Old Council Chamber, The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
There will be nine two-hour sessions taking place between January and April 2015 at the Law Society in Chancery Lane, London, featuring academics from the University's School of Law.
Up to 65 students, practising lawyers, NGOs, civil servants and academics will attend each of the talks, which are worth two Continuing Professional Development points from the Law Society.
Places are free, but registration is required. To register, sessions need to be booked individually on the Law Society website: https://events.lawsociety.org.uk/.
Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MDXatLawSoc.
Session One: Migrants, refugees and the right to family life
Thursday 22 January 2015, 6pm-8pm
Speakers: Samantha Knights (Matrix Chambers) and Dr Helena Wray (Middlesex University)
Chaired by Alastair Logan OBE, Law Society Human Rights Committee Member
The talk will explore the right to family reunion in international law, under the Refugee Convention and domestic law following consideration of the issue by the Court of Appeal in the recent case of B v Director of the Legal Aid Agency and discuss recent developments in family migration rights for the spouses of UK residents and citizens, in particular the cases of MM v SSHD (minimum income requirement), Bibi v SSHD (English language test) and the ECtHR judgment in Biao v Denmark.
Session Two: The UK and the European Court of Human Rights
Thursday 29 January 2015, 6pm-8pm
Speakers: Dr Alice Donald (Middlesex University) and Professor Philip Leach (Middlesex University)
Chaired by Tony Fisher, Law Society Human Rights Committee Member
The UK's troubled relationship with Strasbourg has taken a critical turn with the Conservative proposals to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights if its unilateral proposals to weaken the authority of the European Court of Human Rights are rejected by the Council of Europe. This session will explore the future of the UK-Strasbourg relationship in the light of the UK parties' manifesto positions. It will also examine the wider reform process within the Council of Europe, which seeks to secure the future of the Court in the face of multiple institutional and political pressures.
Session Three: The global quest for effective equality: perspectives from comparative constitutional law
Thursday 5 February 2015, 6pm-8pm
Speaker: Professor Joshua Castellino (Middlesex University)
This session will seek to asses and categorise the extent to which global constitutions tackle the question of equality of opportunity, by focusing on the provisions made within them for minorities and indigenous peoples, and the extent to which these promises are further reflected in administrative, legislative and judicial measures.
Session Four: Gender and human rights: the successes and challenges confronting the international legal framework
Thursday 12 February, 6pm-8pm
Speakers: Dr Elvira Dominguez Redondo (Middlesex University) and Professor Christine Chinkin (Matrix Chambers and the London School of Economics and Political Science)
The session aims to explore the incorporation of women's human rights and the concept of gender equality within the political and normative agenda of the United Nations. The first part of the session will examine relevant international human rights standards and jurisprudence regarding women's rights in times of peace and conflict. The second part of the session will evaluate the impact of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review, operative since 2008, in facilitating the debate about gender and sexual orientation in intergovernmental fora. Special attention will be paid to the approach of the UK and other EU states in setting and advancing global standards for gender equality. The session is ultimately designed to provide participants with working knowledge of the tools and insights into the added value and impact of United Nations actions in the quest for gender-based equality.
Session Five: Freedom of religion vs. the right to be free from sexual orientation discrimination – clashing rights?
Thursday 19 February 2015, 6pm-8pm
Speakers: Laura Prince (Matrix Chambers) and Dr Erica Howard (Middlesex University)
Is there a conflict between freedom of religion and the right to be free from sexual orientation discrimination or can these rights be reconciled? In Eweida and Others v UK, two of the applicants refused to work with same-sex couples because they believed homosexuality was against God's law. Should such objections be accommodated in the workplace? Both ECHR and EU case law will be discussed.
Session Six: The European Court of Human Rights and international criminal law
5 March 2015, 6pm-8pm
Speakers: Roger Jairaj Sahota (Partner BSB Solicitors, Law Society Human Rights Committee Member) and Professor William Schabas (Middlesex University)
In recent years, the European Court has addressed cases concerning genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, as well as the application of the Geneva Conventions in the interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The relevant cases will be examined.
Session Seven: Recent developments at the European Court of Human Rights
Thursday 12 March 2015, 6pm-8pm
Speakers: Jessica Simor QC (Matrix Chambers) and Professor Philip Leach (Middlesex University)
This session, led by Jessica Simor QC and Professor Philip Leach will discuss some key recent developments in the law and practice of the European Court of Human Rights, including jurisdictional issues and extra-territoriality and the Court's approach to systemic human rights.
Session Eight: The role of the Charter of Fundamental Rights within the EU legal framework and its relevance for the UK legal order
26 March 2015, 6pm-8pm
Speakers: Aidan O'Neill QC (Barrister, Matrix Chambers) and Laurent Pech (Jean Monnet Professor of EU Public Law, Head of the Law and Politics Department at Middlesex University)
Respect for fundamental rights is one of the basic principles on which the European Union is based. This joint-lecture will first examine the Charter's key features, its role within the human rights protection regime of the EU and the remedies available at EU level for violations of human rights. The relevance of the Charter for UK lawyers and judges will be subsequently discussed. Special focus will be given to the following issues: the application of the Charter in national proceedings; the potential for (vertical and/or horizontal) direct effect of Charter rights and the effect of the UK/Polish protocol relating to the EU Charter.
Session Nine: Business and human rights
16 April 2015, 6pm-8pm
Speakers Julian Knowles QC (Matrix Chambers), Juliya Arbisman (Senior Associate at Amsterdam & Partners, Law Society human rights committee member and member of the Law Society Business Human Rights Advisory Group) and Dr Nadia Bernaz (Middlesex University)
Business' impact on human rights around the world, both positive and negative, is well documented. Multinational corporations provide jobs and opportunities but can also negatively impact human rights, as the Bhopal tragedy, the Rana Plaza disaster and the situation in the Niger Delta acutely demonstrate. 'Business and human rights", as a field of study, focuses on the various ways in which businesses can be held accountable for their actions, from CSR policies to litigation. It challenges the state-centred international human rights framework by looking into direct obligations of non-state actors, private corporations.
Sessions five and eight above have benefited from the financial support of the Jean Monnet programme of the EU.