Extended Lecture Series by Weera Centre and Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth
We are pleased to announce that Weeramantry Centre for Peace, Justice and International Law and Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth have joined hands to conduct a yearlong extended lecture series on the theme “Alternative Approaches to International Law”. The rationale for having this series is the popular discontent with the mainstream outlook towards international law. As is well known, there are grave issues of justice and human rights that the world is trying hard to cope up with. But quite often, such efforts pale when they encounter hard realities of power structure implicit in the working of international law.
We will have brilliant scholars and international law practitioners joining us as we proceed with our lectures. Keep following this space for regular updates and material.
to be updated soon…
Mohammad H. Fadel is a Full Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, which he joined in January 2006. Professor Fadel wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on legal process in medieval Islamic law while at the University of Chicago and received his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. Professor Fadel was admitted to the Bar of New York in 2000 and practiced law with the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, New York, where he worked on a wide variety of corporate finance transactions and securities-related regulatory investigations. Professor Fadel also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the Honorable Anthony A. Alaimo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Professor Fadel has published numerous articles in Islamic legal history and Islam and liberalism.
Professor Fadel expressed his thoughts on:
Religion, International Law and Human Rights: an Islamic Perspective
Theological ideas have been closely related to political conceptions of legitimacy from the beginning of recorded human civilization. Whether this is a necessary feature of political thought or a mere artifact of human history is, of course, a matter of debate. As long as religion continues to be a salient part of human civilization, however, religious ideas will inevitably influence political ideas. Accordingly, it becomes important to consider the role of religion in supporting international law and human rights. This lecture will discuss classical Islamic conceptions of international law, and its promise in contributing to a just and peaceful international order.
Professor Manoj Kumar Sinha is the Director of the prestigious Indian Law Institute, New Delhi and Vice President, Indian Society of International Law. He looked at the varied aspects of climate change from the human rights perspective. Till recently, the debate around climate change has focused on its environmental dimensions. But basing its foundations on the Inuit Petition in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Malé Declaration and Bali Climate Change Conference, the talk attempted to go beyond that ceiling and evaluate it as a human rights issue. The title was:
Climate Change and Human Rights: The Unexplored Terrains
Professor Federico Lenzerini is Ph.D., International Law, and Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the Department of Political and International Sciences of the University of Siena, Italy. He also teaches at the St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami. Along with being a consultant to UNESCO, Professor Lenzrini is also the Rapporteur of the International Law Association’s Committee on the Implementation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Professor Lenzerini spoke on the topic:
Post-Covid 19 International Law and Multiculturalism
The third lecture on 16 December 2020 was delivered by Professor Sanoj Rajan, Distinguished Professor of International Law and Human Rights at Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China. He is also among the Founding Governance Board members of Statelessness Network Asia Pacific (SNAP) and was the co-coordinator for the core group of experts who founded SNAP, which is a UNHCR initiative involving 50 countries in the Asia Pacific region.
He spoke on:
Statelessness Arising out of Arbitrary Deprivation of Nationality and Persecution: An Irrefutable Link
Rendering a person stateless can have devastating and long-lasting consequences, restricting an individual’s ability to participate in society and severely curtailing their political, civil, economic or social rights. Making an entire population stateless, however, based on their religion, ethnicity, or identity, is arguably an act of persecution and can often lead to crimes against humanity such as torture, enslavement and extermination. However, the links between making an entire population stateless and crimes against humanity of persecution have often been overlooked. The talk explores the nexus between the two issues, arguing that the arbitrary deprivation of nationality to a large population is itself a crime against humanity of persecution and is illegal under international law. The talk begins with an examination of the nature of statelessness, before moving on to a discussion on how the statelessness arising out of arbitrary deprivation of nationality invariably leads to crimes against humanity. The talk concludes with a suggestion to amend the definition of the crime against humanity of persecution under the Rome Statute to act as a deterrent for future violations.
Lecture 2 by Dr. Daniel Rietiker took place on 27 November 2020. Dr. Rietiker is an adjunct professor of public international law at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and teaches human rights law at Suffolk University Law School (Boston, MA). He also serves as the co-president of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.
He spoke on:
Humanization of International Law: The Example of Arms Control
International law has traditionally been considered as applying mainly between sovereign States. There was only limited space for the needs and interests of the human being. In the same vein, arms control has long been considered, above all, a matter of States’ security and only little attention has been paid to the victims of weapons. The overall picture of disarmament, in particular nuclear disarmament, is however very disappointing. Therefore, new avenues have to be tried out. The speaker will offer an alternative approach, placing the human being at the centre of the discussion, based on his book “Humanization of Arms Control, Paving the Way for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons”, Routledge 2017/2018). He will argue that the Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), concluded in New York on July 7, 2017, is a recent example of this “humanization” of arms control. He sees another confirmation of this new trend in the adoption by the UN Human Rights Committee of General Comment no. 36 on the “Right to life” (October 30, 2018), of which paragraph 66 is devoted to weapons of mass destruction. He will expand on these developments.
Report of the second lecture can be found here.
First talk in the series was delivered by Dr. Celine Tan, Reader in Law at University of Warwick on the topic:
Towards A New Architecture of International Public Finance in the COVID-19 Era
The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly resetting the international development agenda. There is an urgent need to massively scale up resources needed to tackle both the immediate health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic and the longer-term recovery measures once the crisis abates. This is much more acute for developing countries that have entered the pandemic in much more fragile and perilous economic conditions. However, despite an initial flurry of financial commitments and early but limited initiatives on sovereign debt relief, traction on global coordinated action appears to have slowed considerably. This presentation will examine how the challenges to mobilise international financial relief for developing countries in the COVID-19 era is based on the problematic governance and regulatory shortcomings of the international architecture for public finance and what steps we should take to reform this architecture to better respond to crisis and enable sustainable development.
Report of the first lecture can be found here.
For any query or clarification regarding, please contact Mr. Nithin Ramakrishnan, Assistant Professor of International Law, School of Ethics, Governance, Culture and Social Systems, Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep following this space for updates on the lecture series, registration links etc.
With best wishes,
Nizamuddin Ahmad Siddiqui (Coordinating Member, Weera Centre)
Nithin Ramakrishnan (Assistant Professor, Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth)