I have never met Dr. Radačić, but we have published a piece by her in EJIL. Her career has hit a road block for reasons which, I believe, are of interest to the definition, scope and place of international legal scholarship within the academy and to the processes with which careers are made or unmade.
In Croatia, apparently the first step in an academic career is to obtain the title of Research Associate/Lecturer, the qualification for which are, inter alia, having a Ph.D and the publication of at least six scholarly articles.
Now comes the rub: one has to be a Research Associate/Lecturer in a specific branch of law which corresponds to the departmental divisions within the overall faculties – in our case the faculties of law. Getting this title in Croatia involves a two-stage process: a positive assessment by a law faculty, which is then sent for approval (or otherwise) to the National Committee of Law.
Here is a sample of titles in English which form part of Dr. Radačić’s corpus of work. Most of them can be found on the web:
• Gender Equality Jurisprudence of the ECHR ̶ which we published in EJIL
• The European Court Approach to Sex Discrimination ̶ European Gender Equality Law Review
• Feminism and Human Rights – The Inclusive Approach to Interpreting International Human Rights Law – UCL Jurisprudence Review
• Rape Cases in the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights – European Human Rights Law Review
• Religious Symbols in Educational Institutions – Jurisprudence of the ECHR – Religion and Human Rights Review
• The Margin of Appreciation, Consensus, Morality and the Rights of Vulnerable Groups – Zb. Prav. fak. Rij.
• Human Rights of Women and the Public/Private divide in International Human Rights Law – Croatia Yearbook of European Law and Policy.
In 2009 a committee of the Law Faculty of Zagreb confirmed that Dr. Radačić met the criteria for scientific appointment, but in the interdisciplinary field of gender studies and not under any recognized branch of law ̶ including international law. This of course left her in a blind alleyway. More recently, in January 2012, the Osijek Law School confirmed that her work did fall within the branch of international law, even though some of it could also come under family law or criminal law. They made a positive recommendation, but it was turned down this time by a majority decision of the National Committee, stating that her work did not fall within the field of international law. This Committee was apparently composed in part by members of the Zagreb faculty who had either been part of the earlier (negative) process or had publicly expressed opinions on her non-suitability. The National Committee does not publish a ‘motivation’ for its decision. ‘Kafkaesque’ is the term that comes to my mind.
Dr. Radačić has started legal proceedings in Croatia – but the windmills of justice are notoriously slow and the (understandable) reluctance of courts to intervene in academic decisions is well known. I am not holding my breath. Read the rest of this entry…