Research team

Law and Development

Expertise

Human rights and North-South relations Socio-legal research in non-Western countries (Bolivia, China, DRC, India) International law and International Organisations (UN) Freedom of artistic expression

Study on the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO). 10/12/2020 - 31/03/2021

Abstract

Describe how BIO operates today and explain how today's structure, strategic mandate, governance, risk management policy and accountability mechanisms differ from those that were in place in 2012 when the DBTFP report was issued; Mapping the projects funded by BIO in the areas of agriculture and climate, Assessing BIO's farming and climate strategy in general and in the specific context of the two case studies that will be selected; Formulating recommendations and indications of possible interventions.

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Contribution to the formulation of a project of Human Rights promotion in Palestine. 22/10/2018 - 21/12/2018

Abstract

A study on behalf of ENABEL mapping the field of human rights actors in the Occupied Territorities, with a view to policy recommendations on the mainstreaming of human rights in the Belgian development cooperation with Palestine, in particular with regard to the use of information technology in human rights projects.

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Desk review and analysis with a HBRA lens of the identification documents of interventions foreseen in next cooperation programme between Belgium and Palestine (CP 2018-2022) 30/10/2017 - 15/11/2017

Abstract

A preliminary desk study identifying links to human rights in documents preparing the new country strategy of the Belgian development cooperation with regard to Palestine, with a particular emphasis on mainstraiming the right to education.

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The impact of EU's conditionality policy on human rights in the EU aspiring Western Balkan countries (HREUWB). 01/05/2017 - 30/04/2018

Abstract

This was a proposal to develop an in-depth study on the impact of EU human rights conditionalities on countries in the Western Balkans that aspire to EU membership. The proposal was to analyse both EU human rights conditionalities in general, and the response of selected countries through case studies. The proposal failed to attract EU funding.

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The human right to water in the context of socio-environmental conflicts in Loreto. 13/03/2016 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

The project aims to analyse the causes and circumstances that explain the systematic violation of the rights to water and prior consultation of indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon, as well as local resistance strategies. More concretely, the project attempts to comprehend the following issues: (i) the production and functioning of the concepts of habitat and water, as they relate to indigenous peoples, the state and economy; (ii) the ways the consultation processes conducted eventually contribute to uphold the State's hierarchy of rights, in which state and corporate rights are considered superior to indigenous rights, thus mimicking the social hierarchy; and (iii) the resistance and defence strategies adopted by indigenous peoples, e.g. by using human rights language (localisation).

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The state's obligation tot protect economic and social rights against violations by transnational corporations: health litigation in a context of resource extraction. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

In principle, human rights law does not impose obligations directly upon private actors, such as transnational corporations (TNCs). States are obliged, though, to protect their citizens against violations by TNCs. They should thus adopt legislative or other measures regulating the activities of TNCs in accordance with human rights standards. Consequently, TNCs are indirectly bound by human rights norms, via domestic legislation. Many developing countries, however, do not appropriately regulate the activities of TNCs in order to maintain an attractive investment climate in pursuance of their development policies. The research project will analyze whether the obligation of developing countries to protect can be enforced through litigation, backed up by a political strategy or not. Can judges directly require or indirectly provoke the strengthening or enforcement of regulations in accordance with human rights standards? At the fundamental level, this might be inhibited by the principle of separation of powers (forbidding the judiciary from interfering with the executive or legislature) and the normative position of human rights within the hierarchy of legal norms. At the practical level, it is should be assessed whether litigation is considered appropriate by victims and whether and under what circumstances it is likely to be successful. For this purpose, a case study will be conducted on health problems caused by resource extraction in South Africa and Nigeria.

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The state's obligation tot protect economic and social rights against violations by transnational corporations: health litigation in a context of resource extraction. 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2015

Abstract

In principle, human rights law does not impose obligations directly upon private actors, such as transnational corporations (TNCs). States are obliged, though, to protect their citizens against violations by TNCs. They should thus adopt legislative or other measures regulating the activities of TNCs in accordance with human rights standards. Consequently, TNCs are indirectly bound by human rights norms, via domestic legislation. Many developing countries, however, do not appropriately regulate the activities of TNCs in order to maintain an attractive investment climate in pursuance of their development policies. The research project will analyze whether the obligation of developing countries to protect can be enforced through litigation, backed up by a political strategy or not. Can judges directly require or indirectly provoke the strengthening or enforcement of regulations in accordance with human rights standards? At the fundamental level, this might be inhibited by the principle of separation of powers (forbidding the judiciary from interfering with the executive or legislature) and the normative position of human rights within the hierarchy of legal norms. At the practical level, it is should be assessed whether litigation is considered appropriate by victims and whether and under what circumstances it is likely to be successful. For this purpose, a case study will be conducted on health problems caused by resource extraction in South Africa and Nigeria.

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The global challenge of human rights integration: toward a users' perspective (HRI). 01/10/2012 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

Starting point of the research project is the finding that both rights holders and duty bearers under human rights norms are confronted simultaneously with a multitude of human rights provisions differing as to their scope, focus, legal force and level of governance. This non-hierarchical accumulation of human rights provisions has resulted in a complex and unco-ordinated legal architecture that may in some circumstances create obstacles for effective human rights protection. The central research objective of the proposed network is the study of human rights law as an integrated whole from a users' perspective.

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A legal study of power-sharing as an instrument of conflict resolution. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2013

Abstract

The proposed research aims at conducting an in-depth legal analysis of the technique of power-sharing which is increasingly being called upon by peace negotiators and included in peace accords that put an end to (internal) armed conflicts. The research will, first of all, study the legal qualification of power-sharing ¿ as a component of the wider peace accord ¿ under international law. In addition, the incorporation of the political agreement on power-sharing into the national (in particular constitutional) law of the countries concerned will be thoroughly analyzed. Finally, the proposed research will conduct a scientific analysis of the powersharing agreements from a human rights perspective.

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A human rights approach to power-sharing as a tool of conflict resolution in Africa 01/07/2010 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

Power-sharing has increasingly been used as a component of peace agreements. The project aims at scientifically analyzing the use of power-sharing from a human rights perspective. An empirical and a normative perspective will be combined, i.a. for the analysis of selected African case studies. The project is innovative and contributes to ongoing international academic research and policy debate on how to promote the rule of law after violent conflict.

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Chinese Legal Thought and Criminal Law: from Tradition to Modernism. 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2010

Abstract

Since Chinese legal thought has far-reaching impact on Chinese law practice, the main idea of this project is to survey the influence of Chinese legal thought on current Chinese criminal law and to compare with the western standpoint on human rights in the criminal law field. In order to analyze the phenomena and problems between Chinese modern criminal law in practice and Chinese legal thought, I will concentrate on these issues and compare them with the European Convention on Human Rights. Finally, I will conclude on the Chinese human rights situation in the field of criminal law.

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Dialogues from North to South, about the State of the State. 15/10/2007 - 16/12/2007

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    Feasability study of a structural cooperation with the law faculty of Kisangani University combined with a research project on the legislative reform of the forester sector and on the impact thereof on the Pygmies in Eastern province. 01/06/2007 - 31/05/2008

    Abstract

    L'objectif du mission est d'abord d'examiner la praticabilité du dévelopment d'une coopération structurelle envisagée entre la faculté de droit de l'Université d'Anvers et la faculté de droit de l'Université de Kisangani. Le but et aussi d'établir dans cette première phase des contacts locaux en vue d'un projet de recherche concernant la nouvelle légisation forestière congolaise, l'impact de celle-ci sur les droits des Pygmées qui habitent les forêts en province Orientale et l'influence de la Banque Mondiale dans cette matière.

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    Policy Study Centre Foreign policy, Toerism and Recreation (2007-2011). 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2011

    Abstract

    This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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    Immunity of international organizations and human rights: towards a concept reconciling both interests. 01/10/2006 - 31/08/2008

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    The nature of political transitions and transitional justice. Case-studies on Rwanda and Burundi. 01/01/2005 - 31/12/2008

    Abstract

    This research project aims at analyzing the impact of the nature of a political transition and a political regime (before and after the transition) on the form and the success and/or failure of transitional justice efforts at national and international level. In-depth case studies will be made of Rwanda and Burundi. At the same time, the project will design an analytical framework which should further international comparative research on the topical issue of transitional justice in post-conflict societies more generally. In addition, policy recommendations will be proposed.

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      01/03/2003 - 01/06/2003

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        The international right to reparation for victims of human rights violations. 01/01/2000 - 31/12/2003

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          Multidisciplinary information network between Belgian universities and Rwanda-Burundi-Kivu 01/10/1996 - 30/09/2000

          Abstract

          The international community has shown its unability to cope with the (dramatic) problems in this region. One of the shortcomings is the biased information on which the international community has based its analysis. The network will try to fill this information and analysis gap. The approach will be multidisciplinary (socio-economic, political and juridicial).

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            The construction of an information network between Belgium and Rwanda-Burundi. Towards conflict prevention and a cost-efficient policy. 01/01/1996 - 31/12/1999

            Abstract

            The construction of an information network between Belgium and Rwanda-Burundi on the following topics : publication of a yearbook, establishment of a documentation centre, fundamental research on conflict prevention in Rwanda.

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              Human Rights conditionality in development cooperation. 01/07/1994 - 30/06/1995

              Abstract

              Policy recommendation for donor countries. Case studies on Indonesia, Vietnam, El Salvador, Kenya, Burundi.

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