Venice Academy of Human Rights 2014 – “Judicial Legitimacy and the Rule of Law”

See also this page.

The Venice Academy of Human Rights will take place from 7-16 July 2014.

The theme of this year’s academy is ‘Judicial Legitimacy and the Rule of Law’.

Online applications are accepted until 4 May 2014.

The Academy offers an “early bird” registration with a reduced participation fee until 15 March 2014.

Faculty of the Venice Academy 2014

Distinguished Opening Lecture
Paul Mahoney, Judge at the European Court of Human Rights

General Course
Gráinne de Búrca, Florence Ellinwood Allen Professor of Law, NYU

Philip G. Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law, NYU

Andreas Føllesdal, Professor of Political Philosophy at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and Director of the Norwegian Centre of Excellence PluriCourts for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, University of Oslo

Geir Ulfstein, Professor of International Law and Deputy Director of the Norwegian Centre of Excellence PluriCourts for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, University of Oslo

Jeremy Waldron, University Professor of Law, NYU and Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, University of Oxford

Michael Zürn, Professor of International Relations at the Free University Berlin and Director of the Research Unit Global Governance at Social Science Research Center Berlin (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, WZB)

You can view the detailed programme here.

Call for Applications: Master of Governance and Human Rights in Berlin

• You seek to tackle a human rights challenge through your own project?

• You wish to study at a renowned German institution while staying on your job?

• You want to combine theory and practice in the course of your studies?

Then Master of Governance and Human Rights at HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA School of Governance offers you the training you need to work as a socially and politically committed leader who is able to take decisions, drive change and interact with and within the three areas of economy, politics and civil society.

The programme covers the theory and practical application of governance and human rights and introduces students to the essential tools they need to advance their ideas.

This programme is delivered in English and in blended-learning format, with the majority of learning taking place via distance learning online.

This will be supplemented by 10 face-to-face days in Berlin per semester.

Prospective students have to apply with a first project idea which will be developed during the Master programme with the support of experienced project coaches and a personal tutor. The School’s educational approach of project-based learning enables its students to use human rights as a tool for positive transformation with regards e.g. to the corporate culture of company, an advocacy strategy of a civil society organisation or the ethical sustainability of a public urban planning project.

Main facts about the Master of Governance and Human Rights:
• You design and implement your own project idea – in collaboration with your employer or a partner organisation
• You can stay on your job, while taking part in our distance learning and 4 on-campus seminars à 10 days in Berlin
• You approach human rights and governance from an interdisciplinary perspective combining theory and practice
• HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA offers an unique learning experience with small student groups comprised of experienced practitioners and top-notch lecturers
• You receive a Master degree in “Governance and Human Rights” from Humboldt University (Berlin) and European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder)

For more information, see the website of the Governance and Human Rights programme.

Venice Academy of Human Rights 2013

The Venice Academy of Human Rights will take place from 8 – 19 July 2013.
The theme of this year’s academy is ‘Obligations of States’

Online registration is open until 5 May 2013.

You can view the detailed programme here.

Faculty of the Venice Academy 2013

General Course
Jeremy Waldron
University Professor, New York University School of Law

Christian Reus-Smit
Professor of International Relations at the University of Queensland

Malcolm Shaw
Senior Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law and Research Professor (formerly Sir Robert Jennings Chair) in International Law at the University of Leicester

Brigitte Stern
Professor of International Law at the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne

Françoise Tulkens
former Judge and Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights

Neil Walker
Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh

Key Facts

Participants: Academics, practitioners and PhD/JSD students
Type of courses: Lectures, elective seminars and optional workshops
Number of hours: 24 hours of compulsory courses (plenum), min. 16 hours of elective and optional courses (smaller groups)
Location: Monastery of San Nicolò, Venice – Lido, Italy
Fees: 600 €

Venice Academy of Human Rights
The Venice Academy of Human Rights is an international programme of excellence for human rights education, research and debate. It forms part of the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC).

The Academy offers interdisciplinary thematic programmes open to academics, practitioners and doctoral students with an advanced knowledge of human rights.

A maximum of 60 participants will be selected.

Participants attend morning lectures, afternoon seminars and workshops and can exchange views, ideas and arguments with leading international scholars and experts. This includes the opportunity to present and discuss their own “work in progress” such as drafts of articles, chapters of doctoral theses or books and other projects.

At the end of the programme, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance issued by the Venice Academy of Human Rights.

New issue of the Goettingen Journal of International Law

A new issue of the Goettingen Journal of International Law has just been published. In Volume 4, No 3 (2012), you may find eight different articles, the first one is written by Jochen von Bernstoff and analyzes Georg Jellinek’s ideas on State sovereignty as well as his concept of ‘auto-limitations’ in the 20th century. Further on, there are two articles on the principles of international criminal law, and three articles on the impact of human rights on international and national developments. Amongst these three is the article written by the winner of the annual Student Essay Competition, Roee Ariav, and an article that deals with the issue of so called ‘land grabbing’ in Sub-Saharan Africa, written by Semahagn Gashu Abebe.

Happy New Year from the Invisible College Blog!

We wish all the readers of this blog a Happy New Year! For Utrecht University – where I work – 2013 will be an important year. Scheduled for 2013 is in any case the celebration of 300 years of the Treaty of Utrecht, celebrated through an international programme filled with music, theatre, festivals, debates, exhibitions and conferences. Utrecht University will organize an international conference and a Model United Nations. These events will bring together the University and the city as well as staff, students and other interested individuals. So do please all join the party! For more information, go to

Here is a clip:

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Human Rights Organizations for Students Looking to Make a Difference

Guest post by Kate Willson

From the unrest in Iran to modern-day racism in our own backyards, human rights violations are all around us. It’s heartbreaking to see that, as a global society, we still have much progress to make in the way we interact with one another. Fortunately, however, there are several organizations in existence working to counteract this injustice. Plus, these human rights groups are proactively reaching out to younger generations like high school and college students to get them involved in the movement as well.

From the youth extension of a powerful international group to a coalition of students standing up for what’s right, the young generations of today are taking an active role in the cause for what they believe is right and just. Below is a list of just some of the opportunities available for those of you interested in learning more about how to satisfy your inner activist.

Americans for Informed Democracy

Americans for Informed Democracy is a virtual network of students that share a passion to promote things like democracy, peace and sustainability. While the group’s sole mission is not limited to the human rights’ cause, that is definitely a commonly recurring theme among their campaigns. With the guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced advisory board, group members seek to eradicate unjust acts and practices across the world. From tackling global hunger to helping innocent victims of war, Americans for Informed Democracy take the challenges of our world head on.

Amnesty International: USA Youth

The youth-oriented chapter of Amnesty International: USA, Amnesty International: USA Youth seeks to get children across America excited about human rights issues. Currently, there are over 1,000 Amnesty student/youth groups in the U.S., with that number growing every day. Members will be on the cutting edge of pressing human rights campaigns and could even get the opportunity to attend related annual conferences. From Miami to Missouri, American students are getting involved in global issues that affect us all.

Human Rights Watch

Unlike the previously mentioned organizations, Human Rights Watch is not strictly for students. An independent organization that has been in existence for over 30 years, Human Rights Watch’s main mission is to ensure justice and security for all citizens. In their ideal world, perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions and abuse will cease to exist. To help their cause, the group allows eager, enthusiastic students to intern, often times for free. In fact, many people involved say the group wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for the dedicated interns and volunteers they have assisting them on cases and projects.

Any student who decides to give this a-go will undoubtedly walk away with mountains of invaluable knowledge and experience.

So, if you’re eager to get involved in the human rights movement, give one of these groups a try—you never know what you might learn.

Kate Willson is a blogger for She is passionate about providing helpful information to incoming college students and parents and is always pleased to hear from readers.

Screening of “Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry” plus debate afterwards

Movies that Matter on Tour

On Sunday 21 October 2012, at Filmhuis The Hague, starting at 14.00 hrs, the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry will be shown, followed by a debate.

A personal portrait of Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei, who gained international acclaim for his ambitious postmodern works of art and his political provocations. Never Sorry follows three tumultuous years of his life. The film highlights the unique mix of art and activism with which the artist continuously argues in favour of freedom of expression, independent media and more transparency, thereby putting his life in jeopardy.

To make reservations, dial: +31703656030.

After the film, we have organized a debate between the public and Petra Quaedvlieg, correspondent in Shanghai for De Pers, and Anne Sytske Keijser, who teaches Chinese literature, film and language at the University of Leiden.


Debate on Maritime Strategies & Piracy



in cooperation with Otto Spijkers

Maritime Strategies & Piracy

On Monday 1 October 2012 the first debate evening of this
academic year will take place in the Council Hall (Raadzaal) of Achter Sint
Pieter 200 in Utrecht. This time we will discuss issues concerning Maritime
Strategies and Piracy with two guest speakers who will attend: Niels Woudstra
(Captain of the Royal Netherlands Navy and Associate professor at the
Netherlands Defence Academy) and Michiel Hijmans (Deputy Permanent Military
Representative at NATO and EU of the Netherlands Ministry of Defense, and
former Commander of the Counter Piracy Operation Ocean Shield).  These experts in this topic will present us
their experience and debate with us about this well discussed topic. The debate
evening starts at 7.00 pm and is free to enter. You can sign up by sending an
e-mail to



Index of Economic Freedom Comparison Tool from

Guest post by Jonny Kintzele 


For over a decade, The Heritage Foundation, one of Washington D..C’s most prestigious think tanks, partnered with the Wall Street Journal to track the march of economic freedom around the globe with the influential Index of Economic Freedom.


Using FindTheData’s comparison platform, the information has been presented in a user-friendly, easily navigable comparison resource of every country’s score received by the Index of Economic Freedom.


The overall score is a combination of a number of Freedom scores, including anything from Business Freedom and Investment Freedom, to Labor Freedom and Freedom from Corruption. Each of these scores are a product of pure quantitative data such as level of taxation, and lesser index ratings such as the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). FindTheData presents an explanation of each one in their Guide tab attached to the comparison.


The tool allows direct, side-by-side comparisons of up to 10 countries. Each index score is worth exploring and toying with. Hong Kong and Singapore top the list for Overall Freedom Score, the United States is hampered by their amount of government spending, and a low Fiscal Freedom Score hurts the Netherlands. I recommend investigating other interesting data points displayed on the Index.


Here’s a link to it, take a look for yourself: Index of Economic Freedom.


Jonny Kintzele is a student intern for FindTheBest, the parent site of FindTheData.