credit. His recent works include International Human Rights Law (Longman, 2010), Islamic State Practices, International Law and the threat from Terrorism (Hart Publishing, 2005), and (with SC Breau) (eds) Religion, Human Rights and Interntional Law (ILA). He is on the editorial boards of several journals. He was until recentlyutil recently the General Coordinating Editor of the Asian Yearbook of International Law (AYILand is currntly a joint co-editor of the Journal of Islamic State Practices in International Law (JISPIL). Profesor Rehman has been involved at various levels of policy making and has also acted as an advisor to various governmental and non-governmental organisations on counter-terrorism issues as well as civil liberties and human rights law.

This event is supported by an IRC New Foundations Award.

Public Lecture: National Human Rights Commissions: Giving Teeth to International Treaties

UCCProfessor Brian Burdekin AO will be delivering a public lecture hosted by the Department of Government and the  Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University College Cork on Thursday, 7 November from 3 to 5 pm on National Human Rights Commissions: Giving Teeth to International Treaties. The lecture will take place in Western Gateway Building, room 304, University College Cork (Western Road). No prior registration is required and all are welcome.  Continue reading Public Lecture: National Human Rights Commissions: Giving Teeth to International Treaties

Event at UCC: The International Criminal Court a Decade On

The International Criminal Court came into existence on the 1st July 2002. The Court is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court to be established. It was established under the Rome Statute as a significant step forward in ensuring all those who commit the most serious of crimes, such as genocide and crimes against humanity, can be brought to justice. The court therefore stands as an institution that can assist in ending impunity for atrocities that call for an international response. The ICC is currently dealing with 16 cases in seven situations; six of these cases are presently at trial stage. Earlier this year, the court reached a significant milestone in its tenth year when it delivered its first verdict in the Prosecutor v. Lubanga case. In that judgment the accused was found guilty of war crimes relating to the enlistment, conscription and use of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A series of events celebrating the first ten years of the ICC have been held around the globe, reflecting both the achievements of the court to date, and also its many challenges and limitations. This event is part of that series and will reflect on the past and future of international criminal justice at the ICC

Chair: Dr. Vittorio Bufacchi (Department of Philosophy, UCC)

5:30 Welcome – Dr. Fiona Donson (CCJHR, Faculty of Law, UCC)

5:35-6:05 Ms. Justice Harding-Clark

“The ICC – a ten year assessment”

6:05-6:35 Mr. Peter Robinson

“Do International Criminal Courts Deter Atrocities?–a Defence Counsel’s Perspective”

6:35-7:00 Questions and Discussion

7:00 Wine reception – Staff Restaurant Continue reading Event at UCC: The International Criminal Court a Decade On

Legal Analysis of the Children's Referendum: Article 42A.4.1

Professor Ursula Kilkelly is Head of the Department and Dean of the Faculty of Law in University College Cork. Ursula is a national and international expert on child law, and is currently updating two of her texts on child law. You can read more on Ursula’s extensive publishing and policy contributions on children’s rights (and other issues) here.

Article 42A.4.1° states:

Provision shall be made by law that in the resolution of all proceedings—

i. brought by the State, as guardian of the common good, for the purpose of preventing the

safety and welfare of any child from being prejudicially affected, or

ii. concerning the adoption, guardianship or custody of, or access to, any child,

the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.

In summary, this provision requires the Oireachtas to introduce legislation that itself requires that the best interests of the child are paramount in judicial proceedings concerning child protection, adoption, guardianship, custody or access. On a positive note, it is important that this part of the proposed amendment aims to ensure that when they consider mainly matters of family law the courts must consider the best interests of the child as paramount. To this extent, the proposed wording – which in the use of ‘best interests’ as opposed to ‘welfare’ – aims to bring Irish law closer to the requirements of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Indeed, to some extent it could be said to go beyond the CRC, Article 3 of which requires that the best interests of the child are a ‘primary’ consideration (although Article 21 concerning adoption requires paramountcy). Of course, the reason why the word ‘primary’ was preferred to ‘parmountcy’ in Article 3 of the CRC is as a result of its broad ranging application. Article 3 refers not just to the determination of judicial proceedings in family law cases, but instead to ‘all actions concerning children, Continue reading Legal Analysis of the Children's Referendum: Article 42A.4.1

Legal Analysis of the Children's Referendum: Article 42A.1

Dr Conor O’Mahony is a lecturer in law in the Faculty of Law, University College Cork.

The proposed Article 42A.1 provides

The State recognises and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights.

Its stated intention, in the words of the Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, is to “provide, for the first time, a strong affirmation of the rights and protections to be enjoyed by children as children.” This opening gambit in the proposed Article on Children, while brief, contains a number of elements that merit close examination.

The first point to note is that the “natural and imprescriptible rights” of children are currently referenced in the Constitution (in Article 42.5, which will be deleted and replaced). In G v An Bord Uchtála [1980] I.R. 32, the Supreme Court made an initial stab at expanding on the content of these rights, but this task was never continued in any subsequent case law.

A limitation of the current framework is that Article 42.5 only mentions children’s rights indirectly as something that the State must have due regard for when intervening to supply the place of parents who have failed in their duties towards their children. The existing framework is premised on the concept of State subsidiarity in family affairs, and places the State under no direct obligation to protect the rights of children as long as parents are adequately performing their functions. The obligation is a default one that arises only in exceptional cases.

The amendment, if passed, will shift the Continue reading Legal Analysis of the Children's Referendum: Article 42A.1

European Parliament Recently Hosted International Seminar on Genetic Discrimination

We are delighted to welcome this guest post from Aisling de Paor, a Ph.D candidate in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, and Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) scholar. Aisling is a graduate of NUI Galway (BCL) and University College Cork (LL.M).  Aisling qualified as a solicitor and specialized primarily in employment law.

On 6th March 2012, Marian Harkin MEP and Phil Prendergast MEP hosted a seminar on the topic of Genetic Discrimination. The event was organised by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway, in conjunction with the European Disability Forum, and took place in the European Parliament, Brussels. This international seminar, which was chaired by Andre Gubbels (Belgian Ministry), was the first of its kind in the European Parliament and brought together a diverse range of leading experts in the area, with the objective of exploring the case for a European level response to protect the privacy of genetic information and to prevent genetic discrimination. The seminar highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of this area and focused on the interaction between genetic science, technology, ethics and the law, and in particular, how best to address this complex area. The event also looked at the challenges and practical problems that arise when attempting to Continue reading European Parliament Recently Hosted International Seminar on Genetic Discrimination