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The Promise Institute Podcast

Author: The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law

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Critical conversations on human rights hosted by the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law.
13 Episodes
As the need for an international prohibition of ecocide becomes clearer and clearer across the globe, a key panel of experts has been working to craft a definition of this new crime. This episode features a conversation hosted by BBC Africa correspondent, Andrew Harding, with some of the people working to make the prohibition of ecocide a reality (including our very own Executive Director, Kate Mackintosh).The conversation highlights the history of the crime of ecocide, and how the language of the crime must be carefully constructed to provide as valuable a legal tool as possible to protect our planet home. This event was recorded in December 2020, as a side event of the 19th Assembly of States Parties. It was co-hosted by Stop Ecocide Foundation, Institute for Environmental Security, and the mission of Vanuatu. Additional panelists include: Philippe Sands QC, barrister at Matrix Chambers and Professor at University College LondonMarie Toussaint, Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA)Judge Tuiloma Neroni Slade, former ICC judge
As we round the grim milestone of a year under the COVID pandemic, conversations now rightfully center on equitable vaccine distribution. This includes looking to South Africa's work with HIV/AIDS treatment, big pharma, and intellectual property rights.  It also means squaring the traditional approaches to public health with the very real risk that by violating human rights to health with COVID vaccines, the entire world is left vulnerable to slipping back into cyclical pandemics because variants are most likely where the vaccine is least present. Moderation by Lara Stemple, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and International Student Programs Director, Health and Human Rights Law ProjectBrook Baker, Professor of Law, Northeastern University, and Senior Policy Analyst, Health Global Access ProjectUmunyana Rugege, Executive Director of Section 27Marlise Richter,  Senior Staff at the Health Justice InitiativePetition discussed in the episode: 
In this episode of the Promise Institute Podcast, Promise Institute Faculty Director Asli Bâli talks with Jennifer Trahan, Ambassador David Scheffer and Mohammad Al Abdallah about Professor Trahan's new book: Existing Legal Limits to Security Council Veto Power in the Face of Atrocity Crimes.  With a particular focus on the situation in Syria, they discuss the UN Security Council veto to block action in the face of atrocities and discuss Professor Trahan's proposals.Jennifer Trahan is a Clinical Professor at NYU's Center for Global Affairs and Director of their Concentration in International Law and Human Rights.David Scheffer is a former US War Crimes Ambassador.Mohammad Al Abdallah is the Executive Director of the Syrian Justice and Accountability Center.You can buy Professor Trahan's book Existing Legal Limits to Security Council Veto Power in the Face of Atrocity Crimes from Cambridge University Press here.
In this episode of the Promise Institute Podcast, Assistant Director Jess Peake interviews Dr. Sorcha MacLeod about the human rights implications of the increased use of private security in the context of Covid-19 and the need for more regulation.Dr. Sorcha MacLeod is an Associate Professor and Marie Curie Individual Fellow at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law, in the Centre for Private Governance (CEPRI).  She is an internationally recognised expert on business, human rights, and security, in particular the regulation and human rights impacts of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC).  In 2018, Dr MacLeod was appointed as an independent human rights expert to the UN Working Group on the use of Mercenaries established under the Human Rights Council's Special Procedures.  She is also an invited expert to the UN Open-ended Inter-governmental Working Group on PMSCs and participated in the drafting of the Montreux Document on Private Military and Security Companies and the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers. She has Observer Status at the International Code of Conduct Association and advises governments, Civil Society Organizations and industry on human rights.
In this episode of the Promise Institute Podcast, Margaret Rose-Goddard of the Future Law Institute speaks with Promise Institute executive director Kate Mackintosh and Jojo Mehta from the Stop Ecocide Foundation about developing a new international crime of “Ecocide” to address environmental harms.  This conversation took place at the Future Law Virtual Summit: FLVS2020.Margaret Rose-Goddard is a lawyer, anti-corruption and transparency advocate, and a serial social entrepreneur driven to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges through policy, innovation and empathy.Jojo Mehta co-founded the Stop Ecocide campaign in 2017 and is now Chair of the Board of the Stop Ecocide Foundation in the Netherlands.  She is the convener of the Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide chaired by Philippe Sands QC and Justice Florence Mumba.Kate Mackintosh is the Executive Director of the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA and a co-chair of the Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide.Read more about the Independent Expert Panel here.
In this episode of the Promise Institute podcast, international human rights lawyers Charity Ryerson, William Aceves, and Promise Institute Deputy Director Catherine Sweetser discuss the amicus briefs Ryerson and Aceves filed on behalf of fair trade chocolate companies and on behalf of foreign lawyers in the Nestle v. Doe I case currently before the Supreme Court.Charity Ryerson founded a nonprofit, Corporate Accountability Lab (CAL), after years of litigating complex international human rights cases.  Corporate Accountability Lab uses human-centered design and innovative legal thinking to work towards a world where companies are held legally accountable when they harm people and the environment. William Aceves is on the faculty at California Western School of Law where he teaches international law, human rights law, and constitutional law.  He is the author of the book The Anatomy of Torture and co-author of The Law of Consular Access.  He frequently works with and files briefs on behalf of human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, the Center for Justice and Accountability, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union. He is an alumnus of the UCLA School of Law.The amicus briefs filed by CAL on behalf of fair trade chocolate companies can be found here and here.The amicus brief filed by William Aceves on behalf of foreign lawyers explaining how corporate liability functions in other legal regimes can be found here.
In this episode of the Promise Institute Podcast,  Executive Director Kate Mackintosh talks with Leymah Gbowee and Madeleine Rees about feminist principles for an international post-COVID-19 settlement.Leymah Gboweewas the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and is currently the Executive Director of the Women, Peace and Security Program at Columbia University.Madeleine Rees is the Secretary General of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.Read the Feminist Principles for an International Post-COVID-19 Settlement here:  
In this episode of the Promise Institute podcast, Executive Director Kate Mackintosh invites Patricia Sellers to talk about the international crime of slave trading, and why it seems to be “missing in action”.Patricia Sellers is an international criminal lawyer and the Special Advisor for Gender for the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. She was instrumental in pushing international criminal law to address sexual violence as a prosecutor and gender advisor at the ad hoc tribunals for Rwanda and Yugoslavia.  She has been a Special Legal Consultant to UN Women, to the Gender and Women's Rights Division of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and to the UN Secretary General's Special Representative to Children in Armed Conflict. 
In episode one of our Fall 2020 season, Promise Institute Assistant Director Jess Peake interviews Dr. Yasmine Nahlawi, author of The Responsibility to Protect in Libya and Syria: Mass Atrocities, Human Protection, and International Law. They discuss accountability initiatives related to crimes committed during the Syrian conflict, the failure of the United Nations Security Council to intervene to prevent mass atrocities, and the prospects for General Assembly action under the Uniting for Peace Resolution.Yasmine Nahlawi is an independent researcher specializing in R2P and its applicability to the Syrian and Libyan conflicts. She holds a PhD in Public International Law from Newcastle University, LLM in International Legal Studies from Newcastle University, and BSc in Political Science from Eastern Michigan University.To learn more:Purchase Yasmine Nahlawi's book The Responsibility to Protect in Libya and Syria: Mass Atrocities, Human Protection, and International Law.Read the symposium on Dr. Nahlawi's book on leading international law blog Opinio Juris.Read Yasmine Nahlawi and Sana Sekkarie's blog post "We'll See You in Court: How the Netherlands May Finally Bring Syria to The Hague" on Opinio Juris.
In this episode of the Promise Institute Podcast, Lina Jemili, a student at UCLA School of Law, talks with Waqas Syed, the National Coordinator for the North American Indian Muslim Association. They discuss concerns of Muslims in India as Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fuel the flames of Islamophobic rhetoric, Modi’s policies as they pertain to Kashmir, how electoral politics have been impacted by this shift, and what this political moment in India means for America. 
Gender, War and Peace

Gender, War and Peace


This episode of the Promise Institute Podcast features Madeleine Rees, the Secretary-General of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, in conversation with Kate Mackintosh, Executive Director of the Promise Institute. This interview touches on the central role gender plays in war and peace and the political economy of patriarchy as a driving force in global conflict. They discuss pivotal moments in Rees’s career, including the ground-breaking transgender rights case she won before the European Court of Justice, her work with survivors of sex trafficking in Bosnia and her time spent with women revolutionaries in 1970’s Argentina.
In this episode of The Promise Institute Podcast, Kate Mackintosh talks with Richard Dicker, Ambassador Michael Imran Kanu and Professor Diane Marie Amman about a new report from Richard Dicker on the future of the ICC, the current Independent Expert Review and the upcoming election of a new Chief Prosecutor.Richard Dicker was the Promise Institute Senior Fellow and lecturer in law at UCLA Law in Spring 2020.  He is perhaps better known as Director of Human Rights Watch’s International Justice program, since its founding in 2001. Ambassador Michael Imran Kanu is the Deputy Permanent Representative for Legal Affairs at the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations in New York, where he is known to be extraordinarily active in issues of international law. Among other things, Ambassador Kanu coordinates the African Group (Expert Level) in New York on the ICC independent expert review process.Professor Diane Marie Amann is the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law. A dual Irish-US citizen, she has served since 2012 as International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s Special Adviser on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict, and helped research and draft the Policy on Children that the ICC Office of the Prosecutor published in 2016. (She is taking part in this podcast in her personal capacity.) 
In the inaugural episode of the Promise Podcast, Kate Macintosh (Executive Director of the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law) interviews E. Tendayi Achiume (Promise Institute Faculty Member and United Nations Special Rapporteur on Racism and a faculty member at the Promise Institute for Human Rights) about her latest report on "Racial Discrimination and Emerging Digital Technologies: a Human Rights Analysis" presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council on July 15, 2020.
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