Saturday 15 May 2010

Doctoral Seminar 2010

We've just completed this year's PhD Seminar, an intensive week-long event that brings together our doctoral students as well as international experts in the field of human rights. We spend the days discussing the research projects of our students. There are also sessions devoted to methodology. A highlight of the week is a series of seminars by the visiting experts. This year, our guests were Professor David Weissbrodt of the University of Minnesota, Professor Sir Nigel Rodley of the University of Essex, and Dr Jérémie Gilbert of Middlesex University.

It was the ninth such seminar. The group was larger than ever, with about 35 doctoral students in attendance who are registered at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, as well as some guests who attended from Middlesex University in London, the University of Berne and the Graduate Institute for International Studies (Geneva). By my count, some 18 countries were represented: China, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Nigeria, Benin, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and, of course, Ireland. I apologize if I have left out one or two.

The topics our students are researching range from the rights of victims at the International Criminal Court to the issue of homosexuality in Islamic law to the death penalty in Africa to forensic investigation in war crimes trials to the right to habeas corpus.

We include a number of more informal events. This year, we went to a Klezmer music concert, and took a walking trip to Coole Park, Lady Gregory's old estate where Yeats and Shaw and the rest of the great and the good in Irish literature would visit. The photo shows the group by the turlough (a temporary lake) on the Coole Park estate.

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