Lincoln Law School held two research events in February 2014.
On 5 February 2014, Dr Klaus Beiter, Marie Curie Fellow at CERD, University of Lincoln, gave a presentation on ‘The Protection of the Right to Academic Mobility under International Human Rights Law’. The paper presented some preliminary findings of current research which Dr Beiter is carrying out as part of his postdoc on the topic: “Safeguarding Academic Freedom in Europe”, under the supervision of Professor Terence Karran (CERD, University of Lincoln).
Dr Beiter examined the right to freedom of movement of scholars – conceived as a right to academic mobility – as part of the right to academic freedom. In his presentation he explained how (binding) international human rights law does not accord express protection to this right. Whereas the right to freedom of opinion and expression in Article 19 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights may be relied on to protect a multitude of facets covered by the right to academic freedom, Article 13 of the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the right to education may, in fact, be seen to constitute a complete locus for the right to academic freedom.
On 19 February 2014, Professor Louis J. Kotzé from the North-West University in South Africa, gave a talk on sustainable development as a key feature of environmental constitutionalism using South Africa as his main case-study. In his talk, Professor Kotzé examined South Africa’s domestic legal regime to illustrate how certain national legal systems have constitutionally entrenched sustainable development. In particular, in South Africa, sustainable development has been an integral part of the legal order since the advent of democracy and transition to a constitutional state in 1994. The country included an environmental right in its own Constitution of 1996 and adopted a comprehensive body of environmental legislation to give effect to this right’s broader policies and constitutional objectives. Professor Kotzé illustrated how by means of this entrenchment, sustainable development has become a constitutional issue or concern in the country and may play, therefore, an important role in promoting a rule of law approach in South Africa.