Este reporte fue elaborado por Oswaldo Ruiz-Chiriboga.
El Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad de Gante (Universiteit Gent), Bélgica, emitió una convocatoria para un investigador doctoral (PhD researcher) sobre el tema “Optimizing access for users to international human rights mechanisms”. A continuación se transcribe la convocatoria:
General description of research project
The Human Rights Centre, based at the Faculty of Law of Ghent University (Belgium) is looking for a PhD research fellow to work during 4 years on a research project “Optimizing access for users to international human rights mechanisms”.
The project will examine the procedural dimensions of human rights integration, with a focus on international complaint procedures. While monitoring bodies such as the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission and Court on Human Rights are confronted with huge amounts of incoming petitions, individual petitioners and particular members of vulnerable groups still experience practical and legal obstacles hindering them to effectively bring and pursue cases of alleged human rights violations. The problems faced by individuals as well as groups petitioning the two main regional human rights systems will be examined and commented from a 360° scale perspective, using comparative methods. Adopting an open and creative approach to the topic, a wide range of possible scenarios to improve the user’s access to the different systems will be investigated. These include the creation of class action models to accomodate larger groups of petitioners (going beyond the instrument of pilot judgments) and the feasability and possible structure of a fully judge-driven preliminary ruling-system next to or in replacement of the current complaints mechanisms. The research will formulate clear-cut and substantiated proposals reconciling optimal access with the need of procedural efficiency and an efficient management of incoming cases. Particular attention will be paid to examining to what extent solutions and strategies developed within one system – whether it is regional, universal or national – may benefit another.
Within this framework, a PhD topic will be identified in collaboration with the researcher. The researcher will work under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Yves Haeck and will benefit from membership of the intellectual stimulating environment offered by the Human Rights Centre.
Larger research framework
The research project is part of a larger framework project, entitled “The Global Challenge of Human Rights Integration: Toward a Users’ Perspective”, coordinated by Ghent University’s Human Rights Centre, and comprising a collaboration with Utrecht University (UU), the Free University of Brussels (VUB), the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), the University of Antwerp (UA) and the Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis (FUSL).
Starting point of the proposed research 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 uncoordinated 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.
Within this framework, the network of researchers will be pursuing 7 ambitious research goals: (1) Develop theoretical and conceptual frameworks capturing the multilayered nature of human rights law; (2) Analyse users’ trajectories through the complex architecture of human rights law; (3) Explore actual and potential bridges between different layers of human rights law; (4) Determine how to maximize the added value of one specific layer of human rights law; (5) Define optimal conditions of access for users navigating through international human rights mechanisms (i.e., the above-mentioned project); (6) Investigate the tension between divergence and coherence in human rights law in theory and practice; (7) Investigate the interaction between human rights law and its next-door neighbours: international humanitarian law and international criminal law.
Profile of the PhD research fellow
Minimum requirements of candidate
- Master in Law (Licentiate in Law/Law Degree) obtained with good grades;
- Good knowledge of and insight in international human rights law, especially the Inter-American and the European Court of Human Rights;
- Fluency in written and spoken English and preferably in spoken Spanish; knowledge of another language or languages is an asset;
- Good writing skills.
Ideal profile of candidate
The ideal candidate for the research fellowship speaks fluent English and Spanish, is a Master in Law (Licentiate in Law/Law Degree) with good grades, has an LLM in international human rights law with good grades, and is familiar with the functioning and the case-law of the Inter-American and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as other systems. She/he has good research and writing skills and is familiar with social science research methodology.
More information can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Yves Haeck: Yves.Haeck@UGent.be
Ghent University is a major university in Belgium with an excellent international research reputation. It distinguishes itself as a socially committed and pluralistic university in a broad international perspective. Ghent University is situated in the beautiful historic city of Ghent. The research fellow will belong to a team of researchers at the Human Rights Centre, which is part of the Faculty of Law, and specialised in regional and universal human rights systems.
The Human Rights Centre is currently composed of 45 researchers from all over the globe (at the level of professor, postdoctoral or doctoral researchers). The Human Rights Centre works closely together with African, European and Latin-American based universities, institutes and research centres, united in the Latin-American and European Network on Human Rights. Its members host a number of influential blogs on the functioning and the case law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, and on the top international human rights courses and traineeships in Europe. The Human Rights Centre also edits the “Inter-American & European Human Rights Journal / Revista Interamericana & Europea de Derechos Humanos” (Intersentia Publishers), a journal that aims to offer an international platform for research in the field of human rights of relevance for (Latin) America and Europe.
The PhD research fellow will often meet with the researchers involved in the global project to discuss common issues and organize events related to the project.
Starting date of the project and salary of the PhD research fellow
- Starting date: 1 October 2012.
- PhD grant: 4 years PhD research fellowship, approx. 1.800 € net/month (tax free).
If you wish to apply for the PhD research fellowship, please submit the following documents:
- a letter of motivation;
- an extensive curriculum vitae, including study results (per year and overall);
- two letters of reference;
- a sample (5 pages) of your writing skills (preferably in English or Spanish) on a human rights topic.
The documents have to be submitted through e-mail to Prof. Dr. Yves Haeck: Yves.Haeck@UGent.be
Deadline for submitting application
1 August 2012.