Dr.Benjamin Authers/Dr.Emma Larking Regarding Rights

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Regarding Rights: Academic and Activist Perspectives on Human Rights. Dr. Benjamin Authers and Dr. Emma Larking, Co-Editors. Centre for International Governance and Justice, Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University.

Regarding Rights is an initiative from the Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ). Under the auspices of Professor Hilary Charlesworth’s ARC Laureate Fellowship Project Strengthening the international human rights system: rights, regulation and ritualism,  the Regarding Rights blog provides a forum for voices from activism and academia to comment on important issues in human rights. We are hosted by the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.

The aim of Regarding Rights is to engage critically with human rights issues from a range of perspectives. We seek to be inclusive and engaging while ensuring that the articles we post are thoughtfully and carefully argued. Contributors so far have included members of the CIGJ and visitors to the Centre, as well as Australian and international commentators and social justice activists.

In the year since its launch, Regarding Rights has published articles on a spectrum of human rights issues. Posts have discussed the history of human rights, the InternationalCriminal Court, and Maori rights under New Zealand constitutional law. Contributors have also brought different perspectives to the right to asylum in Australia and Europe, corporations andhuman rights, prisons in Australia, the November 2012 ASEANHuman Rights Declaration, and children’srights. As the Blog continues to develop we hope to foster the dialogue that has already begun to take shape, while welcoming new voices to the conversation in the form of comments and new articles.

Interspersed with comments on human rights issues, Regarding Rights also provides regular updates on the activities of the CIGJ, and news and events from other, similar initiatives.

Invitation to contribute to ‘Regarding Rights’

Would you be interested in contributing to Regarding Rights? We are happy to publish short pieces of around 400 words, but we also regularly feature more sustained comments of up to 2,000 words. Entries may focus on ‘hot topics’ in rights; equally importantly, we provide a space for contributors to intervene in long standing debates and to comment on areas of historical and theoretical concern.

Our aim is to publish pieces that represent the breadth of work in human rights. We welcome articles that are carefully considered, reflective, and that cast new light on contentious issues.

While Regarding Rights has developed out to the ‘Strengthening the international human rights system: rights, regulation and ritualism’ Project, there is no need for your contribution to reference the project or to use its terminology. You may, however, be interested to know that the project draws on regulatory scholarship to analyse how states respond to human rights principles, focusing particularly on the notion of ritualism (i.e. formal participation in a system of regulation while ignoring its substantive goals). Thus the project looks at the gap between many countries’ acceptance of human rights standards and their commitment to these standards. It also identifies ways of resisting human rights ritualism, and mechanisms for improving the implementation of international human rights principles.

Interested contributors are invited to contact the co-editors of Regarding Rights:

Benjamin Authers at benjamin.authers@anu.edu.au 
Emma Larking at emma.larking@anu.edu.au     

Benjamin Authers is an Australian Research Council Laureate Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for International Governance and Justice at the Australian National University. His research examines the interrelations between law and literature, with a focus on the legal and cultural work of human rights in Canada and globally. He has previously worked as a lawyer and as a Conciliation Officer with the South Australian Equal Opportunity Commission.

Emma Larking is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for International Governance and Justice at the Australian National University, working with Ben Authers and Hilary Charlesworth on Professor Charlesworth’s ARC Laureate Fellowship project, ‘Strengthening the international human rights system: rights, regulation and ritualism’. Her research background is in legal, political, and applied philosophy. She has extensive teaching experience in the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, and of Social and Political Sciences (where she also worked as a senior research assistant on the ARC Discovery Project, ‘The Politics of Rights,’ with Chief Investigators Professor Brian Galligan and Dr John Chesterman). As well as identifying mechanisms to encourage and support genuine rights realisation, her current research explores the limitations of rights language and the implications for social justice and political dissent of the now overwhelming dominance of this language.

la-porta-di-lampedusa final
The Gate image is captioned: “La porta di Lampedusa” (Lampedusa’s door), also known as “La porta d’Europa” (Europe’s door). The monument, “looking” towards Africa, was built in 2008 on the Italian island of Lampedusa in memory of more than 10,000 migrants who died over the years while they were trying to reach the island

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