2020 applicants
human rights centre

The Human Rights in Iran Unit

The Human Rights in Iran Unit was established in March 2012 at the University of Essex.

The Human Rights in Iran Unit focused on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s compliance with international human rights law. Based in the School of Law, we built this project upon our University’s proud tradition of supporting UN Special Rapporteurs and of human rights expertise that reaches back to 1982.

Our University has a proud tradition in human rights that reaches back to 1982 and has developed a rich body of experience and expertise. We have previously supported two UN Special Rapporteurs, both academic members in the School of Law and Human Rights Centre Members. We also have a variety of other staff with direct experience in the field.

Our research studies provide an accessible account of the breadth and complexity of violations in Iran from the standpoint of international law, which may serve scholars, practitioners and anyone concerned with the underlying or systematic problems in the country. We also organised and hosted lectures, roundtables and workshops, which involved a diverse range of Iranian human rights and civil society experts.

Our work involved

  • Assisting the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed.
  • Combining international and Iranian legal expertise for deep research and analysis of human rights issues.
  • Providing support and forum for discussion with experts and civil society organisations working on these issues.

Our objectives

The Human Rights in Iran Unit was established with three main objectives:

  • provide assistance to the UN Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights Situation in Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, building on the experience of the University in supporting other Special Rapporteurs
  • carry out collaborative research and deeper analysis on human rights in Iran by combining competence in international human rights law and UN procedures with Iranian legal expertise
  • provide support and a forum for discussion with experts and civil society organisations working on these issues

Our team

The Unit was co-directed by Mr Scott Sheeran and Ms Catherine Bevilacqua.

Mr Sheeran is a lawyer, human rights practitioner and academic with expertise in international human rights law, UN and international organisation law, and a former diplomatic legal adviser and constitutional lawyer.

Ms Bevilacqua has worked in the field of human rights for fourteen years conducting academic research, legal analysis, and civil society and UN advocacy.

The Unit also employed postgraduate students specialising in different aspects of human rights law and practice.

 

Documents

Legal Research Series and one-page briefs.

Our Legal research series contains full analysis on particular aspects of human rights in Iran. Our one-page briefs have been created as tools for practitioners that provide summaries of particular aspects of human rights in Iran.

New Islamic Penal Code: An Overview

Written by Mohammad Hossein Nayyeri.

Rule of Law in Iran: Judiciary, Lawyers, Bar Assocation and International Human Rights Obligations

Electoral Process in Iran: Iran's Compliance with the ICCPR

Written by Raha Bahreini, Mohammad Nayyeri, Scott Sheeran.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Iran’s International Human Rights Obligations

Written by Catherine Bevilacqua, Elizabeth Harper, Catherine Kent.

Analysis of Labour Rights and Employment: Iran’s International Human Rights Obligations

Written by Elizabeth Harper, Catherine Bevilacqua, Niko Tatulashvili.

Analysis of Labour Rights and Employment: Iran’s International Human Rights Obligations (.pdf)