Law & society

Disasters and refugee protection – a socio-legal case study from Yemen

Every year millions of people are forced to flee their homes in the context of climate change and disasters. Their needs and rights are unclear. This paper presents and discusses some findings from a socio-legal case study exploring the rights of disaster-affected Somalis and Ethiopians in Yemen. The first main findings relate to the challenges that Ethiopians face in accessing, and succeeding with, the formal asylum process. This is discussed in light of legal aid theory and research as well as research on credibility assessments. Another category of findings relates to interactions of local, religious law and international law. This is discussed in light of legal pluralism, which helps in identifying an emancipatory potential. While complex, dynamic and depending on regional politics and other factors, the way Islamic law is applied - and influences other bodies of law - seems to ensure better protection than the 1951 Refugee Convention alone. This potential should be further explored and possibly expanded in order to strengthen the rights of people displaced in the context of climate change and disasters more generally.

Read the full conference paper
here.

Including the Queer in India

Diverse strategies have been employed to advance the cause of the queer Indian movement, including litigation and social and political mobilisation.

Read more in this
post on Gaylaxy magazine or the longer paper that it builds on.

From the conclusion:

“Emancipatory potential has been found in some traditional Indian norms as well as international human rights and domestic constitutional law and used in the battle against a remnant of colonial law. Litigation, social and political mobilisation, media attention and other factors have interacted and supported each other. Litigation started without waiting for popular and media support; in stead the process and outcome itself may have helped create such support. Litigation has also ended up being unsuccessful, however, due to the judges and other factors. Even so, it may still have contributed positively to the larger social and political mobilisation, as we saw after Koushal. While the combined result of the three landmark judgments is a complex and unclear legal situation for queer Indians, overall we seem to be moving in the direction of strengthened rights in the legal as well as the wider political and social contexts.”

Gestalt therapy at T*café

On October 3rd T*café will be facilitated by gestalt therapist Vikram Kolmannskog. He has previously facilitated transgender therapy groups in collaboration with LLH. This friday in October he will be giving us an introduction to gestalt therapy and how it can contribute to our gatherings. We will, among other things, explore how good feedback can be given, and how it's experienced. We will also be doing some easy exercises, focussing on how we can be present in ourselves and for each other.

One of the reasons why we do this now, is that there has been an increased media focus on trans lately. More attention is important. However, some of us feel that we do not fit into the norms and roles that are being portrayed.

Time: Friday 3rd October, 1700-1900.
Place: LLH Oslo Akershus / Skeiv Ungdom, Tollbugata 24, 4th floor, Oslo.

T*café is a free offer to meet the first Friday of the month for people defining themselves as trans and other people wanting to explore their gender identity. Sometimes there are invited speakers and specific topics. Social anxiety and family relations are among previous topics.

Seminar: Climate change and displacement - the role of law

On 3rd February, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Law Faculty at the University of Oslo organised a seminar on climate change, displacement and the law.

Professor Walter Kälin who is political envoy of the Nansen Initiative was one of the speakers.

Marianne Karlsen, from Ministry of Climate and Environment, explained how displacement was recognised in the UN climate negotiations.

I presented some main findings from my doctoral thesis. The Introduction (“kappa”) is available
here.

An audio-visual from the seminar is available here.

Doctoral defence

On 24th January, I gave two trial lectures and defended my doctoral thesis for the degree Dr. Philos. in Sociology of Law at the University of Oslo.

Every year millions are forced to flee their homes in the context of disasters associated with climate change and natural hazards. This thesis seeks to help secure real rights for those displaced. In order to do so, I explore the lives and rights of displaced people through interviews with them, government officials, UN actors and others. I also analyse relevant formal law.

The Introduction (“kappa”) of the doctoral is available
here.

Information about the trial lectures and defence is available
here.

In the media:


Climate refugees hard hit by unclear laws, ScienceNordic, 14 May 2014.

Klimaflyktning i lov og praksis, Morgenbladet, 24 January 2014.

Klimaflyktninger rammes hardt av uklare lover, forskning.no, 17 April 2014

Klimaflyktninger rammes hardt av uklare lover, UiO.no, 25 April 2014.