Fellow and member of the steering group of the Institute for Human Rights, Colm O'Cinneide, is awarded Nuffield Foundation grant.
31 July 2012
Colm O’Cinneide, Reader
in Law at the UCL Faculty of Laws, has been awarded £86,163 from the
Nuffield Foundation to study this process
of integrating equality and human rights institutions across the
EU. This project will involve a comparative study of the regulatory, legal
and political issues involved in the merger of these institutions into single
integrated bodies, and will explore what factors exert a positive or
negative influence on the fuctioning of such integrated bodies.
National human rights institutions play a vital role in protecting individual rights and encouraging governments to adhere to their commitments under international human rights law. National equality bodies also perform an important function - they enforce discrimination law and promote respect for equality for opportunity across society at large. Increasingly, governments across Europe are merging equality and human rights institutions together into single integrated bodies, as the UK did in 2007 with the establishment of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (ECHR). This is often justified on the basis that both equality and human rights bodies are focused on protecting individual rights. However, the process of merging such bodies often proves to be controversial and difficult.
Colm’s co-investigator on this project will be Neil Crowther, former Director of Human Rights at the EHRC and now an independent consultant.