Title of Research Project: Does the situation in Nigeria constitute an internal armed conflict under International Humanitarian Law? An analysis of the new face of internal armed conflict and the criminal responsibility of the combatants.
Project Description: My research looks at the laws applicable to internal armed conflict and the possible application of those laws to terrorism related conflict. The focal point of my discourse is the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. My research goes beyond the black letter application of the law (positivism) and utilises constructivism as a means of understanding the interests and structures surrounding different framings of the law and the insurgency. This theoretical approach also leaves room for the consideration of political and legal issues that are inherent in the insurgency.
Part of my research that is related with the issue of access to justice analyses the effectiveness of the Nigerian Judicial System in handling cases emanating from the insurgency. Tied to this issue are the fundamental rights attached to a criminal trial. Beyond this, at the core of the research is the question of justice for victims of the insurgency. The thesis looks into whether the Nigerian judicial system has fully given victims access to justice in the acknowledgement of crimes committed and those charged.
Title of Research Project: An Assessment of Inclusive Growth Mechanisms in Nigeria: A Case Study of Orumba Communities
Project Description: This research concerns the fact that Nigeria’s economy is strong, but still characterised by poverty, unemployment and inequality, which may suggest a growth that is not inclusive of different income groups. It is however suggested that part of the reasons for this could be that the concept of growth understood in terms of GDP growth does not sufficient take into account the well-being of the people and access to opportunities like health and educational services which results to poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Recent studies in development economy have shown that the ability of inclusive growth through equity access to health and education, in an atmosphere of fairness and justice, could be contribute to strengthening the economy and addressing issues of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Therefore, this study is significantly related to issues of access to inclusion as it contributes to the emerging literature on development economy, arguing that providing a level playing field for all the sectors of an economy without discriminations is key.
Title of Research Project: Self-determination: Reinvigorating the precedence of human rights over territorial integrity
Project Description: Building on the interface between the right to self-determination and territorial integrity, the research attempts to make a claim for the precedence of human rights over territorial integrity. The research focuses on the ideal of remedial rights, which entails that peoples who have faced egregious human rights breaches should be entitled to the right to self-determination (including through secession).
The research attempts to expand the classification of human rights, focusing in particular on an interpretation of the right to self-determination. It is argued that, given the number of groups across the globe agitating for the right to self-determination, broadening the idea of justice and human rights for those whose right to self-determination is being denied, may help with promoting sustainable global peace, justice and security.
Title a Research Project: Workplace Inclusion Practices for Ethnic Minorities: A Comparative Analysis of the United Kingdom and Kingdom of Thailand
Project Description: The purpose of the research is to undertake a comparative overview of inclusion policies and practices in the UK and Thailand. These policies and practices are designed to reduce discrimination and inequalities in the workplace towards minority ethnic migrants with diverse qualifications and skills. It proposes practical suggestions for a new pattern process to promote inclusive workplaces which integrate people from different backgrounds.
It shall utilise frameworks from Human Resources (HR) and/or governmental policies and practices to compare inclusivity between the UK and Thailand in labour markets. It focuses on non-British and/or EU employees who currently work in the UK and on non-native employees who currently work in Thailand. To the best of our knowledge, such as study to compare the UK and Thailand in this specific area has not been carried out before.
The contribution is to address workplace discriminations and inequalities against ethnic minorities and to process research informed policies and practices in a process to enhance HR inclusivity in the two regions. The proposed HR-oriented theoretical framework (Best Practice and Best Fit) will be informed, enhanced and extended by collecting primary data.
The thesis will access and synthesise organisational and governmental models in a way to inform HR operations to promote workplace inclusivity and equality. The impact will be affected on the subject of good environment for quality of work life, more positive behaviours from employers and colleagues to migrants in workplaces and lead to societal level in the two regions.
Title of Research Project: New Public Management & Youth Justice: New Wine in Old Bottles? A Case Study of Youth Offending Teams
Project Description: Public administration has been evolving and changing since the time of Weber. The rise of the New Public Management (NPM) paradigm during the 1980s provides yet another shift in public administration’s movements. The aim of this study is to explain the impact of NPM approaches on three areas being studied, namely; a). the public interest and public administration of youth justice (Governance), b). the politics-administration dichotomy (the role of government), and c). the position of accountability.
The theoretical conceptualisations focus on the principal-agent and public choice theories to examine how to reconcile the NPM business-like approaches and cost-cutting measures with the normative viewpoints to allow for an understanding of the extent to which government reforms in youth justice serve the public interest.
The study findings show that economic, in addition to political drivers, have substantial implications for the three areas of this study and that the findings of the study support the view that the use of Out of Court Disposal (OOCD) and the introduction of Payment by Results (PbR) are in the ‘public interest’. However, it also poses a question about the meaning of public interest in the provision of the public service youth justice: whose interest? The young offenders’? The victims of crime? The public or, indeed, “in the interest of justice?”
The research also grapples with questions about government reforms and the provision of public service youth justice using NPM approaches which neglect the public interest in favour of achieving the government’s targets and outcomes.
Title of Research Project: The treatment of victims at the International Criminal Court in the Lubanga and Katanga cases.
Project Description: My research examined the extent to which victims’ rights and interests were considered at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the cases of Prosecutor v Thomas Lubanga and Prosecutor v Germain Katanga. This research is significant because it is fundamental to victims’ access to justice. Access to justice is a mechanism which empowers victims to have their voices heard and exercise their rights. Data for this research was gathered from transcripts which are accessible from the ICC website.
The investigation of my thesis is structured into prosecutorial discretion, trial process and sentencing. These themes enabled me to assess victims’ rights and interests through a sequential progression of the ICC court proceedings. With recognition of victims and the provision of procedural and substantive rights, the ICC is able to promote victims’ visibility and inclusion in criminal proceedings. However, the research found that the exercise of broad prosecutorial discretion by the Prosecutor could impact on victims’ rights and interests. One implication of this is that it might threaten victims recognition at the ICC, with some victims falling into the impunity gap. This may hinder victims’ access to justice.
In all stages of the criminal proceedings, the extent to which victims are recognised affects their satisfaction and trust in the system. Victims’ inclusion in criminal proceedings and reparations is an acknowledgement of their recognition. In order to access justice, victims need to be included and recognised as such. Some victims might find it more difficult to access justice because of issues including common legal representatives, prolonged trials (delayed), ineffective investigative practices, insufficient evidence, procedural injustice, inadequate resources and cultural barriers.
Title of Research Project: What lessons may be learnt from the operation of the ICT-BD in the areas of International criminal law and transitional justice?
Project Description: My research considers delayed prosecutions in the context of transitional justice and the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. In response to the atrocities committed in that conflict, the Bangladesh government set up a domestic tribunal after 39 years since the atrocities were committed, called the International Criminal Tribunal of Bangladesh (ICT-BD). The International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 is the governing Act of ICT-BD. The substantive crimes under the Act include War crimes, Genocide, Crimes against humanity, Crimes against peace and any other crimes under international law.
The research primarily considers the role and contribution of the ICT-BD in International Criminal Law (ICL) and transitional justice. The researcher adopted a qualitative legal analysis approach and employed a semi-structured interview technique to collect data from judges, lawyers and politicians who are involved with the ICT-BD. The ICT-BD seeks to undertake criminal prosecutions and achieve (delayed) justice for the victims of 1971 through a domestic judicial forum and at the same time created an avenue for the victims to come forward and seek justice.
Initial findings of the research indicate that, as a domestic tribunal, the ICT-BD has several lessons to contribute to ICL in terms of its fight against the culture of impunity, delayed justice, its engagement with old evidence, witness protection, sentencing principles and other procedural and substantive law challenges.
Despite many criticisms, the interviews undertaken indicated that the ICT-BD has been widely accepted by the interviewees in this study. As of July 2019, the Tribunal had delivered 38 judgements in less than 10 years of its existence. By delivering justice within a domestic, Bangladeshi context, the ICT-BD has a number of contributions to make to ICL. This thesis will analyse both its strengths and limitations in decreasing the culture of impunity in Bangladesh.