Notes and Changes

NB: Participation in the conference is free but registration is required via this link. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Over the past decade, there has been a burgeoning interest in the transnational aspects of human rights. This has been particularly so with regard to environmental protection, the responsibility of international businesses and corporations, the emergence of transnational non-state actors suchas the Islamic State, as well as migration and human trafficking. As borders become increasingly weaker and more porous, tackling transnational challenges to human rights is turning into a pressing demand in both scholarship and practice. Significantly, in 2017, the International Journal of Transitional Justicededicated a special issue to the topic of “Beyond Borders.” In it, Pierre Hazan rightly highlighted how the state is no longer the ‘primary means of reflecting on andorganizing transitional justice (TJ) approaches’. Undoubtedly, the same can be said to apply to human rights more broadly. Indeed, many transnational human rights issues, such as the refugee crisis in Europe and migration across Central and South America,are generally triggered by violent conflict and/or lack of socio-economic opportunities. Such events are poignant and stark reminders of how transnational human rights issues currently stand at the top of the policy-making agenda across the globe. Solvingsuch complex and multi-faceted problems requires collaboration and knowledge exchange among numerous stakeholders, encompassing academia, policy-makers, civil society and practitioners. Twenty years after the landmark detention of Pinochet in London in 1998, it is a timely moment to also reflect on the importance of transnational networks and their contributions to scholarship and justice.

The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, the Oxford Transitional Justice Research Network and the Latin American Centre are organising an international conference at the University of Oxford on June 19-20, 2019 on the topic of “Justice for Transnational Human Rights Violations: At the Crossroads of Litigation, Policy and Scholarship.” The event will bring together both emerging and well-established scholars and practitioners, to discuss the ways in which transnational issues have generated both challenges and opportunities for human rights. The conference will address historical manifestations of transnational human rights issues as well as more contemporary forms.

The Conference will consist of the following panels:

Day 1

  • Justice in a transnational world
  • Socio-economic and collective rights - Transnational mobilization and approaches
  • Transnational strategies for accountability for human rights violations

Day 2

  • Protecting the rights of migrants and refugees
  • Transnational challenges in the field of Business & Human Rights
  • Responsibility of businesses in transitional justice settings
  • Corporate accountability and the protection of the environment

Conference Programme


Wednesday, 19 June, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, Mansfield College

1pm         Registration

1.15pm        Welcome

1.30pm     First panel: Transitional Justice in a transnational world

Chair: Nicola Palmer (King’s College London)

  • Diane Marie Amann (University of Georgia), Victor’s Justice and the New Turn to Transnational Proess

  • Marcos Zunino (British Institute for International and Comparative Law), Justice Beyond the State: Unofficial Tribunals for Transnational Human Rights Violations

  • Melanie Klinker and Howard Davis (University of Bournemouth), Transnational implication of forced disappearance

3pm         Coffee break

3.30pm     Second panel: Socio-economic and collective rights - Transnational mobilization and approaches

Chair: Jason Brickhill (University of Oxford)

  • Adam Kochanski (Stanford University), Centering for Disability Rights in Transitional Justice: Lessons from Humanitarian Mine Action

  • John Sturtz (Keene State College), Education: The sign post at the cross roads of justice for transnational human rights violations

  • Mary Menton (University of Sussex), Violations of indigenous peoples’ human rights in Brazil: transnational drivers and collective experiences of atmospheres of violence

  • Adam Weiss and Vivien Brassói (European Roma Rights Centre), Transnational rights-based mobilisation: the experience of the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC)

5pm        Short break

5.15pm     Third panel: Transnational strategies for accountability for human rights violations

Chair: Federica d’Alessandra (University of Oxford)

  • Elizabeth Abi-Mershed (Washington College of Law/ Inter-American Commission of Human Rights), The Inter-American System and Accountability for Transnational Human Rights Violations

  • Shane Darcy (Irish Centre for Human Rights), Justice for the Victims of Aggression?

  • Cristian Gonzalez (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights), Co-Opting Universal Jurisdiction: The Precarious Practice of Using National Terrorism Laws to Sanction International Crimes

  • Leonie Steinl (University of Hamburg), Strategic Litigation Networks’ Impact on the System of International Criminal Justice: A Rebalancing Factor?

6.45pm     Reception


Thursday, 20 June, St Antony’s College

8.45am    Registration

9.00am   Fourth panel: Protecting the rights of migrants and refugees

Chair: Stephen Meili (University of Minnesota)

  • Luke Nwibo Eda (Bournemouth University), How Transnationally Effective is the UK Migration Policies in Relation to Missing Migrants?

  • Tomas Pascual (Alberto Hurtado University, Chile), Complementary Protection and Immigrants Living in Poverty: How to Respond?

  • Cécile Bénoliel (Fondation Abbé Pierre, Paris), Refugee crisis and the right to housing: European violations of international housing rights in France


10.30am    Coffee break

11. 00am    Fifth panel: Transnational challenges in the field of Business & Human Rights

Chair: Gabrielle Holly (Omnia Strategy)

  • Nicolas Bueno (University of Zurich), The close relationship between Human Rights Due Diligence and Corporate Liability in Transnational Matters

  • Benjamin Croft (Leigh Day), Litigating Human Rights and Security Cases in Multinational Corporation’s home court: The UK Perspective

  • Jasmine Elliot (University of Gothenburg) and Stuart Neely (Norton Rose Fulbright), The Role of the Legal Profession in Fulfilling the UN Guiding Principles and Respecting Human Rights

  • Aintzane Márquez Téjon and Hannah Wilson (Women’s Link Worldwide), A Business and Human Rights Study from Spain - Access to Justice for Women and Girls who are Victims of Trafficking for the Purposes of Labour Exploitation


12.30pm    Lunch

1.30pm     Sixth panel: Responsibility of businesses in transitional justice settings

Chair: Rodrigo Uprimny (Dejusticia)

  • Lisa Laplante (Center for International Law and Policy, New England Law Boston), What’s Business Got to do With It? The Role of the Private Sector in Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice

  • Victoria Basualdo (National Council of Scientific Research - CONICET, Argentina), Connections between academic research and legal prosecution in Argentina regarding cases of corporate responsibility in human rights violation during the 1976-1983 dictatorship

  • Maria Paula Hoyos (Special Jurisdiction for Peace, Colombia), Voluntary participation and complete truth – Challenges and opportunities for Transnational corporations’ accountability under the Colombian Transitional Justice mechanisms

  • Lina Chaparro-Martínez (University of Los Andes, Colombia), Transitional Justice Matters: Variations of Business Preferences in Transitional Justice in Colombia

3pm        Coffee break

3.30pm     Seventh panel: Corporate accountability and the protection of the environment

Chair: Miriam Saage-Maaß (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights)

  • Chiara Macchi (Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Italy), Climate Change, Business and Human Rights in the European Context – An emerging area of legal risk

  • Anouska Perram (Forest Peoples Program), Mired in local soils: the challenge of land in transnational human rights mechanisms

  • Isaac de Paz (Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexico), Transnational Corporations and indigenous rights. The environmental battle in the context of human rights abuses and extractive projects in the Inter-American arena

  • Melissa Kim (Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General), Canada’s Time to Lead: The Case for Legislative Action on Human Rights Due Diligence for Canada’s Extractive Sector

5.00pm    Coffee Break

5.30pm     Keynote Address by Alejandra Ancheita (ProDESC - The Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Project, Mexico), How effective can litigation be in foreseeing and preventing human rights abuses? and comments by Miriam Saage-Maaß (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights)


Acknowledgement: This conference is made possible thanks to funding by the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, the Latin American Centre (through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 702004 and the Malcom Deas Fund established with St Antony’s College), and the Oxford Transitional Justice Research Network.