Events
  • Follow UCL on social media

    UCL Twitter feed YouTube channel UCL Facebook page UCL SoundCloud UCL SoundCloud
  • A A A

    Archive for the 'Laws' Category

    One Country, Two Systems: an unfinished experiment?

    By Thomas Hughes, on 12 February 2016

    In this lecture by the former Dean of Law of the University of Hong Kong, Professor Johannes Chan, we were taken on a whistle-stop tour of the history of the legal and political confrontations between Hong Kong and the mainland government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

    By Pasu Au Yeung via Wikimedia Commons

    Protesters during the Umbrella Movement. By Pasu Au Yeung via Wikimedia Commons

    Most people’s recent images of Hong Kong are dominated by the “Umbrella Movement” of 2014. The mostly student protestors were pushing for the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) in mainland China to allow a free selection of candidates for the Hong Kong Chief Executive and Legislative council.

    This was the culmination of increasing tensions between the two regions as they have spent the 20 years since Hong Kong was returned to China testing the boundaries of their relationship.

    Since the protests, the NPCSC has been looking to exercise greater control over Hong Kong. Publishers and journalists have disappeared and academia has been interfered with. So what has gone wrong in this relationship?

    (more…)

    Lunch Hour Lectures: International Law and the protection of cultural property in war

    By Thomas Hughes, on 9 February 2016

    Unusually for a Lunch Hour Lecture, Professor Roger O’Keefe (UCL Laws) spoke without the support of slides for nearly an hour about international efforts to protect cultural heritage in war zones – because he believed that images illustrating instances of cultural damage would simply be too depressing.

    By Bernard Gagnon - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12163785

    Monument Arch in Palmyra, Syria. Now destroyed by IS.

    International law

    International law prohibits the damaging of cultural sites during war, and almost all UN member states have signed up to this. These agreements are often criticised however for failing to protect a number of cultural sites from damage or destruction.

    This has particularly been the case in the Syrian civil war, where a number of high profile sites such as crusader castles and ancient temples have been damaged.

    However, as Professor O’Keefe pointed out, few laws are perfect: for example, people still carry out murder despite strong laws against it and serious punishments for this crime. In his view, the law against the damaging of cultural heritage sites, while not perfect, makes important efforts to protect these historical areas.

    (more…)

    Could this be the way to get your research into the public eye?

    By Guest Blogger, on 15 December 2015

    pencil-icon  Written by Olivia Stevenson & Greg Tinker with Michael Kenny, Catherine Miller & Graeme Reid

    Scientists and researchers from across academia are engaged in research that could make a difference to the world, but until you take it beyond the university doors its impact and reach will remain low.

    Select Committee noticeUCL and the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary, University of London, teamed up to host a public event with parliamentary insiders and evidence experts, exploring how academia could engage the world of government, particularly through select committees.

    The question on everyone’s mind was ‘can this type of academic-government engagement generate real world impacts?’ Here is what our speakers told us:

    (more…)

    Chevron Case: Ecuador’s Defense

    By Guest Blogger, on 25 November 2015

    pencil-icon

    Written by Ira Ryk-Lakhman, MPhil/PhD candidate (UCL Laws)

    Martins-with-Attorney-General

    Dr Martins Paparinskis (on left) with Dr Diego Garcia Carrion

    On Friday, 13 November 2015, Dr Diego Garcia Carrion, the Attorney General for Ecuador came to UCL to present his book “Chevron Case: Defense of Ecuador”, and discuss the Ecuadorian position in one of the most important and controversial international dispute settlement cases at the moment – Chevron v. Ecuador. Importantly, the event was not intended to constitute a full and exhaustive legal or factual discussion of the case and the parties’ contentions, but merely a presentation of the main points of the Ecuadorian perspective.

    The Ecuadorean Attorney General’s presentation was co-organised by UCL Laws and UCL Global Governance Institute and Investment Law and Policy. Dr Martins Paparinskis, convenor of International Law of Foreign Investments course at UCL Laws, chaired the event. The event was filmed by the Ecuadorian Embassy, and complimentary copies of the book were handed to the participants.

    In brief, in September 2009 Chevron brought its claim against Ecuador to an investor-State arbitration tribunal under the US-Ecuador BIT. The claim primarily alleges denial of justice by Ecuador’s courts in a domestic dispute relating to environmental and social harms due to contamination resulting from oil production in Lago Agrio region (Chevron’s position on the dispute). The case is still pending, and raises hard questions about international investment arbitration, which are of considerable conceptual and practical importance. Can international investment arbitration successfully address the public elements of private disputes? What is the role of parties, non-parties, and participants in investment arbitration? Can investment arbitration resolve the interplay between different substantive and procedural regimes of domestic and international law? Is ad hoc arbitration an appropriate regime of dispute settlement for dealing with legal and factual issues of such complexity? How do States’ representatives think and act upon these issues?

    (more…)