CHRGJ announces new Human Rights Scholars 2015-2016
October 2, 2015

Each year CHRGJ accepts a select group of students to its Human Rights Scholars Program, which was established to encourage and facilitate independent student academic research, writing and publications related to the Center’s work. Scholars carry out independent research and writing within the Center’s theme with a view to presenting a paper at the Center’s annual Emerging Human Rights Scholarship Conference, and for eventual journal publication. Student research receives guidance and feedback from the Center’s Managing Director and Legal Director and in some cases, they can be supervised by a Center Faculty Director, as part of NYU Law’s Directed Research program. This year’s Human Rights Scholars are,

Brooke Guven

Guven photo

Brooke Guven is currently an LL.M. student in the international legal studies track. Since receiving her J.D., Brooke worked for seven years as a cross-border finance associate at large, international law firms in New York City, and spent one year working in Monrovia, Liberia advising the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on law reform in the public health sector. Brooke will focus her research on transparency in the international investment regime, focusing on the extractives industry. Specifically, when governments act as commercial actors in this context, they still have responsibilities to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of their citizens. The right to information is a central right that is necessary for free, prior and informed consent, and is also a prerequisite necessary to effect other economic, social and cultural rights. Brooke will call on governments to require specific contractual provisions in investment-related contracts that mandate a certain level of disclosure, and to act to ensure that these provisions are respected.

Varin Singh

varin singhVarin is a candidate for the LL.M in International Legal Studies at NYU, having graduated with a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours from the University of Adelaide (Australia) and a Graduate Diploma in International Law from the University of Melbourne (Australia). He was a member of the team that won the Australian round of the 2008 Red Cross International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot, and ranked third in the international round of the competition. Since 2012, Varin has practised in human rights and constitutional law as a Senior Solicitor with the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office. He has also worked as a Legal Officer at the Australian Human Rights Commission.


Kate Nancy Taylor
Kate TaylorKate is an LLM International Legal Studies candidate at NYU. Kate works on mining and human rights in Haiti as a Student Advocate in NYU’s Global Justice Clinic, and has previously worked as a researcher on mining accountability in India and Indonesia. As a CHRGJ Student Human Rights Scholar, Kate will be examining the intersection between economic and social rights and natural resource governance in Myanmar, with a particular emphasis on mineral extraction. Kate will contribute to emerging scholarship by focusing on the potential for a rights-based approach to mineral extraction in ethnically fractured regions of Myanmar.


Sahiba Gill

sahiba gillAs a CHRGJ Human Rights Scholar, Sahiba Gill is examining whether the “structural violence” that people experience during their recruitment into labor jobs in the Arabian Gulf constitutes “trafficking” under the UN Trafficking Protocol. Raised in northeast Ohio, Sahiba graduated from Swarthmore College in 2012 with a degree in political science and philosophy. She worked as a Global Academic Fellow in writing at NYU Abu Dhabi for two years before spending six months in Kathmandu, Nepal researching Nepal-GCC labor recruitment. Before starting at NYU Law, she was also assistant editor at The Common, a literary journal published by Amherst University Press that examines “a modern sense of place.”


Peter Speelman
speelman1Peter Speelman will be working on a number of papers this semester touching on issues of human rights and how these rights manifest themselves (or fail to) within global institutions and legal frameworks.  He will look specifically at the institutionalization of human rights within the World Bank through the lens of the Bank’s resettlement policies and practices in financing large hydroelectric projects.  He will also be looking at the incorporation of human rights through the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals monitoring and review mechanisms.  Another one of his papers will investigate a Draft Law on Reconciliation in Economic and Financial Areas in Tunisia, which could affect the work of Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity commission.  Finally, he will finalize a  paper on issues of humanitarian access in armed conflict, potentially as they relate to the rights of IDPs under the recent Kampala Convention.


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