October Graduate Researcher Colloquium 2022

10.25am - 10.30amWelcome
10.30am - 11.30am

PhD Completion: Toerien Van Wyk
(Supervisors: Adrienne Stone and Cheryl Saunders)

Constitutionally guaranteeing information flow

My thesis focuses on the right to information, a civil and political right that primarily gives rise to positive obligations. Relying on doctrinal and comparative methodology, I draw insights from South Africa’s experience giving express constitutional recognition to this right. My research suggests that while there are strong theoretical justifications for recognising the right, in practice, recognition does not necessarily induce the ends envisioned. However, the right still has the potential to contribute toward the purposes identified in the justifications if treated as requiring ongoing input from all government branches. The thesis outlines the potential and limits of constitutional recognition.

11.30am - 12.00pm Morning Tea
12.00pm - 1.00pm

PhD Completion: Darshan Datar
(Supervisors: Adrienne Stone, Farrah Ahmed and Chantal Morton)

The Concept of Religion in a Comparative Constitutional Context

This thesis considers what concept of religion judges possess. Based on a doctrinal study of the United States, India, the European, this thesis hypothesises that the judicial concept of religion in countries with generalisable free exercise clauses and non-establishment provisions is broad in free exercise cases and narrow in non-establishment cases. Additionally, this thesis seeks to demonstrate that judges narrow their concept of religion in non-establishment cases through a process called judicial inculturation. Judges ‘inculturate’ a religious symbol by holding it as a part of a particular country's cultural and historical traditions.

1.00pm - 3.00pmLunch
3.00pm - 4.00pm

PhD Completion: Philippa Duell-Piening
(Supervisors: Michelle Foster and Anna Arstein-Kerslake)

The right to be counted for people with disabilities who are refugees or from refugee backgrounds

This thesis makes four interventions by examining the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ Article 31 Statistics and Data Collection and its implications in refugee contexts. Firstly, arguing participatory treaty interpretation with rights bearers is a state obligation and trialling an approach of the same. Secondly, proposing an interpretation of Article 31 that emphasises data collection about state actions. Thirdly, elaborating the doctrinal understanding of group human rights through an exploration of a group right to be counted. Lastly, problematising disability data practices in refugee contexts and arguing for a greater focus on the locus of power.

4.00pm - 5.00pm

PhD Completion: André Dao
(Supervisors: Sundhya Pahuja and Hilary Charlesworth)

Human rights for the data society

In 2020, UN Secretary General António Guterres declared that the international community now stands at ‘new frontiers of technology and human rights’. This statement arguably marks a decade since the UN began a turn towards digital data technologies in its human rights work. This thesis seeks to reveal, describe and interpret the turn in order to suggest what its implications might be. My argument is that the turn is having world-making effects. Specifically, the turn is co-producing what I am calling the ‘data society’. In the data society, both the subject of human rights and the nature of responsibility in relation to those rights are being (re)shaped to become what we could call ‘datafied’ human rights. At the same time, in the data society, digital data technologies are being (re)shaped such that large technology corporations are (re)located at the centre of the human rights project.