The Ukrainian crisis and the challenges of integration

A guest blog by Dejan Stjepanović of the University of Edinburgh on the Ukraine crisis.

The ongoing Ukrainian crisis raises a number of serious questions about the future of political relations in Europe. Until now, the primary driver of regional integration in post-socialist Europe was the European Union. The return of Russia onto the stage, and its not shying away from using its military power, caught some observers by surprise. Behind the struggle for geopolitical dominance lies a deeper problem which arises from the pervasive influence of the essentialist understanding of nation, state, sovereignty and borders. » Read more

Responsible Investment and Edinburgh University: Part 3

Edinburgh University has recently published a consultation paper on responsible investment and is seeking responses.

In the third and last of a series guest blogs on the subject, Tim Hayward of the School of Social and Political Science in Edinburgh, discusses the relationship between university investments and the creation of wealth.


Investment in Reality

To think about the fundamental principles that should guide a responsible investment policy it is helpful to get back to conceptual basics. So I shall start with a moment of philosophical reflection. » Read more

Getting to Maybe: Currency, Debt, and the Pre-negotiation of Independence

This post by Christine Bell, Prof. of Constitutional Law and Director of the Global Justice Academy, first appeared on The Future of the UK and Scotland blog. 

The UK government up until now has clearly stated that it is not going to ‘pre-negotiate’ the break up of the Union.  Yet to-day apparently the UK Chancellor George Osborne, along with support from the Labour party, is to rule out in advance a currency union.

In response the Scottish government has raised that they have a card to play: a possible refusal to take on a share of the UK’s national debt.

So what is going on? 

» Read more

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Queries the UK, and recommends suspending the bedroom tax

Observations by Christine Bell, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Edinburgh, and Director of the Global Justice Academy. She is course organiser for the new LLM in Human Rights degree, available from September 2013 at Edinburgh.

llm_global_justiceAt the start of this week, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing has released her report into the country visit she made to the UK which investigated the right to housing across the UK, and in particular considered it against the background of current welfare reform including on the bedroom tax.

The report can be accessed in English here.  Two matters are interesting to highlight.

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Justice versus Peace? Syrian Atrocities and International Criminal Justice

Christine Bell, Professor of Constitutional Law and Director of the Global Justice Academy, comments on recent Human Rights developments in Syria.

syria blog

A recent report into torture – interestingly with a connection to Scotland (one of the researches is based in Dundee University) – has provided strong evidence that the Assad regime has been involved in gross human rights violations.  The report was produced by a set of international experts in international criminal law and forensics, requested by Carter-Ruck & Co solicitors, acting for Qatar National State who apparently support the Syrian National Movement (none of this is very clear from the face of the report, which has been linked to from Carter-Ruck’s website, neither is it very clear from the Carter-Ruck press release which does not mention a client).

» Read more

Responsible Investment and Edinburgh University

Edinburgh University has recently published a consultation paper on responsible investment and is seeking responses.

As part of a series of guest blogs on the subject, Tim Hayward of the School of Social and Political Science in Edinburgh, discusses the relationship between academic Freedom and Responsible Investment.




Why should a university be socially responsible?  A question thrown into relief by the current debate over universities’ investments concerns the social role of the university and the relation of that to its core academic activities.

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A guest blog from Tom Daly

Nils Muiznieks_CoE


Nils MuižnieksCouncil of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Seminar

Last Wednesday, 10 December, fresh from launching the National Action Plan of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, gave a seminar at the School of Law to mark International Human Rights Day; established by the UN in 1950 “to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”.

» Read more


A guest blog by Dr Elisa Morgera and Tom Gerald Daly.

In this article, Dr. Elisa Morgera and Tom Gerald Daly explore the role that ‘Benefit-Sharing’ might be able to play in adressing the environmental challenges associated with the use of natural resources.  The authors pose important questions about Benefit-Sharing and its potential to contribute to the protection and sustainability of natural resources, whilst enabling opportunities for the growth of communities, indiginous peoples and developing countries in culturally-sensitive and equitable ways.  Could Benefit-Sharing present a tool to address these issues?

» Read more

Global Justice and the Fringe

A guest blog from Sarah Anderson of the Beltane Public Engagement Network.




Members of the Global Justice Academy are invited to stage their very own Edinburgh Fringe show in 2014.


It’s only a few months since the big purple cow in Edinburgh’s Bristo Square was dismantled, but planning for the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe is already well underway. The Beltane Public Engagement Network is one of the groups intending to stage shows when the crowds descend next August. With luck, members of the Global Justice Academy will be among Beltane’s star performers!

» Read more

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