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Centre for Rights and Justice



The mission of the Centre for Rights and Justice is to pursue and encourage innovative scholarship in the fields of criminal law, criminal justice, human rights, international humanitarian law, conflict resolution, and post-conflict justice (broadly defined).

We aim to contribute to public and academic debate, and influence the thinking of law and policymakers through publications, seminars and conferences. We also aim to build and strengthen a vibrant and supportive research culture in which experienced and new researchers alike are able to develop and test their ideas.

News and Events

  • News and events in 2018

    Criminalising Christmas

    Imagine if Christmas was banned!

    Join us between 14 December 2018 - 6 January 2019 at the National Justice Museum for a fun exhibition on Christmas battles involving Pagans, Christians, Puritans, Puddings and the First World War.

    14 December 2018, 6 pm - enjoy our free fun family talk from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, followed by mince pies.

    Law, Human Rights and Religion – Flashpoints

    On Monday 17 December 2018, Nottingham Law School’s Centre for Rights and Justice will be holding its one day Flashpoints conference exploring themes which ignite debate in the field of Law, Human Rights and Religion.

    Venue: Level 1 Chaucer Building, City Campus, Nottingham Trent University

    Time: 9:30 am - 4.00 pm

    Proposals for papers are invited relating to the broad theme of Law, Human Rights and Religion. We would particularly welcome submissions from within the following themes:

    • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity issues
    • Children’s Rights
    • Duties of the State and Public Bodies
    • Historical Papers

    Guidance for Submissions

    • Submissions should be emailed to Helen Hall
    • The following information must be contained within your submission email: Your name, the proposed title and an abstract of no more than 200 words.
    • You are not required to submit a paper with your presentation.
    • Submissions must be received by 5 pm on Thursday 1 November 2018

    Format for Presentations and Papers

    • Presentations should be approximately 20 minutes in length.
    • You are very welcome to use PowerPoint slides if you wish, but there is no requirement to do so.
    • Please note that only PowerPoint presentations can be accommodated. For technical reasons, we regret that alternative software (such as Prezi) cannot be used.

    Attending the Conference

    • All those interested in the issues are very welcome to attend the conference, whether or not they are giving a presentation.
    • To register for the conference please visit our Online Store where there is a conference fee of £25 payable (regardless of whether or not you are giving a presentation).
    • Attendance is free for NTU staff and students.
    • There will be lunch provided, as well as tea/coffee and refreshments at registration and during the morning and afternoon breaks. If you have any special dietary requirements please notify us.
    • If you have any special requirements to enable you to participate more comfortably (e.g. large print copies of any handouts), please let us know and we will do our very best to meet them.

    Symposium on Gender Equality as a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal

    Venue: Lecture Theatre 9, Newton Building, Nottingham Trent University

    Date: Wednesday 19 September 2018

    Time: 9.30 am - 5.00 pm

    The 2016 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set a range of aspirational targets designed to eradicate poverty and encourage sustainable peace across the planet. Gender Equality is, in the words of the UN, ‘crucial to accelerating sustainable development’ and so is perhaps the most fundamental of the SDGs - the lynchpin unifying and underpinning all other goals.

    The challenges of achieving the targets posed by the Gender Equality SDG are at their greatest following conflict as States struggle to find an effective means of transition that embrace all corners of society. Ravaged by war, societies face unique challenges in upholding effective participation in society for all genders, ensuring redress for crimes committed (including sexual violence) and building institutions to promote and maintain gender equality.

    This Symposium will probe and investigate the unique challenges faced by post-conflict societies in promoting and maintaining Gender Equality as an essential component of the SDGs with discussion centring around three main themes:

    • Rebuilding Together: The Importance of Gender Equality for Societal Transition.
    • International Responses to Post-Conflict Gender Equality Issues.
    • Empowering Communities: Case Studies on the promotion of Gender Equality in Post-Conflict Society.

    The Symposium is open to all and free to attend.

    For further details please contact Lydia.Davies-Bright@ntu.ac.uk or Mark.Chadwick@ntu.ac.uk

    Past Events

    On 25 January 2018 Peter McTigue presented his paper ‘The expanding boundary of disability discrimination law’ to the Industrial Law Society in an event hosted by the Centre.

    Law and Vulnerable Groups

    Date: Wednesday 15 March 2018

    Time: 1.30 pm - 3.30 pm

    Members of the Centre presented their research:

    • Dr David Barrett
    • Dr Helen O’Nions and Shanlin Gourlay ‘Failure to protect under the Refugee Convention: ‘women and children second’

    Public International Law

    Date: Wednesday 18 April 2018

    Time: 1.30 pm - 3.30 pm

    Members of the Centre talked about their current research in the area of public international law

    • Richard Jones – ‘Encouraging non-state armed groups to comply with the constraints of international humanitarian law’
    • Mark Chadwick – “The Enemies of All Mankind”: High Seas Piracy and the Legend of Universal Jurisdiction’
    • Dr Elizabeth Chadwick  -  ‘Neutrality law in situations of armed conflict’

    Professor Tom Lewis – Inaugural Lecture

    Religious Dress, Empathy and the European Convention: Time To Put the ‘Human’ Back Into Human Rights?

    Date: Wednesday 25 April 2018


    Particular attention was paid to the approach of the European Court of Human Rights in its case law concerning bans on forms of religious dress, in particular the Islamic veil.

    Symposium on the Conflict in Syria

    Date: Friday 4 May 2018

    Organised by Lydia Davies-Bright as a joint event between the Centre for Rights and Justice (Nottingham Trent University) and Nottingham International Law and Security Centre (University of Nottingham).

    The Symposium provided an inter-disciplinary forum to discuss this protracted and seemingly intractable conflict, which has cost so many lives and caused over 12 million to flee their homes.

    Aidan Hehir (Westminster), Janka Skrzypek (NTU and Bachar Hakim, Syrian community) led the first discussion on the context of the Syrian conflict and its roots in the long oppression of the Syrian people.

    Nigel White (UoN), Yasmine Nahlawi (Rethink, Rebuild Society) and Richard Jones (NTU) led the second discussion on the response of the international community, including the lack of coherent and effective action by the UN Security Council.

    The Human Rights Law Centre sponsored a showing of 'Syria's Disappeared' (dir. Sara Afshar), detailing the thousands of Syrians who have been taken by the Assad regime and tortured or killed.

    Lydia Davies-Bright (NTU), Helen O'Nions (NTU) and Ben Hudson (Lincoln) led the final discussion reflecting on the themes raised by the documentary and the legal frameworks around refugees and displaced persons.

    The event was extremely well attended by a wide range of people, including members of the Syrian diaspora and general public.

  • News and events in 2017

    Past Events

    The fields of freedom of religion, hate crime and international humanitarian law

    Date: Wednesday 22 November 2017

    CCRJ members presented several papers on their recent research in the fields of freedom of religion, hate crime and international humanitarian law:

    • Dr Helen Hall – ‘Minorities within minorities-the double vulnerability of children, sexual minorities, gender non-conformists and abuse victims within conservative faith groups’
    • Dr Loretta Trickett – ‘Policing and hate crime’
    • Luigi Daniele – War crimes and international humanitarian law

    Reimagining Restorative Justice: Agency and Accountability in the Criminal Process

    Date: Wednesday 13 December 2017

    The Centre hosted a half-day colloquium exploring how empowerment-based interventions impact on the development of criminal justice law and policy, with a specific emphasis on the potential role of restorative justice. The event comprised papers by

    • Tim Chapman (University of Ulster),
    • Dr Kerry Clamp (University of Nottingham) and
    • Dr Nick Blagden (NTU), drawing on the theme of empowerment within criminal justice.

    The colloquium concluded with a book launch by David O’Mahony (Essex) and Jonathan Doak of their recent publication, Reimagining Restorative Justice: Agency and Accountability in the Criminal Process (2017, Hart).

  • News and events in 2016

    Exorcism and the Law

    Dr Helen Hall, 31st October 2016 at 5pm, Large Court Room (Chaucer 1002)

    The Anti-Radicalisation Prevent Duty and the Right to Education: Reconciling the Irreconcilable?

    Dr David Barrett, 2nd November 2016 at 1pm, Small Court Room (Chaucer 1001, LT3)

    Minority Right Protections in Contemporary Europe: The Double Standards between Member State and Candidate Country Obligations

    Elyse Wakelin, 16th November at 1pm, Small Court Room (Chaucer 1001, LT3)

    Jehovah's Witnesses and the Refusal of Blood Transfusions: a Gewirthian analysis

    Clayton O’Neill, 22 November 2016 at 1 pm, Small Court Room (Chaucer)

    Law, Human Rights and Religion: Flashpoints Conference, Monday 12 December 2016

    In December the Centre organised an international conference on flashpoint issues in Law and Religion. It attracted over 30 speakers, some of whom came from Canada, the U.S., Continental Europe, and Asia, as well as a range of UK universities, plus another 30 attendees who participated in the lively plenary discussions. The papers featured a variety of subject areas within the field (e.g. children’s rights and religion, Constitutional issues and even legal history). A number of NTU staff gave presentations, and students (undergraduate and postgraduate) also took the opportunity to engage with the event. We received a gratifying amount of enquiries about future conferences, and are planning to hold another Flashpoints event in December 2017.

  • News and events in 2015

    Human Rights, Law and Religion: Perspectives on the Islamic Face Veil (seminar)

    On 30 March 2015 the Centre for Conflict, Rights and Justice, in collaboration with the NLS Centre for Advocacy, hosted the Perspectives on the Islamic Face Veil seminar, which explored some of the legal and human rights issues surrounding the Islamic face veil – the niqab and the burqa.

    The seminar aimed to provide a forum for those with different views and perspectives to engage in the debate in a supportive and collaborative atmosphere. Eight speakers spoke from a range of perspectives over the course of three themed sessions. The day was a great success, demonstrating that even controversial issues can be debated fully and frankly while maintaining respect for opposing views. Visit our news page to read more about this event.

    Presentations and speakers

    Slides from presentations can be found below:

  • News and events in 2014

    Sporting Justice (conference)

    On the 28 March 2014 the Centre hosted a one-day conference around the theme of sporting justice. The conference was the second event to be run by the Centre, following on from last year's highly successful conference, 'Legal Perspectives on the Victim', which launched the Centre.

    The Sporting Justice conference was free to attend and explored a range of sporting themes, in the context of the values encompassed in the notion of justice, including – but not limited to – equality, fairness, integrity, and ethics.

  • News and events in 2013

    Launch of the Centre for Conflict, Rights and Justice

    The 19 December 2013 saw the official launch event of the Law School's Centre for Conflict, Rights and Justice, marked by a daytime symposium, Legal Perspectives on the Victim, and an evening reception. The symposium attracted 50 delegates ranging from academics, practitioners, members of NGOs, and a pleasing number of NLS students. They were treated to a fascinating range of papers by academics and practitioners from across the UK and from as far afield as Spain and South Africa on topics such as human rights, stalking, hate crime, restorative justice, and the environment. Excellent papers were delivered by our own Samantha Pegg, Loretta Trickett and David Ong, and by our PhD students Helen Measures and Anna Waistnage. The keynote address, by Professor Sandra Walklate of Liverpool University, 'Victims' Trauma and Testimony' provided a thought-provoking analysis of victimhood in the early 21st Century. Many of the papers will be published in a special issue of the Nottingham Law Journal in 2013.

    The official launch of the Centre took place in the evening with a generous and amusing opening address by His Honour Judge Michael Stokes QC, and presentations to the winners of the student essay and poster competitions, Matthew Caples and Ross Lancaster. Food, wine, piano music and sparkling conversation ensued. (The conversation, it has to be said, grew yet more sparkling with the quantity of wine consumed!)

    All in all this was a great kick-off for the Centre, and a great way to finish 2012. Many thanks to all those who helped, and to our generous sponsors, OUP, Paragon Law, Geldards Solicitors, Ashgate, and Pearson.

Journal for Rights and Justice

The Journal of Rights and Justice is the Journal of Nottingham Law School’s Centre for Rights and Justice.   The editors welcome submissions on all areas of rights and justice, broadly construed, and in the fields of both public and private law. Of particular interest are submissions on areas including, but not restricted to, all aspects of human rights and civil liberties, international humanitarian law crime and criminal justice, tort and child and family law.

  • About the Journal

    We are very open to articles with an interdisciplinary element, but do not publish material without substantial legal content.  Our primary material centres on internal UK law, international law, and comparative pieces with Britain as a comparator.  However we would not exclude articles rooted in the domestic law of another jurisdiction, if there were compelling reasons to suggest that they would be of interest to a general audience.  If you are in doubt as to whether a potential piece would be a good fit for JRJ, please email one of the editors and they will be happy to give some guidance.


    • Contributions can be submitted to the journal via emailing one of the editorial team: Helen Hall or Tom Lewis.
    • All publications will be subject to peer review.  Please ensure that the draft of the article submitted does not include your name, or any other details which might compromise the anonymity of the peer review process.
    • We will endeavour to provide an initial response to emails within two working weeks of receipt, but please be aware that there may be delays during busy periods of the academic year.
    • The length of time between submission and publication will depend upon the peer review process.  However, once the reviewers, editorial team and author(s) have agreed upon the approved version of the article, an article can be immediately added to the current edition of the journal.
    • We welcome articles, book reviews and case notes
    • We do not have a fixed minimum maximum word-limit, however contributors should bear in mind that peer reviewers may recommend that a piece be trimmed or expanded.  For articles, we would suggest that somewhere between 4000 and 12,000 would be the usual range, but do not exclude submissions outside of these parameters.

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