Dr Hakeem Yusuf is currently a Reader in Law and Public Policy and Director of LLM Programmes in Human Rights at the Law School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. His research is in the areas of transitional justice, economic, social and cultural rights, judicial constitutionalism as well as business and human rights. Accountability for the exercise of power by institutions of the state and non-state actors is the overarching theme of his research across these areas.
His work has critically examined the role of the judiciary in transitional societies. He also interrogates the role of Trans/Multi-National Corporations (TNCs/MNCs) particularly with regard to human rights violations in resource rich-countries.
During his stay at the Centre for Law and Cosmopolitan Values of the University of Antwerp, Hakeem will be working on a monograph provisionally titled Securing Accountability of Trans-national Corporations: History [Colonialism], Politics, Law. The study adopts a postcolonial theoretical approach to critically engage the vexed issue of reigning in the power of Transnational Corporations (TNCs). Hakeem argues that while there is growing concern on the power of TNCs, a dimension that is hardly adverted to in critical analysis of the issue is its pedigree. There is growing awareness and convergence on the immense influence of TNCs as a force in contemporary times, an important point that is often missed is how this is not at all new. From a historical perspective, it is a well-grounded fact that TNCs have shaped the world, long before now. The geographical, political and even socio-economic configuration of countries today has been greatly influenced, if not determined, by what we know as TNCs. The history of TNCs, is intricately tied up with slavery and colonialism, plays a significant part in contemporary legal and political positioning of TNCS in a virtual unaccountable sphere in global socio-economic and political governance. This historical heritage also plays a major part for the remarkably strong and (c) overt ideational and/or substantive links or TNCs with neo-colonialism.
Apart from exploring the unaccountability of TNCs through Postcolonial Theory, Hakeem’s research also draws on insights from sociology and political theory to explore the nuances of symbols and reflections of power relationships embedded in historical relationships. These provide valuable conceptual tools for navigating the seeming intractability of securing the accountability of TNCs even in an age of human rights and accountability. In relation to the key imperatives of human rights and accountability, the study further draws on international law to interrogate the accountability deficit of TNCs in the global system.
Dr. Chen Jingrong is a lecturer at the Law School of Chongqing University of China and a visiting scholar at the Centre for Law and Cosmopolitan Values of the Antwerp University in the area of human rights law and WTO. Her main research interests lie in constitutional theory, human rights law, Chinese legal history and thought.
She holds her LLM in Legal thoughts in Chinese history from "Southwest Political Science and Law " University of China in 1999, and a PhD in modern China constitutionalism from Chongqing University in 2008.
After she got the bachelor degree, she was a police supervisor of Class Ⅲ in Nanan district of Chongqing in China from 1986 to 1996 with following duties:
- Section Chief: investigation if police actions are in accordance with the law;
- Legal Representative of the police in the court of justice;
- Legal Advisor of the Director of the Police Office
Her latest published articles are:
1. The Paradox of Indirect-discrimination and the Way to Decode It: Journal of Jurists Review (Chinese), 2007-3.
2. Between Liberalism and Nationalism: Journal of History Teaching (Chinese), 2007-11
Ye Yizhou is a PhD candidate at the Law School of Renmin University of China in the filed of jurisprudence and holds a LLM in Common law from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research aims to advance a better understanding of the relationship between common sense and legal order. He also interested in the Scottish common sense philosophy and philosophy of ordinary language. He presented a paper on Henry Sidgwick’s ethical philosophy and Thomas Reid’s common sense philosophy in an academic conference at the Renmin University in November 2013.
The core idea of his current research is to find a way to reconsolidate the relationship between the order of ordinary life and the order of law.
The research that he will establish in the University of Antwerp will continue his former study on common sense and legal order. In this research he will argue that a) common sense is the foundation of the reasonableness and acceptability of law and b) common sense philosophy provides a framework for a sound understanding of what is good and the characters of normativity. In the end, this research will offer theoretical grounds for law to absorb normative strength from ordinary life, which is the key to prevent legal order from simply becoming an external coercive order.
He has recently been awarded a Chinese Government Scholarship to his up-coming study in University of Antwerp. He will stay at the centre from September 2014 to June 2015.