Human Rights Speaker Series: The Ukraine War and the International Protection of Civilians

  • Wed 16 Mar 22

    13:00 - 15:00

  • Online


  • Event speaker


  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Human Rights Centre Speaker Series

  • Event organiser

    Human Rights Centre

  • Contact details

    Law and HRC Events and Communications Team

Please join us for the latest Human Rights Speaker Series, hosted by the University of Essex Human Rights Centre and the Essex Armed Conflict and Crisis Hub.

HRC Speaker Series: The Ukraine War and the International Protection of Civilians

The war in Ukraine raises numerous concerns regarding the international legal framework designed to promote peace and protect civilians from the scourge of war. The invasion of Ukraine appears to be in blatant violation of the fundamental principles underlying the UN Charter, while the military operations in Ukraine raise serious concerns over the commission of war crimes as a deliberate strategy. The harm and destruction is further compounded by the displacement of civilians and flow of refugees out of Ukraine. To address these issues and offer further insight and perspective on the efforts to protect civilians in this conflict, the Human Rights Centre and the Essex Armed Conflict and Crisis Hub have organised an expert panel, with brief presentations and time for discussion.


Professor Noam Lubell is a Professor in the School of Law, University of Essex, and is the Director of the Essex Armed Conflict and Crisis Hub. He was Head of the Law School from January 2014 until January 2017. In past years he was a Lecturer at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway; the Co-Director of the International Law Amicus Curiae Clinic at the Concord Research Centre in Israel; and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He holds a Ph.D in Law and an LL.M, as well as a B.A. in Philosophy. He has taught courses on international human rights law and the laws of armed conflict in a number of academic institutions, including the University of Essex, the National University of Ireland, the University of Oxford, the Geneva Academy, and as a Visiting Professor at Case Western Reserve University.


Annie Shiel leads CIVIC’s work engaging with U.S. policymakers, lawmakers, and advocates to enhance the protection of civilians in conflict. This includes leading CIVIC’s policy analysis and advocacy around the civilian harm implications of U.S. military operations and security assistance, and building and working with coalitions of likeminded organizations to advance U.S. policies that improve the lives of civilians living in conflict. Prior to joining CIVIC, Annie worked as a Research Program Manager at Stanford University, where she led research on civilian harm and humanitarian response. Annie also spent three years at the State Department, where she worked on human rights, civilian protection, and security sector reform as a founding member of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) Office of Security and Human Rights. Annie holds a Master’s Degree in International Policy from Stanford University and a BA in International Development from McGill University. She is also a Truman National Security Fellow.

Professor Carla Ferstman joined the school of law at Essex in January 2018. She is a barrister and solicitor (British Columbia, 1994). DPhil (Public International Law) (Oxon); LL.M (NYU); LL.B (UBC); BA (Philosophy) (Western). She was Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow (2012/13) at the United States Institute of Peace (Washington, DC) and a visiting professional (2015) with Centre for International Governance and Justice at RegNet, Australian National University (Canberra) and will take up the Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship at European University Institute in Fiesole in 2022. Professor Ferstman is a member of the Council of Europe's Expert Council on NGO Law (a specialist body that provides commentary and expertise on the regulation of civil society activities throughout the Council of Europe). She is also a judge on the Aban Tribunal, an International ‘People’s Tribunal’ established to investigate atrocities alleged to have taken in place in Iran during the November 2019 protests, which holds oral hearings in November 2021. She is also on the JRR-UN Women SGBV Justice Experts Roster and on the Advisory Committee of Lawyers for Justice in Libya.

Professor Geoff Gilbert is a Professor of Law in the School of Law and Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. He was Head of Department between 2000-2003 and 2011-13. In 2012, he was appointed a Professorial Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He was Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Refugee Law from 2002-15 and is co-Editor-in-Chief as of September 2019; he also sits on the Advisory Board. In July 2020, he was appointed Inaugural Chair of the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network that had been launched at the first Global Refugee Forum in December 2019 as part of Global Compact on Refugees (2018). Under an ESRC Impact Acceleration Award 2017-18, he worked with UNHCR on the political participation of refugees in their country of nationality and on exclusion and national security. During that secondment, UNHCR invited him, first, to participate in the Thematic Discussions on the Global Compact on Refugees and then to attend the Formal Consultations, contributing orally or in writing as appropriate. He was the only academic given access by UNHCR to the Formal Consultations. He has worked with UNHCR on a series of research projects and training programmes for over 25 years.

Professor Natasha Lindstaedt is a professor in the Department of Government of the University of Essex. She has taught MA and undergraduate courses at the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit (VU), California State University (Long Beach), Ventura College and the College of the Canyons. She has also served as a visiting scholar at Texas A&M and has served as the Coordinator UNISCA for the University of Amsterdam, the largest Model UN conference in the Netherlands.

How to register

Wednesday 16 March 1pm-3pm (GMT)

Register your place

Related events