30 research outputs found

    'They Took Our Flag!' Should Northern Ireland's Decision-Makers View Mnemonic Heritage Emblems as 'Cultural Easements' in International Law?

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    This article looks to the recent ‘removed flag’ controversies in Northern Ireland to argue that post-conflict decision-making should be underpinned by principles of international human rights law and by a checklist of fiduciary obligations for decision-makers to actively peace-keep. Useful guidance on cultural property rights is drawn upon from amongst indigenous case law on cultural easements; political decision-makers are framed as the trustees of a peace process that morally obliges them to maintain a meaningful level of community involvement and consensus and that is underpinned by post-conflict norms of tolerance and mutual respect. The article argues that long-held ‘other-side’ fears and perceptions should be afforded a meaningful level of respect, as should symbolic items of cultural heritage that ‘belong’ to newly minoritised sections of the community

    Jane Eyre and social justice: How to survive a (Victorian) ‘witch’ trial

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    This article argues that Jane Eyre was both ‘witch’ and witch-trialled. Her ability to perform ‘witchcraft’ (within the framework of Victorian folklore) enabled her to endure and ultimately triumph over a litany of ordeals often associated with the witch-trials, namely, unjust accusations, societal and familial exclusion, poverty, abandonment, and physical and psychological abuse. She overcomes all obstacles with the help of heartfelt incantations (some spoken aloud, others silently willed ), control of the elements (fire, water, storms and moonlight feature prominently), innate occult abilities (extra-sensory perception and supernaturally sharp prescience) and the summoning of folklore and ‘familiars’ (human, animal, spectral) to assist her along the way

    Invitation to Trusteeship rather than Treat? Higher Education, human rights, and student litigation: A response to Fulford (2020)

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    This article argues that, as tutors, we are bound not only by the rules of contract law (i.e. to avoid breaching the terms of that which was agreed to) but also by our duty of care, and the principles of human rights law that protect the right to education. We must strive to avoid negligent acts and any potentially harmful practices or policies. Looking to recent litigation, we are bound also to provide useful, meaningful guidance on how learners might best achieve - and subsequently evidence - high levels of intellectual attainment and wider ‘learning gains.’ The concepts of fairness and equitable treatment are key, especially where Universities have agreed to widen access, and improve opportunities. With the protection of vulnerable learners increasingly leaning towards the provisions - and promises - of human rights law, a sort of estoppel-led ‘trusteeship’ (over shared knowledge and learning processes) can perhaps also be inferred

    Twenty-One Years of the CRC: A Coming of Age

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    In 2010, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) reached the age of 21 and, arguably, "came of age". The CRC was not, however, the first international instrument that attempted to protect the rights of the child: 1924 saw the enactment of one of the first legal instruments to explicitly recognise that children, as human persons, ought to enjoy certain inalienable rights. It was recognised that children are often the first and most severely affected in times of conflict or economic hardship. The 1924 Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child outlined the duty of all nations, and indeed individuals within states, to protect weak, marginalised, or impoverished children.3 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights further highlighted the need to protect the rights of the child re: special care and assistance"

    ‘Identity: A (Human) Right to ancestry and genetic origin?’

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    A right to avoid origin deprivation -and access truths surrounding genetic ancestry - can be crafted from various provisions of human rights law. This article outlines the persuasive guidance found in e.g. UN Country Reports tying it to relevant jurisprudence on gamete donation and surrogacy and recent NGO initiatives aimed at preventing 'orphanisation.

    The Grapes of Wrath: An Artful Jurisprudence

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    By documenting the harsh realities of the era, The Grapes of Wrath (‘GOW’) calls to mind those distressing UN Country Reports that both describe and denounce avoidable landscapes of poverty, hunger, homelessness, and dispossession. Steinbeck embeds the novel’s harrowing images within an unforgiving framework of human rights violations, most of which flow directly from human greed. The novel’s prescient yet timeless warnings speak not only to the various humanitarian crises brought about by climate change and unethical commercial practices, but also to many ongoing, perennial global atrocities: corrupt political regimes, gendered injustices, ethnic cleansing, and displacement of entire populations. It is landscapes such as these that still serve to both spark and underpin refugee existence: the need for a compassionate system of asylum-granting, firmly grounded in human rights law, clearly remains as urgent now as it was in Steinbeck’s time. As witnesses to such chronic disregard for human dignity, readers of the novel are not only tasked with judging those responsible: we must also evaluate the perennial failings of the various global and domestic systems that have enabled and perpetuated such egregious rights violations. The final scene, drenched in symbolism, still serves as a quasi-courtroom: before the bared breast of a Lady Justice figure we become jurists, and cannot help apportioning blame for all that has been witnessed over the course of the Joad’s journeying. A close reading now, almost a century later, serves as a timely reminder that similar atrocities continue: migrant and refugee populations remain especially vulnerable, not least where they have been displaced by poverty or political crises from all that was once familiar. This article argues that the novel’s central focus on “social realism” demands much in the way of “moral and emotional effort” (Benson, 9) from the reader: we should leave the book with nothing less than a highly “active compassion for the dispossessed” (Wyatt, 12). It is perhaps best viewed as a collection of first-hand witness testimonies, akin to those gathered and collated by the United Nations (UN) various Committees and which serve to reveal, record, and address the horrendously fine detail of abject human rights violations and their impacts upon the most vulnerable. It is Steinbeck’s “consistently catchy eyewitness quality” (De Mott, xiii) which both brings and retains this timeless sense of urgency and immediacy, without directing any clear response: it is up to the conscience of the individual reader to determine how best to process or address the various challenges presented

    Social mobility and professional development: A study of two pathways in higher education

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    The main purpose of higher education is to deliver social mobility via acquired qualifications and a variety of ‘employability skills’. Government priorities bear this out, reflecting its policy of linking degree success to the UK’s future economic growth (Wolf, 2002) and highlighting how increased social mobility offers public and personal benefits. Moreover, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals require HEIs to consider ethical impacts upon the wider community, in terms of alleviating poverty and promoting social inclusion and equality1. In England, this is most clearly evidenced by the new Teaching Excellence Framework, with Student Outcomes used to help measure quality and ‘value’ of a University education. ‘Graduate employment’ is a key metric, so that the ability to generate ‘work-ready’ (Dhakal, et al. 2019), professionally ‘employable students’ and ‘ideal’ future employees (Allen et al, 2013) has become an over-arching concern within the sector. However, there is no generic blueprint that can deliver employability: ‘whole person models of experiential learning’ instead frame employability as ‘integrative, reflective and transitional’ (Eden, 2014: 266). As Newcombe and Moutafi (2009) argued, many employers now seek more than traditional ‘CV’-based displays of academic ability, seeking instead some evidence of professional ‘belongingness’ (Yorke, 2016) or ‘work attachment’ (Knight and Yorke 2003:5). Despite shifts towards the integration of employability within undergraduate study, the defining, embedding and delivering of evidenced employability continues to be difficult

    A genome-wide association study of marginal zone lymphoma shows association to the HLA region

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    Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is the third most common subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Here we perform a two-stage GWAS of 1,281 MZL cases and 7,127 controls of European ancestry and identify two independent loci near BTNL2 (rs9461741, P=3.95 × 10−15) and HLA-B (rs2922994, P=2.43 × 10−9) in the HLA region significantly associated with MZL risk. This is the first evidence that genetic variation in the major histocompatibility complex influences MZL susceptibility

    Genome-wide association analysis implicates dysregulation of immunity genes in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

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    Several chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) susceptibility loci have been reported; however, much of the heritable risk remains unidentified. Here we perform a meta-analysis of six genome-wide association studies, imputed using a merged reference panel of 1,000 Genomes and UK10K data, totalling 6,200 cases and 17,598 controls after replication. We identify nine risk loci at 1p36.11 (rs34676223, P=5.04 × 10−13), 1q42.13 (rs41271473, P=1.06 × 10−10), 4q24 (rs71597109, P=1.37 × 10−10), 4q35.1 (rs57214277, P=3.69 × 10−8), 6p21.31 (rs3800461, P=1.97 × 10−8), 11q23.2 (rs61904987, P=2.64 × 10−11), 18q21.1 (rs1036935, P=3.27 × 10−8), 19p13.3 (rs7254272, P=4.67 × 10−8) and 22q13.33 (rs140522, P=2.70 × 10−9). These new and established risk loci map to areas of active chromatin and show an over-representation of transcription factor binding for the key determinants of B-cell development and immune response

    Identification of a novel susceptibility locus at 13q34 and refinement of the 20p12.2 region as a multi-signal locus associated with bladder cancer risk in individuals of European ancestry

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    Candidate gene and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 15 independent genomic regions associated with bladder cancer risk. In search for additional susceptibility variants, we followed up on four promising single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that had not achieved genome-wide significance in 6911 cases and 11 814 controls (rs6104690, rs4510656, rs5003154 and rs4907479, P < 1 × 10−6), using additional data from existing GWAS datasets and targeted genotyping for studies that did not have GWAS data. In a combined analysis, which included data on up to 15 058 cases and 286 270 controls, two SNPs achieved genome-wide statistical significance: rs6104690 in a gene desert at 20p12.2 (P = 2.19 × 10−11) and rs4907479 within the MCF2L gene at 13q34 (P = 3.3 × 10−10). Imputation and fine-mapping analyses were performed in these two regions for a subset of 5551 bladder cancer cases and 10 242 controls. Analyses at the 13q34 region suggest a single signal marked by rs4907479. In contrast, we detected two signals in the 20p12.2 region—the first signal is marked by rs6104690, and the second signal is marked by two moderately correlated SNPs (r2 = 0.53), rs6108803 and the previously reported rs62185668. The second 20p12.2 signal is more strongly associated with the risk of muscle-invasive (T2-T4 stage) compared with non-muscle-invasive (Ta, T1 stage) bladder cancer (case–case P ≀ 0.02 for both rs62185668 and rs6108803). Functional analyses are needed to explore the biological mechanisms underlying these novel genetic associations with risk for bladder cancer
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