Book Launch: Positive Obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights by Vladislava Stoyanova

Event date
21 February 2024
Event time
17:30 - 19:00
Oxford week
HT 6
Bonavero Institute of Human Rights - Sir Joseph Hotung Auditorium

Dr Vladislava Stoyanova, Associate Professor of Public International Law at the Faculty of Law, Lund University

Helen Mountfield KC, Principal of Mansfield College and Barrister at Matrix Chambers

Dr Ed Bates, Associate Professor at Leicester Law School

Positive Obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights

The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights is delighted to host the launch of the book Positive Obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights by Vladislava Stoyanova.

Positive Obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights provides novel insight into the elements underlying a state's responsibility to fulfil positive obligations and offers the first examination of the conceptual hurdles of applying positive human rights obligations extraterritorially.  It further clarifies European Court of Human Rights doctrine to empower better reasoning and outcomes across the diverse fields in which positive obligations apply. It is essential reading for academics, legal practitioners, and policymakers working across the diverse fields in which positive human rights obligations may apply.


Dr Vladislava Stoyanova 


Dr Vladislava Stoyanova is an Associate Professor of Public International Law at the Faculty of Law, Lund University, Sweden. She is the holder of the Wallenberg Academy Fellowship (2019-2024) awarded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, leading the project ‘The Borders Within: The Multifaceted Legal Landscape of Migrant Integration in Europe.’ She is the holder of the 2023 Henrik Enderlein Prize for research excellence in social sciences. Her publications include the monographs  Positive Obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights: Within and Beyond Boundaries (Oxford University Press, 2023), Human Trafficking and Slavery Reconsidered: Conceptual Limits and States’ Positive Obligations in European Law (Cambridge University Press 2017), and four co-edited volumes Seeking Asylum in the European Union: Selected Protection Issues Raised by the Second Phase of the Common European Asylum System (Brill 2015), The New Asylum and Transit Countries in Europe: During and in the Aftermath of the 2015–2016 Crisis (Brill 2018), International Law and Violence against Women: Europe and the Istanbul Convention (Routledge 2020) and Migrants’ Rights, Populism and Legal Resilience in Europe (Cambridge University Press 2022). She is the director of the courses in migration law and European fundamental rights law at her faculty.  




Professor Başak Çalı 


Professor Çalı is the new Head of Research at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and professor of International Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford. She is currently professor of International Law, and director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School in Berlin.

Professor Çalı is a leading scholar of international law and human rights. Her scholarship on international human rights law spans the European human rights system, human rights systems in the Americas and Africa, the United Nations’ human rights system, and the newly emerging human rights systems in Asia. She has a long-standing interest in interdisciplinary studies of international human rights law and human rights research methods. She has pioneered the study of bad faith violations of human rights law (Wisconsin International Law Journal 2018), and is the author of, inter alia, The Authority of International Law: Obedience, Respect and Rebuttal (OUP 2015), editor of International Law for International Relations (OUP 2010) and co-editor of Migration and the European Convention on Human Rights (OUP 2021) and Secondary Rules of Primary Importance: Attribution, Causality, Evidence, and Standards of Review in the Practice of International Courts and Tribunals (OUP 2022). 
She is currently the Principal Investigator of the German Science Council funded Research Project ‘Deep Impact through Soft Jurisprudence? The Contribution of United Nations Treaty Body Case Law to the Development of International Human Rights Law’ and a co-investigator of the Volkswagen Foundation funded research project FRAMES: Framing Reality and Normativity in European Human Rights Law: Climate Change, Migration, and Authoritarianism.
As a legal practitioner, she has taken cases to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. She is the chair and co-founder of the European Implementation Network -- Europe’s leading civil society organisation that advocates for the full and effective implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. She brings over twenty years of experience in training judges, lawyers, prosecutors and police officers in human rights law across the Council of Europe. She is also Permanent Visiting Professor at the iCourts Center of Excellence for International Courts at the University of Copenhagen and a fellow of the University of Essex Human Rights Centre.


Professor Sandy Steel 


Sandy Steel is Professor of Law and Philosophy of Law in the Faculty of Law at Oxford, Lee Shau Kee's Sir Man Kam Lo Fellow in Law at Wadham College, and Global Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School (London).

Over the last ten years, he has held visiting appointments at University of Hong Kong, NYU, the National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University, the University of Münster, and Tel Aviv University.  

His main interest is in philosophical and doctrinal questions about foundational issues in private law across common law and civilian jurisdictions, with recent papers on the moral relationship between remedies and self-defence, omissions, causation, the grounds of compensatory duties, the role of fault, and the role of deterrence arguments in private law. Alongside this, he maintains an interest in general jurisprudence and has co-authored (with Nick McBride) a critical guide to the subject: Great Debates in Jurisprudence (Palgrave, 2014, 2nd edn 2018). 

In 2016, he was awarded the Modern Law Review's Wedderburn Prize for his article 'Justifying Exceptions to Proof of Causation in Tort Law'. His first monograph was Proof of Causation in Tort Law (CUP, 2015).

His work has been cited by the UK Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Canada, and the High Court of Australia. 

He is working on a book about the normative foundations of remedial law. 


Helen Mountfield KC

Helen Mountfield

Helen Mountfield KC joined Mansfield College as Principal in 2018.   

Helen is a barrister, specialising constitutional law, human rights and equality law, with particular experience in the education sector. Helen is a founder member of Matrix Chambers, an accredited mediator, a Master of the Bench of Gray’s Inn and is a past and present part-time judge in several jurisdictions including the High Court of England and Wales and the Channel Islands Courts of Appeal. She has appeared over 25 times in the Supreme Court and Privy Council, on hundreds of occasions  in the Court of Appeal, European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights, and won many legal awards (including Legal 500 KC of the Year for Public Law in 2022). She features on the ‘First Hundred Years’ website, which celebrates the history of women in law.

Helen has also written and broadcast frequently on legal topics, including contributing to all eight editions of the Blackstone Guide to the Human Rights Act. She edited the White Book on human rights for many years, and is a member of the editorial board of Public Law.

Within Oxford University, she served on the Race Equality Task Force 2020-2021, and is co-Chair of the Joint Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. At Mansfield College, she is Tutor for Racial Inclusion alongside her role as Principal.

Helen also plays an active role in public policy. She has given evidence to Parliamentary committees on human rights, free speech and election and constitutional law issues on a number of occasions, and in 2016-2017 was co-chair, with Lord Watson, of the Independent Commission on the Future of Work in the Digital Economy, and a member of the Royal Society of Arts’ Commission on Drugs Policy. She is currently at trustee of Index on Censorship and has also served as a trustee, director  and advisory board member of many other NGOs and charities, in the fields of the arts, human rights and justice, and equality.  

She was educated at  Crown Woods School (now Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy) in south-east London  - by coincidence, one of Mansfield’s partner schools. From there she read Modern History at Magdalen College Oxford, where she obtained a first-class degree, directed plays and was one of the first ‘Target Schools’ officers. In 2023, she became an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen.


Dr Ed Bates

Ed Bates

Dr Ed Bates is an expert on human rights law with a particular focus on the law of the European Convention Human Right (ECHR). Since 2009 he has been the co-author of the leading textbook on the latter (‘Harris O'Boyle and Warbrick: Law of the European Convention on Human Rights’ Oxford University Press) and is now working on the fifth edition (due 2022-3). The book has been translated into Turkish, Bulgarian and Russian editions.

He is currently working on a monograph entitled ‘The European Court of Human Rights’ transformative era (the 2010s): decline further evolution realistic future?’ contracted to Oxford University Press (publication due 2023).

He is also working on a co-authored book project concerning Russia's exit from the ECHR and Council of Europe (working title: 'Russia, the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights (1996-2022): A Troubled Membership and Its Legacy').

His earlier monograph on the Evolution of the European Convention on Human Rights was shortlisted for the SLS Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship (2011) and was noted as 'an exercise in scholarship of the highest order and anyone who is interested in the Convention and the Court or human rights more generally should read it.' (2013) 50(2) Common Market Law Review 649.

He joined the Law School from the University of Southampton in 2014.

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