The Institute's Mission, Fundamental Principles & Strategic Goals
revised Feb 2022
The purpose of the Institute is to:
- engage in and foster research and scholarship in the law of human rights across different academic disciplines in collaboration with scholars, practitioners, and members of civil society from across the world, and, as part of this purpose,
- share knowledge about the law of human rights with the aim of improving the public understanding of human rights and of linking research to practice.
The Institute will pursue its mission based on the following principles:
* The Institute approaches human rights in a broad manner, including its various formulations in moral and political theory, social and political practice, and international, regional, and domestic law, as well as the institutional frameworks and conditions conducive to their realisation.
* The Institute is committed to building and enhancing human rights expertise in early career scholars, practitioners (including judges, lawyers, governmental and non-governmental organisations, and politicians) and members of civil society, with a particular focus on scholars and practitioners working in understudied regions outside North America and Western Europe.
* The Institute is committed to academic freedom and welcomes debates on the foundations, scope, and mechanisms for realising human rights.
Between 2022 and 2026, the Institute will pursue its mission through a focus on the following strategic goals:
A. The Institute will seek to establish a vibrant, collegial, global community of human rights law scholars and practitioners (including judges, lawyers, governmental and non-governmental organisations, and politicians) to foster partnership, collaboration, engagement, and knowledge exchange with them.
B. The Institute will foster the publication of collaborative, rigorous, multidisciplinary, and innovative world-class research on human rights (including allied norms such as democracy and the rule of law) and disseminate research findings in a clear and accessible way to policy-makers, practitioners, and the broader public.
C. In relation to students, the Institute will
- introduce students both at the University of Oxford and other universities to current issues in human rights,
- seek to secure external funding to support graduate students to undertake human rights research at the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford,
- enhance the experience of graduate research students working in the broad field of human rights in the University of Oxford by providing some of them with a collegial working space, access to Institute events, internships, and exposure to a range of other opportunities,
- provide opportunities to students who wish to develop careers in human rights practice or scholarship, and
- promote the teaching of human rights law within the University of Oxford.
D. The Institute will
- build capacity for early career scholars through its research posts, visitors’ programme, career guidance, mentoring, and workshops and conferences,
- build capacity for human rights practitioners through partnerships, knowledge exchange, and context-sensitive symposia and training programmes, and
- especially direct its capacity-building efforts to practitioners and scholars working in understudied regions outside North America and Western Europe.
E. The Institute will seek to foster public understanding of and engagement with human rights in multiple ways, including through public events, meetings and symposia, Open Online Courses, and (legacy and online) media.