Please note: applications for 2018 are now closed. If you would like to express interest in attending the course in future terms, please do so in an email to

Programme Summary

This research training programme will provide students with training in research and analysis on use of force legislation and jurisprudence. Participants will be expected to attend an introductory seminar, which will provide an introduction to international standards on the use of force and guidance on research methods and report writing. Under academic supervision by Stuart Maslen, Thomas Probert, Liora Lazarus and Annelen Micus, each student will be expected to prepare a case study on one jurisdiction. You will receive a certificate to confirm your participation in the programme.

Context of the project

The protection of the right to life and the rights to security of the person and freedom from torture are often at risk when law enforcement officials resort to the use of force. Effective protection of the rights to life and security of the person thus requires appropriate frameworks to be adopted and implemented in every jurisdiction.

The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, seeks to develop and publish a database containing the laws, jurisprudence, and other relevant legal materials that relate to the use of force by law enforcement officials in a wide range of countries. It is hoped that the database will play a significant role in identifying and publishing domestic standards to enable oversight by civil society, as well as by national and international human rights agencies, including treaty bodies. It is also hoped that the project will assist in the identification of model national frameworks as well as frameworks that exhibit shortcomings, whether in drafting or implementation.

The database is now up and running and may be visited at

Profile of participants

  • Research skills: Graduate and undergraduate law students; graduate students of other disciplines with a law degree
  • Language skills: We are especially looking for participants who are able to work in two or more of the UN languages, being Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, as well as any other language. Applicants should identify languages in which they are fluent.
  • Availability: Several hours per week (approx. 12 hours in total) for training, research and analysis on relevant use of force legislation and jurisprudence. Participants must attend the following three events in the Gilly Leventis Meeting Room at the Bonavero Institute:
    • Introductory seminar outlining the project; introduction to international standards on the use of force; and guidance on research methods and report writing by Stuart Maslen and Liora Lazarus.
    • A session to discuss first drafts with project leaders to assist with research questions as well as report revision and finalisation.
    • A feedback session to provide students with feedback on their reports and to evaluate the research training.