Assessing the IMPACT of Urgent Measures in Protecting At-Risk Detainees in Latin-America (IMPACTUM)", is a large-scale research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and hosted at Ghent University (Belgium). The project is directed by Prof Dr Clara Burbano Herrera (Principal Investigator) and aims to examine the diverse impacts of urgent measures adopted by international human rights bodies to protect persons deprived of liberty in six Latin-American countries.
The project proposes a study of UMs that: 1) considers the context in which UMs are enforced and how they are applied on the ground; 2) assesses the impacts of UMs on detainees, legal and institutional systems and on (inter)national actors; 3) discusses their strengths and limitations; and 4) analyses their wider learning effects. This project combines research methods including desk research with (qualitative) empirical research methods.
IMPACTUM aims to develop a critical normative impact framework useful to provide a deeper theoretical analysis, as well as insight into how to formulate UMs to maximise their practical protective effects. IMPACTUM will thus uncover and present new knowledge on emerging issues with UMs that are currently unaddressed in academia and in practice.
IMPACTUM core team is currently composed of five researchers coming from different disciplines, backgrounds and countries. They are Prof Dr Clara Burbano Herrera (Principal investigator), Ms Luna Negro, Ms Alberte Hansen, Ms Charlotte Vercammen and Mr German Parra. Furthermore, one additional researcher will soon be recruited.
Experts in the fields of law, criminology and political science, they will bring to IMPACTUM an array of perspectives and experiences.
IMPACTUM requires a broader understanding than is offered by a single discipline. International human rights law offers insight into the legal and human rights aspects of the topic, while criminology provides insights into society’s reaction to crime and detainees and real-world experience of the criminal justice system. The study of politics, policy-making and implementation will complement these perspectives and provide a richer contextual understanding of how UMs work on the ground.
The combination of academic backgrounds will enable us to conduct a truly interdisciplinary study and to forge a new way of looking at UMs, drawing on the strengths of the various group members to ensure creative and solution-oriented thinking (McConnell/Smith 2018).
The host institution is Ghent University, and all team members will be affiliated with the Programme for Studies on Human Rights in Context, within the Human Rights Centre and the Department of European, Public and International Law of the Faculty of Law and Criminology.
The research is made possible thanks to funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2021 research and innovation programme
(Grant Agreement 101044852)
The framework for the analysis of UMs will include the measurement of direct and observable effects of UMs (direct impact) as well as indirect or transformative effects (indirect impact) that may manifest over the short-, medium-, and long-term (Gloppen 2009; Rodríguez/Rodríguez 2010; Bogdandy et al 2010 / 2014 / 2017 / 2019; Burbano Herrera / Haeck 2019; Engstrom 2019).
The team will assess the impact of UMs at various levels: At the level of
discourses and ideas;
at the institutional level;
stimulating positive changes and overcoming barriers
The country case study selection process was conducted on the basis of which were most similar in type. This will permit us to gain a contextual, in-depth, and comprehensive understanding of how UMs are applied in countries with significant institutional, legal, and political commonalities.
The core country case studies that IMPACTUM will examine are:
The Interdisciplinary International Advisory Board (IIAB) is composed of scholars, judges, members of international HRs bodies, and members of HRs NGOs with diverse backgrounds and experience at the international, regional, and local level. They provide substantive individual and collective guidance throughout the project, and selected board members act (along with the PI) as co-supervisors of the PhD students.
Prof Julissa Mantilla Falcón
Prof Julissa Mantilla Falcón is a Commissioner of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Washington D.C.). She is currently Rapporteur on the Rights of Women and Rapporteur on Memory, Truth, and Justice. Additionally, she is a professor at the Catholic University of Peru (PUCP), where she teaches in law and human rights, and at the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the American University's Washington College of Law (USA). Formerly, she was the Rapporteur on the Rights of Older Persons, worked in the Peruvian Ombudspersons Office, oversaw gender issues in the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation in Peru and served as an international consultant on transitional justice for UN Women. She has a law degree, with a specialization in Human Rights (PUCP), a diploma in Gender Studies (PUCP) and a Master of Laws in International Human Rights Law (London School of Economics and Political Science).
Prof Dr Manfred Nowak
Prof Dr Manfred Nowak is the Secretary General of the European Inter-University Center for Human Rights and Democratization (EIUC)/Global Campus, the Scientific Director of the Vienna Master of Applied Human Rights at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and a Professor of International Human Rights at the University of Vienna. He is the founder of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights, has taught at various universities in International Law and Human Rights and was the leading expert on the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty. Other of his previous roles include the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (2004 to 2010), the United Nations Expert on Enforced Disappearances (1993 to 2006), the Vice-Chairperson of the Management Board of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in Vienna (2012-2017), and one of eight international judges in the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo (1996 to 2003). He has extensive experience in the fields of constitutional, administrative and international law, human rights, as well as development studies. He holds a Dr. Habil in Constitutional Law (University of Vienna), a Master of Laws (Colombia University New York) and a Dr. Iuris (University of Vienna).
Prof Dr Yves Haeck
Prof Dr Yves Haeck is a Professor of International Human Rights Law at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of Ghent University (BE), where he teaches International Human Rights Law, Human Rights in Developing Countries, and International Moot Court Human Rights. Yves Haeck is co-founder of the Human Rights Centre of Ghent University. Additionally, he is the co-director of the Programme for Studies on Human Rights in Context. He is also a guest professor at the University of Geneva and the University of Pretoria. Prior to this, he was a lecturer at Utrecht University and a guest professor at the University of Malta. His research interests concern the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights, with a comparative focus on the Inter-American System and other regional systems. Yves holds a PhD in Law (Ghent University) and a Master of Law (Ghent University).
Ms Viviana Krsticevic
Ms Viviana Krsticevic is the Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). She is also the founder of the Equal Campaign, an initiative to promote parity in international representation, and a member of the international protocol on investigation of threats against human rights defenders (La Esperanza Protocol). She has litigated more than two hundred cases before the Inter-American Commission and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and intervened as amicus curiae before numerous national courts in the Americas, as well as regional human rights tribunals including the European Court on Human Rights. Moreover, she regularly teaches at the American University Washington School of Law (USA) and at Saint Thomas University (USA) on topics of human rights and has done research at the Max Planck Institute on Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. Her work, through advocacy, litigation and writing, has been important to the expansion of the standards and the agenda of international human right law. She has a law degree (University of Buenos Aires), a Master in Latin American studies (Standford University) and a Master in Law (Harvard University).
Prof Dr Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot
Prof Dr Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot is the Vice-President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, a Researcher at the Insititute of Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Visiting Professor at the Complutense University of Madrid. Previously he has taught and lectured at a wide range of universities in Europe, the United States and Latin America in topics related to constitutional law, international law and human rights. He was an Associate Professor at the Panamerican University of Mexico City and at the Faculty of Law at the UNAM. He holds a PhD in Law (Universidad de Navarra, Spain), a specialization in Human Rights (Strasbourg, France), and a Post-Graduate diploma in The Social Dimension of Human Rights (Universidad of the Basque Country, San Sebastián).
Prof Dr Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque
Prof Dr Pinto de Albuquerque is a Professor at the Faculty of Law at the Catholic University of Lisbon and a former Judge at the European Court of Human Rights. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois School of Law (USA) and the Jia Tong University in Shanghai (China). He has been a Judge in the Criminal Court and the Correctional Court of Lisbon, as well as President of the Courts of Nelas, Lagos and the Criminal Instruction Court of Lisbon. He has also been an expert with the Council of Europe’s GRECO, the Group of States against Corruption. His focus lies in the fields of criminal law, criminal procedures, public international law and international human rights law and regulatory offences law. He has a PhD in Law in the area of Legal-Criminal Sciences and a Master in Law in Legal-Criminal Sciences (both Catholic University Portugal).
Prof Dr Hélène Tigroudja
Prof Dr Hélène Tigroudja is a member of the UN Human Rights Committee (since 2019), a Professor of Public and International Law at Aix-Marseille University (France), Co-Director of the Law School’s Master Program of International Law, and Director of the Summer School on Practice of Human Rights. She regularly acts as an expert for the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the European Union, the International Criminal Court and National Institutions. She was a Senior Global Fellow at New York University (USA), has taught at various universities in Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, and was a visiting professional at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In 2014, she was appointed by The Hague Academy of International Law (The Netherlands) to co-lead the Center for International Research and Studies dedicated to Women’s Rights and Elimination of Discrimination. Her research and teaching encapsulate a wide range including international law, European law, international human rights law, international criminal law, and international migration law, with a particular focus on the role of the state and the collaboration between regional and universal human rights mechanisms. She has a PhD in International Public Law, a Master in Public Law and Constitutional Theory, a Master in International and European Law, and a Master in Philosophy (all University of Lille).
Prof Dr Johan Vande Lanotte
Prof Dr Johan Vande Lanotte is a Professor Emeritus of Constitutional Law and Human Rights at Ghent University (BE), co-founder of the Human Rights Centre at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of Ghent University, and a Senior Legal Counsel at Van Steenbrugge Advocaten. In addition to being a successful politician for 30 years (1988-2018), including 13 years as Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Johan has worked in projects related to Belgian constitutional law and international human rights law. He holds a PhD in Law (Ghent University), a Master of Laws (Free University of Brussels), and a Master in Political and Social Sciences (University of Antwerp).
Prof Dr Par Engstrom
Prof Dr Par Engstrom is an Associate Professor of Human Rights at the Institute of the Americas at the University College London (UK) and a Visiting Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences-Po (FR). In addition, he is currently convening the Latin America course for the International Academy at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) (UK) and, he is the academic coordinator of an International Network on the Inter-American Human Rights System, initially funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2014-2016). He is internationally recognized as an expert of the Inter-American Human Rights systems and has extensive experience working with the prevention of torture and transitional justice, specifically within Latin America. His previous experiences include being a consultant for the Association for the Prevention of Torture, for the FCDO, and the European Parliament. He has also worked at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. He holds a PhD in International Relations (Oxford University) and a Master in Globalization and Latin American Development (Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London)
Prof Dr Gentian Zyberi
Prof Dr Gentian Zyberi is a Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights.. He was previously a member of the UN Human Rights Committee (2019-2022) as well as Head of Department and Head of Education at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. In addition, he worked for the Defense at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and acted as a legal adviser and coordinator of the Albanian legal team in the Kosovo Declaration of Independence in 2009. He has taught in the fields of international human rights, international humanitarian law, international criminal law at various universities in Albania, China, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States. His further interest and expertise lie in the role of international courts and tribunals in developing international human rights law, the protection of community interests in international law, and transitional justice processes. He has a PhD in International Law and a Master of Laws (both Utrecht University School of Law).
The Ethics Advisor supports our team to carry out research in line with the highest ethical standards and the applicable EU, international and national law on ethical principles. We are committed to and ensure the respect of important EU values such as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights.
Dr Ron Iphofen
Dr Ron Iphofen FAcSS is an Independent Research Consultant, and a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Society of Medicine. Since retiring as Director of Postgraduate Studies in Health Sciences at Bangor University, he has advised several agencies within the European Commission, and a range of governmental and independent research institutions, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada, and the National Disability Authority and the Institute of Public Health in Ireland. In addition, he was Vice Chair of the UK Social Research Association and now convenes their Research Ethics Forum. He has also advised several projects of the European Commission, including the RESPECT project, on pan-European standards in the social sciences, and was recently the principal investigator for the PRO-RES Project, an EU-funded project influencing policy on research ethics and scientific integrity across all non-medical sciences.
Dr Iphone's books include: Ethical Decision Making in Social Research: A Practical Guide, Palgrave Macmillan (2009/2011); the book series Advances in Research Ethics and Integrity Emerald (from 2017); he co-edited with Martin Tolich the SAGE Handbook of Ethics in Qualitative Research (2018) and edited the SPRINGER Nature Handbook of Scientific Research and Integrity (2020). He co-edited three open access publications for the PRO-RES Project: Ethical Issues in Covert, Security and Surveillance Research, Emerald Publishing (2022); Ethical evidence and policymaking: Interdisciplinary and International Research, Bristol University Press (2022); Ethics, Integrity and Policymaking: The Value of the Case Study, Springer (2022). See: https://prores-project.eu/deliverables/ )