NUI Galway Irish Centre for Human Rights Celebrates Tenth Anniversary
Thursday, 25 November 2010
NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights recently celebrated ten years of teaching, research and advocacy activities. A number of events were held to mark the momentous occasion including a Gala dinner hosted by Senator David Norris and a live Skype meeting with Shawan Jabarin, graduate of the Centre who was prevented from travelling for the event. The Irish Centre for Human Rights has its origins in the early 1980s, when Kevin Boyle and Mary Robinson launched a unit in NUI Galway in response to a general appeal from the Council of Europe. Video messages were played at the Gala dinner from both founding members. Around 150 people attended on the night, including representatives of the judiciary, government, academia, civil society, alumni and current students. The highlight of the dinner was a remote Skype meeting with Shawan Jabarin, graduate of the 2004-5 LLM class and now the director of Al Haq, the very distinguished Palestinian Non Governmental Organisation NGO. The Israeli government would not allow Shawan travel to Galway to receive an award from the Centre. In addition to the dinner a conference was held on the theme of 'Forgotten Rights, Forgotten Concepts'. Keynote speakers were Professor Andrew Clapham, Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, who addressed questions relating to the spread of human rights to non-state entities, and Professor Leila Nadya Sadat, Professor at Washington University School of Law, who spoke on draft Convention on Crimes Against Humanity. Professor William A Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway says, "It was very gratifying to see so many former students return to Galway, where they got their first training in the field of human rights. In so many ways, the Irish Centre for Human Rights contributes in a positive and substantial way to combating injustice and inequality, in various parts of the world."