Announcements: International Disaster Law Course; Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition; CfC – A Year in Elections; Groningen Summer Schools; UCALL Conference on Accountability and International Business Operations

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1. International Disaster Law Course. The 4th Edition of the International Disaster Law Course is now open for applications (Sanremo, Italy, 12-16 June 2017). More information is available here. The Course is organized jointly by the IFRC, the IIHL Sanremo, the IDL Project in cooperation with the Roma Tre IEUDL Jean Monnet Module and the IRC. Confirmed speakers will include Eduardo Valencia-Ospina (former ILC SR on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters) and Walter Kälin, along with academics and representatives of relevant organisations such as OCHA, WHO, IOM, IFRC.

2. 9th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition. All universities in the world are invited to participate in the 2017 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition, due to be held 18 – 21 July in Room XX in the Palais de Nations, Geneva – the room where the UN Human Rights Council meets. The Moot is organised by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. The first phase of the Competition is a written preliminary round: teams are evaluated on the basis of their heads of argument. The top five teams from each UN region are invited to Geneva to take part in the pre-final and final rounds, which involve oral arguments. Submissions received during the first phase (written) are evaluated by human rights experts. The judges in the final round of the Competition are eminent judges from international courts and tribunals as well as other experts. This year Justice Albie Sachs, from the Constitutional Court of South Africa, will be one of the judges. The Competition also entail a one-day conference that will expose participants to current developments in the UN human rights system. The deadline for submitting heads of arguments is 12 June 2017. See the competition website for the rules of procedure, the hypothetical case, and registration details. For further information, please contact eduardo.kapapelo {at}

3. Rights! Call for Contributions: 2017 – A Year in Elections. Throughout 2017, Rights! is welcoming contributions in all sections of Rights! on elections conducted (or to be conducted) worldwide, but also their preparation and follow up. Attention can be paid to technical, political, legal and human rights aspects of electoral processes. Assessment can focus on, although it is not limited to, electoral integrity, especially its political dimension, fraud and mitigation measures, electoral violence, legal frameworks, electoral procedures and the work of EMBs, use of technology, inclusive participation, voter awareness and the role of civil society. Comparative perspective and electoral cycle approach will be particularly welcome. Contributions can also include analysis of electoral reform processes, democratic and political approaches to elections. Contributions are welcome throughout the year and should be sent to contact {at} rightsblog(.)net along with a short professional bio. Please follow the blog’s style and references and specific guidelines for the section you are contributing to. Please find more information on the blog.

4. Groningen Summer Schools in law 2017. The Department of International Law, University of Groningen, together with partners, is organising two summer schools International Law for Sustainable Societies, The Sustainable Development Goals and Law and Lifestyle, A human rights approach to chronic diseases. The first summer school, International Law for Sustainable Societies, aims to explore the contribution of international law to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The provisional programme of the summer school may be accessed here. This summer school takes place in Groningen from Monday 3 July to Friday 7 July 2017. The second summer school, Law and Lifestyle, proceeds from the basic fact that most deaths that occur globally are the result of chronic or ‘non-communicable’ diseases. Taking a human rights approach, key focus areas include securing equitable access to essential medicines, as well as assessing the possibilities to regulate behavioural risk factors such as smoking, excess alcohol consumption, unhealthy eating and a lack of physical exercise. The provisional programme of the summer school may be accessed here. This summer school takes place in Groningen from Monday 10 July to Friday 14 July 2017. Deadline for applications is 1 May 2017.

5. UCALL Conference on Accountability and International Business Operations. A research institution of Utrecht University specialised on issues of corporate liability and accountability (UCALL) is hosting a Conference on Accountability and International Business Operations. This conference inquires how regulatory tools stemming from international law, public law, and private law may or may not be used for transnational corporate accountability purposes. Attention will be devoted to applicable standards of liability, institutional and jurisdictional issues, and practical challenges, with a focus on ways to improve the existing legal status quo. In addition, there will be consideration of the extent to which non-legal regulatory instruments may complement or provide (more viable) alternatives to these legal mechanisms. The conference combines legal-doctrinal approaches with interdisciplinary and policy insights. For further information, see here.

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