International human rights experts to address summer schools at NUI Galway

Monday, 28 May 2007

The International Criminal Court and Minority Rights are the focus of two high-profile summer schools to be held at the Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR), NUI Galway in June.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), which is arguably one of the most important international institutions formed since the establishment of the United Nations, is aimed at combating impunity for atrocities. A host of key international experts in criminal law, including Judge Sang-Hyun Song, a judge in the Appeals Division of the ICC, will address the International Criminal Court Summer School at the ICHR, Earls' Island from 11 to 16 June 2007.

Other prominent speakers include Judge Kimberley Prost, Ad Litem Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; and Professor Michael Scharf, who served as counsel to the US government during the investigation into the 1988 Lockerbie terrorist attack on flight PAN AM 103.

Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights will also address the school.

"This is the eighth year of the summer school on the International Criminal Court. It has established itself as one of the premier intensive courses on the subject offered anywhere in the world," said Prof. Schabas.

Following on from the ICC event, the annual Minority Rights, Indigenous People and Human Rights Law Summer School will take place from 17 to 22 June 2007.

Key speakers include Professor Patrick Thornberry, Professor of International Law at Keele University, UK, and member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; and Mr Michael Flaherty, University of Nottingham, who was the first Irish member of the UN Human Rights Committee. The course provides participants with an overview of the legal, political and philosophical issues associated with international human rights law and its relationship to minority rights and the rights of indigenous peoples.

The School will also draw on speakers representing the most important international organizations working in this field including the UN Committees on Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Labour Organisation and the Organisation for Security & Co-operation in Europe.

"If you want to understand how successful a human rights regime in any given country is, you could do worse than examine the extent to which minorities in that country are protected. This is as true in Sudan as in Ireland," said Professor Joshua Castellino, Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster, who founded the school during his time as lecturer at the Irish Centre for Human Rights.

"This course has a strong reputation for being able to address the issues underlying the startling headlines of global affairs. A range of world class experts have been able to provide insights into the schisms in different societies that lead to conflict and the ensuing human misery associated with it. The great mix of nationalities, professions and perspectives of the speakers has always made this course a must-attend for those interested in global affairs and human rights."

For further information and full programme details for both events see www.nuigalway.ie/human_rights/summer_schools.html and www.minority-rights.org

ENDS

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