Governance, Risk and Compliance
Think Tank Programme
What do a cat in the UK Prime Minister’s Cabinet, honeybees who forage, horses who drive a carriage, beavers who build a dam and dogs who detect explosives have in common? At first glance, not much, if you judge by their species. But take a closer look and you will see that they work, whether for the well-being and subsistence of their own communities or towards the health, wealth and welfare of the multispecies society through the production of goods or the provision of services.
Although several pieces of research have concluded that aquatic animals are sentient beings, many of them are still being confined, cultivated, and executed by aquaculture companies to satisfy human needs. This reality, comparable to that experienced by land animals that are victims of the farming industry, differs from the latter in the absence of clearly defined welfare standards.
On the occasion of its 24th session, which was held in virtually from 8 to 26 March 2021, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held a general discussion on the right of persons with disabilities to work and employment. The general discussion was organized by OHCHR. The purpose of the general discussion was to prepare the elaboration by the Committee of a General Comment on the right of persons with disabilities to work and employment. The aim of the general comment is to provide guidance to States parties to the Convention on the measures they should adopt to ensure full compliance with their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of persons with disabilities with regard to article 27 of the Convention. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities invited States parties to the CRPD Convention, United Nations entities and specialized agencies, other United Nations human rights mechanisms, non-governmental organizations, organizations of persons with disabilities, and other interested stakeholders to participate in the general discussion. Myself and Preethi Lolaksha Nagaveni are very pleased to share that our joint oral statement on Day 1 Monday, 22 March 2021 to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as part of the general discussion on the right of persons with disabilities to work and employment is now published on the United Nations Human Rights website. Our oral statement can be accessed via https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/GeneralDiscussions.aspx Authors Anand, Amit Lolaksha Nagaveni, Preethi
On the morning of 1 November 1755, a sequence of earthquakes struck Lisbon, Portugal, claiming the lives of approximately 70,000 people. Befalling the city during the European Enlightenment, the catastrophe stimulated a rich dialogue about its underlying cause between two preeminent philosophers of the day: Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
As a refugee in Calais, Coronavirus is the least of my concerns’ – Refugee Camps during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Coronavirus or ‘COVID-19’ amongst other labels, has been referred to as ‘the virus that doesn’t discriminate.’ In reality, certain vulnerable groups in society, particularly refugees, have become more isolated during the pandemic due to a lack of ‘pre-existing conditions such as medical, economic, social, political and racial (Ironstone, 2020; Solnit, 2020).
At the end of a year full of grief, lockdowns and home-working, it is time for us to review some of the activities that our newly launched Think Tank-programme on Animals & Biodiversity of the Global Research Network has been involved in over the last few months. In these dark and isolated times, the Think Tank programme sought to bring some light in the form of a vibrant virtual network between animal studies scholars around the world, connecting us in our effort to fight for a more-than-human world of multispecies justice. As we (Marine Lercier and Eva Bernet Kempers) are lawyers, we have decided this year to focus on animal law. Next year we will be expanding our team with animal studies scientists, and look at undertaking interdisciplinary work as well. Animal law invites us, because of the issues it deals with, to take a stand in defence of animals in society. It necessarily implies a certain degree of activism, if only because of the critical look that we are invited to take with respect to the laws that regulate our relationship with animals. More than in any other field, lawyers, philosophers, and scientists have a great role to play in social progress, to accompany changes and make them possible through their research work. Universities, too, have a key role to play in education and must be pioneers in promoting the challenge of improving the condition of animals; thinking about and with animals must no longer be a taboo subject. This is what we hope for the future: the democratization of this discipline and taking the interests of animals seriously. Thus, we welcome the initiative of the Declaration for the Constitutional Protection of non-human Animals (Chile, 2020), which should give lawyers around the world pause for thought – as well as impetus for global co-operation. The condition of non-human animals invites us to reflect on the concept of justice, and we must decide whether we want to abuse our privileges or show empathy in defending the most vulnerable, as speciesism still characterizes our relationships with other animals. The consideration given to each one and, therefore, the rules that govern their treatment still depend on the species to which they belong: the pig and the dog, although so similar, have two diametrically opposed destinies. In October, we started this exciting journey with a theme that suited the circumstances: we dived into human-animal relations with the arrival of the covid pandemic. On our website you can find the latest reports and articles on this topic, as well as the blogpost written by Junior Fellow Marine Lercier in which she reflects on the way in which our current treatment of animals is threatening not only the welfare of animals, but that of humans as well: we need to work towards a more holistic view of one-health, one-welfare. In November, the tensions between the protection of individual animals versus the protection of biodiversity as a whole was the focus of our discussions. Is the
Things are going well for the Giant Panda. Arguably partly due to its undeniable charisma, the efforts directed at saving this wonderful species from extinction have been particularly elaborate and successful, and its status was recently upgraded from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ on the official list of the IUCN. In the many giant panda nature reserves in Eastern Asia, pandas now live in what we could describe as a heaven on earth, having even a panda-version of the dating app Tinder at their disposal, created with the aim to match them with their most suitable panda-partner.
3 billion animals were in the bushfires’ path. Here’s what the royal commission said (and should’ve said) about them
The Black Summer bushfires were devastating for wildlife, with an estimated three billion wild animals killed, injured or displaced. This staggering figure does not include the tens of thousands of farm animals who also perished.
Animals bred for production and experimentation live a hell on earth, of which we may well have a very, very sweetened foretaste. Whereas the year 2019 concluded with the bushfires in Australia, the world awakened in 2020 to a general confinement of the human population due to the spread of a virus made possible by the capture of wild animals for the consumption of their flesh.
Brief background of the Hathras rape case: The death of a 19 year-old dalit girl in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, India has once again highlighted the issue of violence against women, particularly dalit women in the country. The young girl succumbed to her injuries on September 29, after she was allegedly gang raped by a group of upper caste men. She belonged to the dalit community which is at the bottom of the India’s rigid caste hierarchy. She sustained serious injuries to her spinal cord because she was also brutally assaulted by the alleged perpetrators. What was even more shocking in this case was how the local administration handled the matter when this incident came to light. On the night of her death, the local police returned to the girl’s village with her body, but instead of handing her over to her mourning family, it is said that her family was pressurised to cremate her body there and then. When the family refused, the police locked the family in their home, and burned her body in a nearby field without the family’s presence citing law and order problem. Preethi Lolaksha Nagaveni, Junior Fellow, writes how caste remains to be the root cause with untouchability being the ugliest form of casteism in India and makes a case for prosecuting the local administration for breach of law in the Hathras case. Source: https://www.firstpost.com/india/hathras-gang-rape-case-law-allows-district-collector-police-officials-to-be-booked-for-destruction-of-evidence-insulting-dead-bodyhathras-gang-rape-case-law-allows-district-collector-police-offic-8873121.html Author Lolaksha Nagaveni, Preethi
The swarm that we already are: Artificially Intelligent (AI) swarming ‘insect drones’, targeting and international humanitarian law in a posthuman ecology
Over the last fifty-odd years the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has launched programs aiming at emulating and incorporating insect technologies in military technology. The US Army Unmanned Aircrafts Systems Roadmap 2010–2035 has specified insect swarming as a field of development for Unmanned Aviation Systems. While legal scholarship has paid substantial attention to drones, autonomous weapons systems and artificial intelligence (AI), developments based on insect swarming technologies have been largely ignored. This article takes emerging AI swarming technologies in military warfare systems as its starting point and asks about the significance of the swarming insect in and through contemporary International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and warfare. Taking up Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s notions of ‘the swarm’ and the ‘war machine’, and drawing on critical environmental legal scholarship, the article argues that rather than dispersing the human from its central position in the ‘targeting loop’, the increased interest in insects for commercial and warfare purposes is an intensification of transhumanist desires and an acceleration of late capitalism. As a counter-move, and as a contribution to a posthumanist turn in IHL, the article calls for becoming-insect, swarm and minoritarian as an epistemological practice and ontological shift in IHL and its critical scholarship, resulting in a posthumanitarian legal ordering of becoming. Author Arvidsson, Matilda
‘The Suitability of International Arbitration to Private Commercial Space Tourism & Mining’ by Pranav Menon
If we look to the night sky, we can see the vast emptiness of space and parts of the universe that only a few understand. However, for a few private entities space presents something far more important; opportunity.
‘In Terms of Meaning’ by Roswitha Gerlitz (an opera director and writer), on her experience of COVID-19 isolation
End of March 2020. While I settled into the isolation phase, I noticed that the quantity of my underwear, my slips, had shrunk alarmingly during a fortnight. I negated the conundrum, for the phenomenon of things and objects disappearing is a familiar one to everyone, which is the very reason I procrastinated and postponed action.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of everyone in India, but some sections of the society face more risks than others. While the poor and underprivileged are more disproportionately afflicted by the crisis, there is hardly any mention of the pandemic’s negative impact on the lives of women. Following the implementation of a nation-wide lockdown on March 25th, women who are forced to remain inside their homes are at a higher risk of facing domestic violence.
As the current health pandemic continues to affect our daily lives as consumers, employees, businesses and investors, one may wonder what its impact has been on financial crime. Has COVID-19 contributed to the increase in financial crime (particularly in the digital sphere)?
Artificial intelligence (AI) has brought a paradigm shift to healthcare, thanks to the increasing availability of healthcare data and the rapid progress of analytics. Whether it is being used to provide early warning for Coronaviruses, diagnose breast cancer, perform robotic surgeries, or re-innovate drugs, the healthcare ecosystem is experiencing an AI revolution. With the several ways that AI is getting better than humans in detection, diagnosis, prediction and even prognosis evaluation, health insurance companies may soon offer their clients the option of either being treated by a human physician, or AI.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 has been a major disaster for the world. As demonstrated by measures taken in China, technologies can play an unparalleled role in the management of pandemics, and for the most part, for the better.
Louise Glück’s poetry collection “The Wild Iris” arrived to me from a used books shop, dedicated “To Ruthy, with love from Mom, on your 43rd birthday”. When I order used books the traces of their prior lives are often as interesting as are their original texts.
Notes on: Barbara Johnson (2014) “My Monster/My Self” in B. Johnson A Life with Mary Shelley (Stanford University Press)
By Matilda Arvidsson In “My Monster/My Self” Barbara Johnson brings forth some fundamental insights into what it means to be a writing subject: a “self” who authors and authorises a text/being in her own image: this is the monster whose existence is irreversible reminding of its author as well as the impossibility of conflation with the author. While researching the ways in which international law as well as international legal scholarship emerges I’ve found Johnson’s “My Monster/My Self” helpful for mapping questions of authority, authorship, subjectivity and ways in which the “self” is embedded in the laws we study and scholarships we pursue. Author Editorial Team
Judith Butler’s theory of the emergence of the subject as interrelated with its others has been formative to my thinking about what legal subjectivity is and how it comes about.
Anna Grear (2015) “Deconstructing Anthropos: A Critical Legal Reflection on ‘Anthropocentric’ Law and Anthropocene ‘Humanity'” Law & Critique, (26) 225-249
Anna Grear’s article became instrumental in my move to thinking about how critical environmental legal scholarship could infuse new directions for international humanitarian law in the posthuman condition.
Notes on: Anne Orford (2003) Reading Humanitarian Intervention:Human Rights and the Use of Force in International Law (Cambridge University Press)
Anne Orford’s book was the first academic book I read which moved me to tears. While keeping her analysis of the laws and practices of humanitarian intervention, the use of force, and international law more broadly razor sharp, she managed at the same time to tell the story of one of love, motherhood and responsibility-for-the-other
The whistle-blower is a controversial figure who is regarded as either a hero or a traitor. In recent years, the public perception of the whistle-blower has changed and he or she is a more accepted figure. This is the result of the enactment of key legislation as well as the role of the whistle-blowers in uncovering global scandals such as the Panama Papers or Luxleaks.
The Need For Reform Of The 1990 Nigerian Companies Act On Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Practice In Nigeria
In an era of financial crises, widening income disparities, and environmental problems linked to companies operating in developing countries like Nigeria, calls for greater corporate social responsibility (‘CSR’) are increasing rapidly around the world.
Over the last few days, numerous assumptions and statements have been made concerning the relation between the coronavirus corvid19, and the Earth cleaning itself. Images have been circulating on social media of an earth that is healing as a result of the shutdown of factories and quarantine.
The world is in crisis. The political, social and cultural cohesion of communities around the world are at risk, as global problems such as climate change and overpopulation are accelerating, much less being managed by domestic and international governance regimes. However, the ongoing crisis that stands out is the crisis in the Middle East, especially the US-Iran relationships.
My current research and my work at the moment as a caseworker, centres on women’s rights in South Asia, looking how judicial decision making can improve through viewing cases of human rights abuse from a glocal to global lens.