UCL PILPBP submits amicus brief to Inter-American Court of Human Rights
21 January 2020
The brief was submitted by the UCL Public International Law Pro Bono Project in response to a Request for an Advisory Opinion presented to the Court by the Republic of Colombia in May 2019, relating to the effects of denouncing human rights treaties.
Last month (December 2019), the UCL Public International Law Pro Bono Project submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in response to a Request for an Advisory Opinion presented to the Court by the Republic of Colombia in May 2019. The request asks the Court to advise on the rights and responsibilities of States in the event that a State Party were to denounce the American Convention on Human Rights or the Charter of the Organization of American States. The amicus brief submitted by the UCL PIL Pro Bono Project contends that the Court can and should respond to the request, and provides an analysis of the relevant legal issues to assist the Court in doing so, as well as noting ways in which the scope of the Court’s advisory jurisdiction might restrict the scope of any opinion it offers. A copy of the brief is available here.
The UCL PIL Pro Bono Project is a community of collaborative learning and practice based at the UCL Faculty of Laws, which operates in service of human rights protection – supporting members of civil society and international organisations in their important protective missions, while enhancing the educational experience of our students. The Project is comprised of three ‘generations’ of law scholar: two Co-Directors, Professor Kimberley Trapp and Professor Alex Mills; several PhD Coordinators, all of whom are also Teaching Fellows in the UCL Faculty of Laws; and LLM Researchers. In 2019-20 there are sixteen LLM student participants, six of whom worked on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights amicus brief, under the supervision of PhD Coordinator Joseph Crampin. The Project is not a formal part of the curriculum, relying entirely on volunteer participation. It received a UCL Provost’s Education Award in 2018, and the money from this award was used to fund student internships with our partner organisations – including one intern who has recently started at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights itself. The Project hopes to secure funding to allow it to support further internships in future.
The Project began as a PhD and LLM student initiative, inspired by public-spiritedness in an era of serial global crises. With Faculty support, it has become an innovative collaborative educational enterprise, connecting our LLM and PhD students with UCL Laws academic staff, enhancing the skills development of our students and putting them at the centre of research-based learning. But it remains, perhaps most importantly, an outward-facing project – driven by the highest traditions of public service in academia in striving to make a positive contribution to the world.