(Nederlands) Studiedagen Het EU-Grondrechtenhandvest: wat moeten we ermee?

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Montaigne mini-symposium: A bottom-up approach to Human Rights

On 15 June 2017 Montaigne hosts the final research carousel of the academic year. The mini-symposium will be kicked-off by Professor Tom Zwart, who will introduce you to a bottom-up approach to human rights. Hereafter, five Montaigne researchers will each give a brief presentation of their own research in this context, focusing on practical examples of this unique approach to implementing human rights. We end the meeting around 17.00 o clock, after which there is time to exchange further thoughts over drinks. More detailed abstracts of the talks are included below.

When: Thursday 15 June, 2017
Where: Toon Peterszaal, ASP200
Time: 15.00-17.00 + drinks afterwards!

We think this is a fascinating and thought-provoking subject, so we hope to see many of you at the 15th! Please register by accepting the meeting request, or by sending an e-mail to

A bottom-up approach to human rights, theory and practice:
Tom Zwart
Human rights are often implemented top-down through formal institutions like law. That works very well in Northern countries, but in Southern countries more reliance is put on social institutions, such as religion, indigenous law and culture. There is a tendency among activists and some academics to delegitimise attempts to implement human rights in this way. During the presentation Tom will make the point that implementation with the help of social institutions is not only allowed under public international law, but is more effective in Southern states. Practical examples and research outcomes will be used as illustrations.

Relying on social institutions to implement rights: the case of Islam in Indonesia:
Julie Fraser
To illustrate the point made during the presentation by Tom, Julie will show how human rights can be implemented with the help of religion by taking Islam in Indonesia as an example. There human rights are often seen as a Northern construction which will not work within the Indonesian context. However, by vernacularizing such rights through Islam considerable progress could be made. Julie will rely on the outcomes of field research which she conducted earlier this year in Indonesia.

The public perception of demonstrations in China:
Congrui Qiao
Although this is virtually unknown in the North, every year tens of thousands demonstrations take place in China. Rather than being suppressed, as is sometimes suggested in Northern media, these ‘mass group incidents’ as they are officially called are often allowed and sometimes even encouraged by the authorities. Qiao Qiao is looking into the public perception of such mass group incidents by studying representations of them in the media with the help of discourse analysis. Preliminary outcomes suggest that the way in which these events are being assessed has changed considerably over the past decades.

Localisation of Muslims in China:
Wenyang Wu
The question to what extent those who adhere to minority religions have to fit into society does not only play out in Western Europe, but also in other parts of the world including China. Last year President Xi Jinping in his role as General Secretary of the Communist Party has indicated that there is no problem with people being religious, as long as they ‘localise’. Wenyang will explain what is meant by ‘localisation’, a concept which has a considerable academic track record. She will reflect on the extent to which Muslims in China are actually ‘localising’. And she will answer the question whether ‘localisation’ can also be used in a fruitful way in Western Europe.

Public security as a limitation on rights in China and Europe:
Chao Jing
Both within the European Convention framework and within China’s legal order, public security may serve as a justifiable limitation on rights. Chao will make some comparisons between both systems. Although this project is still in its early stages, some interesting outcomes have already emerged.

Human Rights in Sino-African relations:
Stacey Links
During an (in)famous speech given in Dakar, Senegal, then Secretary of State Clinton warned African states against doing business with China, which supposedly is only interested in gaining access to their mineral resources. Instead of delivering themselves to a state which only wants to serve its own needs at the expense of the African people, African states were encouraged to do business with a state which delivers the rule of law and human rights, i.e. the U.S. In so doing, Secretary Clinton reinforced the idea that human rights do not play a role in Sino-African relations. In her research Stacey verifies whether that assumption is true. She will share the outcomes of her research, which might be surprising.



Methodology Session 11 may

In two talks we will discuss research on the intersection of language and the law. Dr. Tessa van Charldorp will focus on the transformations that take place when a police interrogation with a suspect is written up as a police record. Particularly, she will focus on how three different police record styles (monologue style, reconstructed style and question-answer style) play a role in the transformation of the suspect’s story from spoken interaction to a written record. She will provide an overview of the three different police record styles that are often found in police records in the Netherlands and reflect upon how suspects’ spoken stories are transformed within these particular styles. Dr. Anita Eerland will talk about language understanding. More specifically she will demonstrate how subtle differences in language use, either written or spoken, influence our understanding of a situation. Implications for the legal domain will be discussed. We will end this session with a sneak preview of a current study combining our previous work. Your input will be greatly valued. Also, we are interested in discussing future collaborations.  
Thursday 11 May
15.00 – 17.00 uur
Toon Peterszaal
Drinks afterwards


Bridging Scholarship and Practice: 20 Years of the Public International Law & Policy Group

Brianne McGonigle Leyh and Julie Fraser, recently guest edited a special edition of the Utrecht Journal of International and European Law. The special edition, “Bridging Scholarship and Practice: 20 Years of the Public International Law & Policy Group,” features articles from current and former members of the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG) including its Co-Founders Paul Williams and Michael Scharf, as well as Brianne and Julie, who are Senior Counsel with PILPG. PILPG is a non-profit organisation that operates as a global pro bono law firm. PILPG provides free legal assistance to States and others involved in peace negotiations, advises States on drafting post-conflict constitutions, and assists in prosecuting war criminals. PILPG also provides policy formulation advice and training on matters related to conflict resolution. Brianne’s contribution focuses on the documentation of serious human rights violations and Julie’s contribution focuses on voting restrictions and the European Court of Human Rights. To read the special issue, visit: 



Lunch Lecture 19 april Mark Goodale

On the 19th of april, at 12.00, Mark Goodale will give a lunch lecture:

“Human Rights in an Anthropological Key: Exploring a Para-Normative Approach to the Practice of Human Rights”
This talk will introduce a new methodology for linking what anthropologists call the “practice of human rights” to human rights theory, implementation, and institutional development. Drawing on innovative moves within contemporary sociocultural anthropology, the talk will explore a “para-normative” approach to human rights that seeks to radically pluralize and horizontalize the production of knowledge about what human rights are and can be and the subsequent ethical commitments to the promotion of reconfigured human rights in a world marked by the rise of nationalism, cultural identitarianism, and the deepening of global inequality. 
Mark Goodale holds a chair in cultural and social anthropology at the University of Lausanne. The founding series editor of Stanford Studies in Human Rights, he is the author or editor of thirteen volumes, including UNESCO Surveys the World: A Prehistory of Human Rights(Stanford, 2018), Anthropology and Law: A Critical Introduction (NYU, 2017), Human Rights at the Crossroads (Oxford, 2013), andSurrendering to Utopia: An Anthropology of Human Rights (Stanford, 2009). He is currently writing a new book on justice, ideology, and practice in Bolivia based on nine years of ethnographic research. 
If you would like to attend, please send an email to