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The Bonavero Institute seeks to enrich the human rights experience of Oxford students, and to assist them to develop careers in the broad field of human rights. Several programmes have been developed to pursue this goal: a Human Rights Strategy Non-credit Course for law students and students at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Saϊd Business School (in partnership with Oxfam and Oxford Human Rights Hub) and Research Training on the Right of Peaceful Assembly in collaboration with the University of Pretoria.


This research training programme will provide students with training on research and analysis on legislation and jurisprudence on the right of peaceful assembly. An introductory seminar will give an introduction to international standards; and guidance on research methods and report writing. Under academic guidance by Dr Stuart Maslen, each student will be expected to prepare a case study on one jurisdiction to be submitted by the end of the programme. You will be provided with a certificate to confirm your participation in the programme.

Context of the project

Everyone has the right of peaceful assembly under customary and conventional human rights law. Restrictions on the exercise of the right must comply with the principles of legality, necessity, and proportionality. Effective protection of the freedom of assembly 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 support a database containing the laws, jurisprudence, and other relevant legal materials that relate to the freedom of assembly in a wide range of countries: https://www.rightofassembly.info. 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 case studies prepared by the participants of this research training programme will be helpful in establishing the database.

Profile of participants

  • Research skills: Graduate and undergraduate law students; graduate students of other disciplines with a law degree or demonstrated experience in legal human rights research.
  • 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:
    • Monday, 17 February 2020, 3.30 to 5.00 pm: Introductory seminar outlining the project; introduction to international standards on freedom of assembly; and guidance onresearch methodsand report writing by Stuart Maslen
    • Monday, 24 February 2020, 4 to 5.30 pm : A session to discuss initial research and first drafts with project leaders to assist with research questions as well as report revision and finalisation
    • Monday, 9 March 2020, 4 to 5.30 pm : A session to discuss final drafts and feedback.

The first draft of the case study must be complete by 21 February 2020, and the final draft submitted by 5 March 2020.

Application Please send a letter setting out why you would like to participate in this programme,together with a CV to BonaveroIHR@law.ox.ac.uk. Undergraduate students need to have a written dispensation from their tutors.

Applications close on Thursday, 6 February 2020, at 12 noon. You will be notified by Friday, 7 February as to whether you have been accepted.