Our research in the area of human rights law spans international, regional and domestic human rights regimes, as well as examining the interplay between international human rights law and general international law, international humanitarian law, international refugee law, and international criminal law. We have supported the work of NGOs on human rights and refugee issues and have contributed to OSCE studies in the field of minority rights.

Publications

Highlights from our work in this area:

Glasgow Human Rights Network

The Glasgow Human Rights Network (GHRN) was officially relaunched in December 2023, as a Scottish hub for interdisciplinary human rights expertise.  The network comprises members from universities across Glasgow, as well as practitioners, civil society, third sector and community groups, and national and local government representatives. 

 

The relaunch of the network and its events are supported by a SCGA Connections Award, received by Dr David Scott (GCILS, University of Glasgow) in collaboration with Dr Douglas Jack (Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law, University of Strathclyde) and Dr Yingru Li (Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow) .

 

To find out more, visit: https://www.gla.ac.uk/research/az/glasgowhumanrightsnetwork/

Scottish Human Rights Bill

Dr David Scott acted as a consultant for the Human Rights Consortium Scotland and Who Cares? Scotland; they commissioned  a report to explore the potential impact of the proposed Scottish Human Rights Bill for protecting the rights of Care Experienced people. The report focuses on the domestic and international law dimensions of this question, in order to understand how best to integrate Care Experienced people into the Bill as proposed:

 

Scott, D., (2023) Incorporating International Human Rights: The protection of Care Experienced People’s Rights in the Scottish Human Rights Bill. Project Report. Human Rights Consortium Scotland.

 

Dr Scott also produced a podcast episode on the protection of Care Experienced people under the Scottish Human Rights Bill:

 

Scott, D., (2023) Scottish Council on Global Affairs Podcast: The Scottish Human Rights Bill

 

He submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the international law dimensions of the Human Rights Bill

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Our staff member Professor Nils Melzer acted as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (2016 – 2022). The mandate comprised three main activities: addressing urgent appeals and communications on alleged cases of torture, fact-finding country visits, and submission of annual reports on activities, the mandate and methods of work. In this capacity, Professor Melzer examines, among others, the under-explored relationships between torture and corruption, extra-custodial use of force, and migration.

 

Selected Reports:

 

Melzer, N. (2019) Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment, “Corruption-related torture and ill-treatment”. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

 

Melzer, N. (2018) Seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: reaffirming and strengthening the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

 

Melzer, N. (2018) Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

 

Melzer, N. (2017) Extra-custodial use of force and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Project Report. United Nations General Assembly.

 

Melzer, N. (2017) Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

Human Rights Unbound. A Theory of Extraterritoriality

This book explores to what extent a state owes human rights obligations to individuals outside of its territory, when the conduct of that state impacts upon the lives of those individuals. It draws upon legal and political philosophy to develop a theory of extraterritoriality based on the nature of human rights, merging accounts of economic, social, and cultural rights with those of civil and political rights.

 

Dr Lea Raible outlines four main arguments aimed at changing the way we think about the extraterritoriality of human rights. First, she argues that questions regarding extraterritoriality are really about justifying the allocation of human rights obligations to specific states. Second, the book shows that human rights as found in international human rights treaties are underpinned by the values of integrity and equality. Third, she shows that these same values justify the allocation of human rights obligations towards specific individuals to public institutions – including states – that hold political power over those individuals. And finally, the book demonstrates that title to territory is best captured by the value of stability, as opposed to integrity and equality.

 

On this basis, Dr Raible concludes that all standards in international human rights treaties that count as human rights require that a threshold of jurisdiction, understood as political power over individuals, is met. The book applies this theory of extraterritoriality to explain the obligations of states in a wide range of cases.

 

Publisher: Oxford University Press

 

Publication Date: 2020

 

ISBN: 9780198863373