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Innovative conference attracts international audience

Students will get the chance to present their research to leading environmental and human rights experts at The University of Nottingham. The Annual Student Human Rights Conference brings together more than 100 students from all over Europe, giving them the unique chance to meet experts in their chosen field.

In its ninth successful year, this year’s event takes place on Saturday 8 March and focuses on international human rights and the environment. It will feature four keynote speakers; Mr MC Mehta, Indian Supreme Court Advocate and leading human rights activist; Professor Malgosia Fitzmaurice of Queen Mary University London, a committee member of International Water Resources; Emilie Filmer-Wilson, human rights expert for the United Nations Development Programme, and Simon Baughen, Reader in Law at the University of Bristol.

Student panellists from countries including Nigeria, The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, and the UK will make presentations and lead discussions on the following themes;

• Our human environment
• The role of industry and natural resources
• A right to water?
• Is it time to legislate?
Presentations and debate will explore the impact of trade, globalisation and climate change on our understanding of international human rights and the environment, while critically examining the social responsibilities of individuals, corporations and governments in this context. Three students from The University of Nottingham will be presenting on the panel sessions.

The conference’s keynote speakers are well-placed to advise delegates on the complex aspects of international environmental law, particularly in relation to human rights. Mr Mehta’s landmark environmental cases in India have resulted in the protection of some of the country’s natural and cultural treasures, including the Ganges river and the Taj Mahal. He has also set up the MC Mehta Environmental Foundation, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation fighting for environmental and citizens’ rights in India. Professor Fitzmaurice holds the Chair in Public International Law at Queen Mary University and is a widely-published expert in international environmental law and the law of treaties, particularly in regard to the right to water. Simon Baughen is an expert on maritime and environmental law, and has recently published a leading textbook on international trade, corporate responsibility and the protection of the environment. Emilie Filmer-Wilson, who attended the conference as a student panellist in 2004, returns as a keynote speaker to address the issue of integrating human rights into environmental programmes, a key focus of the UN Development Programme.

Emilie Hunter, Research and Programmes Coordinator of the Human Rights Law Centre said: “The relationship between the environment and human rights touches on issues which will become a key research focus in the future; with a direct impact on each and every human and the way we live our lives. Our conference, organised by students from the School of Law, aims to raise these important issues with students, academics and practitioners from different disciplines across the university, the UK and throughout Europe with lawyers, engineers and scientists.”

For more information on the conference, visit

Emma Thorne | alfa
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