Tag: Human Rights

Working on Human Rights at the Council of Europe

Posted on April 18th, by Dean Rosenberg in LIDS LIVE. No Comments

April 18, 2014 – Dean Rosenberg

Last summer, I interned with the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, France.

The Council of Europe, which is distinct from the European Union, is composed of 47 member states, including the vast majority of European states (UK, France, Germany, Russia, Turkey etc.). The Parliamentary Assembly meets a number of times a year, and is composed of representatives from the national parliaments of each of the member states. The Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee is a Committee of the Parliament, and it deals with the proposal of resolutions that touch upon legal issues often relating to the administration of the European Court of Human Rights, which is within the organization’s purview. The staff of the committee’s primary role is to assist members with preparing resolutions to be proposed, as well as the accompanying research reports.

The internship was an amazing experience. I worked on three large projects. First, I helped create a report on the issue of the independence of the European Court of Human Rights. This involved researching the procedures for electing judges to the court, hiring and maintaining the court’s registry, and examining the post-retirement careers of … Read More »

Women at Work: A Post in Honor of International Women’s Day

Posted on March 7th, by S. Weiner in LIDS LIVE. No Comments

March 7, 2014 – Sarah Weiner

One morning, while getting ready for work—at a leisurely, “island” pace that law school no longer affords—Vai Leka showed up on my doorstep wanting to go with me. My two-year-old neighbor was going through a stage of stealing her father’s shoes, and the photo I snapped of her, pencils in tow, ready for work, is one of my favorites from the two years I spent in Tonga as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Having researched women’s rights in developing countries during college, I arrived in Tonga keenly aware of its gender inequalities. However, as I settled in to my village, I of course realized that I knew little about the way men and women actually interacted in day-to-day life in the small archipelago. Women actively participated in town meetings, ran stores, and trekked into the capital for their coveted government jobs. Furthermore, my conversations with them revealed that the women in my village wanted the same thing as the men: a way to support their families and opportunities for their children to do the same.

One theme of Professor David Kennedy’s course at Harvard on Law and Economic Development is that development is about making hard choices—prioritizing certain … Read More »

What is Development?: Reconciling Harvard Law School’s Rights-focused and Private Law-focused Groups

Posted on January 20th, by Rajarshi Banerjee in LIDS LIVE. No Comments

Jan. 20, 2014 – Raj Banerjee

This past year, every LIDS event has begun with the question: “What is development?” Even though we are the Law and International Development Society, we have no concrete vision of what development is. And we are wise in having none. At Harvard Law School, where we are based, those interested in international issues or development studies tend to fall into one of two categories: the human rights group, and the private international law/business group. The first group sees progress as the achievement of several individual rights: the right to food, education, clean water, freedom of speech, essential medicines. The second group focuses on economic growth, and the public and private infrastructure that stems from and feeds that growth.

One of our goals as an organization is to build a community at the intersection of law, policy and international development. And to build that community we need to reconcile the two categories listed above. Despite the significant overlap between these categories, students in one group rarely converse with those in the other. I remember attending a symposium on investor-state arbitration last year where a noted arbitrator was asked about how human rights law or environmental law factored … Read More »