Thursday, 17 August 2017

THE COLOMBIAN PEACE PROCESS AND THE RIGHT TO AMNESTY Presentation by Professor Kai Ambos University of Göttingen   Boardroom, Human Rights Centre, NUI Galway Thursday 24 August 2017 at 1.00 p.m.   After many years of negotiations, the Colombian government and FARC, the oldest rebel organisation in Latin America, agreed on the “justice limb” as the fourth and most important part of their negotiations. After a negative referendum (the “Columbian Brexit”), a revised version of the agreement was finally adopted, and approved by Congress at the end of 2016. The legislative process to implement the agreement is now well underway. This presentation will focus in particular on the amnesty legislation, especially Law 1820 of 30 December 2016 and the complexities surrounding its implementation. Kai Ambos is Professor of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Comparative Law and International Criminal Law at the University of Göttingen in Germany, as well as a judge of the recently created Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC). Previously, he served as a part-time judge of the Göttingen District Court. He is also the Director of the Centro de Estudios de Derecho Penal y Procesal Penal Latinoamericano (CEDPAL) of Göttingen University. He is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge and currently a Plumer Fellow at St. Anne’s College Oxford. He has also acted as defence lawyer, e.g. as a member of the Gotovina defence team at ICTY and the Bemba appeals defence team at the ICC. He is on the ICC defence counsel list. He is the author and editor of numerous publications, in several languages, on German, comparative and international criminal law. Particularly noteworthy among his publications are his Treatise on International Criminal (3 volumes published by Oxford University Press, 2013-2016), the third edition of his Commentary on the ICC Statute (co-edited with Otto Triffleter and published by Hart Publications, Oxford in 2016). He  also has a forthcoming book on European Criminal Law, to be published by Cambridge University Press.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Summer School will discuss prosecuting the most serious crimes known to humanity and will include a special session on corporate crimesThe Irish Centre for Human Rights at the School of Law in NUI Galway will host its 18th Summer School on the International Criminal Court for five days from 19-23 June.The International Criminal Court in the Hague is the world’s only permanent judicial body tasked with prosecuting persons for the most serious crimes known to the international community, including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Court has been operational since 2002 and has tried individuals from a number of African countries, including Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali, while the Prosecutor is currently examining potential crimes in Georgia, Ukraine, Iraq and Palestine.Since 2000 the Summer School at NUI Galway has welcomed leading international experts and practitioners to Galway to participate in this event and to analyse the progress of the International Criminal Court to date. During five days of intensive lectures delivered by leading specialists in the field, delegates are provided with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, structures and activities.Key speakers at this year’s Summer School include Professor William Schabas, of Middlesex University and Chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, widely regarded as the foremost academic expert on the International Criminal Court. From 2002 to 2004 Professor Schabas served as one of three international members of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Don Ferencz, a Visiting Professor at Middlesex University and a Research Associate at the Oxford University Faculty of Law Centre for Criminology, who is the Convener of the Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression; and Dr Fabricio Guariglia, the Director of the Prosecution Division at the International Criminal Court and a highly experienced prosecutor who has been involved in numerous serious crimes cases. In October 1998 Dr Guariglia joined the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.According to Dr Shane Darcy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway: “The International Criminal Court is the world’s principal court for the prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and it is important that it can hold to account all those who may contribute to the commission of international crimes. Ending impunity and deterring future atrocities requires bringing the law to bear not only on the planners and perpetrators, but also those who benefit from serious human rights abuses.”The 2017 Summer School on the International Criminal Court includes a special session on corporate crimes, which will consider the prospects for corporate accountability at the Court, examine crimes such as pillage during times of armed conflict and assess the potential liability of those that finance or profit from international crimes.For further information on the Summer School visit:

Monday, 15 May 2017

Prof. Ray Murphy, Interim Director, has welcomed the appointment of Prof. Michael O’Flaherty as an Adjunct Professor at the Irish Centre for Human Rights.  Michael brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Centre and it is appropriate that he should retain the strong professional and personal links he has with the Centre and School of Law at NUI Galway.  Michael is currently Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights since 16 December 2015. Previously, he was Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway.  He has served as Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.  From 2004-2012, he was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, latterly as a Vice-Chairperson.  Michael  has been a member of the UK Foreign Office’s advisory bodies on freedom of expression and the prevention of torture and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs’ human rights advisory committee. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and has sat on the advisory boards of numerous human rights groups and journals internationally. Michael read law at University College Dublin, theology and philosophy at the Gregorian University, Rome, international relations at the University of Amsterdam and is a Solicitor of the Irish Courts.  He was the principal drafter of the General Comment of the Human Rights Committee on the freedoms of opinion and expression (General Comment 34, adopted in 2011). He was also rapporteur for the development of the Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law with regard to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (the Yogyakarta Principles). He initiated and directed the opening and closing expert consultations of the Dublin Process on the Strengthening of the UN Human Rights Treaty Body System and was rapporteur for its Dublin Outcome Document. He has been a member of the UN Expert Task Force on Human Rights Indicators.  His recent publications include volumes on the law and practice of human rights field operations, the professionalisation of human rights field work and on human rights diplomacy. Professor O’Flaherty came to NUI Galway from the University of Nottingham where he was Professor of Applied Human Rights and Co-director of the Human Rights Law Centre. Previously he held a number of senior posts at the United Nations. He established the UN human rights field missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994) and Sierra Leone (1998) and subsequently guided UN headquarters support to its human rights programmes across the Asia-Pacific region. He has served as Secretary of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and UN human rights advisor for implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. From 2000 to 2002 he chaired the UN reference group on human rights and humanitarian action.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

NUI Galway has announced the appointment of Professor Siobhán Mullally as the Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Professor Mullally will take up her post in September 2017.Professor Mullally is currently a Professor at the School of Law, UCC where she also holds the position of Vice-Head of the College of Business & Law. She was recently elected President of the Council of Europe expert group on human trafficking, GRETA. Professor Mullally is also a Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission and a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.Professor Mullally has worked as an adviser and consultant on human rights, migration and asylum law, gender and justice sector reform for UN bodies and international organisations in many parts of the world, including in Ethiopia, Timor-Leste, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kosovo.  In 2009, she was appointed by the International Bar Association to an inquiry team, examining the independence of the judiciary in Pakistan. As President and member of the Council of Europe anti-trafficking body (GRETA), she has been rapporteur for several country reports, including Hungary, France, Italy, UK and Sweden. Professor Mullally is the Irish member of the Odysseus European network of experts on Asylum and Migration Law.Prior to her appointment at UCC, Professor Mullally held lecturing posts in the UK and Pakistan. She has held visiting positions at several leading universities, including at Harvard Law School, Cornell University, Sydney Law School, National Law School of India, Bangalore. In 2009-2010, she was a Fulbright Scholar and Senior Fellow in Residence at Columbia University, Gender, Sexuality and Law Centre, and inn 2011-2012, she was awarded the prestigious Senior Fernand Braudel Fellowship at the European University Institute, Florence. Welcoming the appointment, Prof. Ray Murphy said “I am delighted to have a person of such renowned scholarship and advocacy in the field of international human rights take up the post of Director.  We look forward to working with Siobhán in building on the reputation and activities of the Irish Centre for Human Rights in the years ahead”.  Professor Mullally said: “The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway is one of the world’s premier human rights centres, with an outstanding track record of research, post-graduate teaching and doctoral education in the field of human rights law. Uniquely situated at the cross-roads of practice, policy and academia, the Centre brings together human rights practitioners and scholars from across the world in a dynamic intellectual environment. At this critical time for human rights globally, I look forward to working with colleagues at the Centre and School of Law, to contribute to informed policy debates on many pressing human rights challenges  - from gender equality, women’s human rights and social justice, to refugee and migrant protection.”

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The annual International Criminal Court Summer School at the Irish Centre for Human Rights is the premier summer school specialising on the International Criminal Court. The summer school allows participants the opportunity to attend a series of intensive lectures over five days. The lectures are given by leading academics on the subject as well as by legal professionals working at the International Criminal Court. The interactive and stimulating course is particularly suited to postgraduate students, legal professionals, scholars, and NGO workers. Participants are provided with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its structures and operations, and the applicable law. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, the crime of aggression, jurisdiction, fair trial rights, and the rules of procedure and evidence. This year’s ICC Summer School will include a special session on Corporate Crimes and the International Criminal Court. The list of speakers at the 2017 ICC Summer School includes the following: Professor William Schabas (Irish Centre for Human Rights/Middlesex University); Professor James Stewart (University of British Columbia); Dr. Fabricio Guariglia (Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court); Professor Megan A. Fairlie (Florida International University); Professor Michael A. Newton (Vanderbilt University); Professor Ray Murphy (Irish Centre for Human Rights); Dr. Rod Rastan (Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court); Dr. Mohamed M. El Zeidy (International Criminal Court); Professor Donald M. Ferencz (Middlesex University); Dr Nadia Bernaz (Middlesex University); Mr. Richard J. Rodgers (Global Diligence LLP; Dr Noelle Higgins (Maynooth University); Dr Shane Darcy (Irish Centre for Human Rights). An early bird registration fee of €400 is available for delegates who register before 1 April 2017, with the fee after that date being €450. Scholarships are also available, with the closing date being 15 March 2017. The registration fee includes all conference materials, all lunches and refreshments, a social activity and a closing dinner. The registration fee also includes a complimentary copy of Professor William Schabas' book 'An Introduction to the International Criminal Court'. The closing date for registrations is 1 June 2017. To register and for more information regarding the 2017 ICC Summer School, please visit our website  and follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Should you have any queries, please email us.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

'Exploring Litigation as a Business and Human Rights Remedy'The Irish Centre for Human Rights is pleased to announce this one-day conference which will examine the opportunities, challenges and barriers to pursuing cases in Irish courts against companies implicated in serious human rights abuses. It is especially timely in the context of Ireland’s commitment to implementing the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights, which emphasise the importance of remedies for victims of human rights violations connected with business activities. The conference will bring together legal experts, practitioners, academics and advocates to explore civil litigation for serious human rights harms in the Irish context. Further information and registration details are available on the University’s conference website:

Saturday, 16 January 2016

11th Summer School in Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy The call for applications for the 11th Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy summer school, co-organized by the Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Huston School of Film and Digital Media in NUIG, is now open. More info at: Apply at: Email us a query at: 11th Summer School in Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy 16-25 June 2016, Galway, Ireland   This Summer School programme has for the last 10 years attracted young talented filmmakers and professionals from across the world who wish to engage in an exciting training course where ideas and projects are shared, developed and challenged by fellow participants and internationally acclaimed experts of film, television, photography and human rights.   Cinema and Human Rights and Advocacy (CHRA) is a training initiative offered by the Huston School of Film & Digital Media and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, part of the National University of Ireland, Galway. This, the 11th Summer School in Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy will run at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media in Galway from 16th to 25th of June 2016.   The Summer School is led by Nick Danziger an internationally renowned practitioner in the field of human rights documentary making. The 10-day programme consists of eight teaching sessions, workshops and film screenings that combine human rights expertise and media studies. Sessions develop issues relating to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a History of Human Rights Cinema, Freedom of Expression and Censorship, the Use of Video in Human Rights Documentation and Advocacy, Producing Social Documentaries, the Role of Media in Period of Conflict and Production and Distribution of Human Rights Films. Each module is illustrated by film or documentary screenings.   Elements of the summer school include information on the fundamentals of human rights, how to raise awareness of human rights on camera, developing a project proposal and how these ideas should be pitched.   APPLY NOW! Deadline for application is 30th April 2016. For more information please visit or email to You can also follow our FB page at