Human Rights

About Human Rights Research Group

Horizontal Human Rights Law Revisited

Horizontal human rights law remains an intriguing matter of domestic, comparative, and international law. While much has been written on the different models of horizontality and the approaches to human rights and private law within certain jurisdictions, this research group will inquire into the law and politics behind the choices of following direct or indirect horizontality, or, as the case may be, of sticking with the vertical approach to human rights. Another aim of the research group is to examine the types of judicial remedies that make horizontal application effective. In particular, are jurisdictions that embrace horizontal application aligned with the actual competences and capabilities of their judiciaries? On the international level, debates on horizontal human rights law have experienced new momentum since the adoption of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the UN Human Rights Council, in 2011. Moreover, private regulation is also increasingly manifesting itself via the articulation of codes of conduct and other non-binding standards on fundamental rights between private actors. The research group will also analyze whether these developments have contributed to the judicial protection of international human rights law among private actors, or whether compliance with these informal norms is becoming more a matter of naming, shaming, and business strategy.

Group Publications

Human Rights Group Paper 2014


Human Rights Group Paper 2015


Human Rights Group Paper 2016


Human Rights and the Decay of Democracy


Group Members

Sudarshan Ramaswamy
Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, Sudarshan comes with a distinguished career in the three domains of research, development programme formulation and implementation, and governance. A nationally successful debater at the college level, Sudarshan was a Rhodes Scholar at the Balliol College, University of Oxford, where he obtained his M.Phil degree. He was Research Fellow at the St. John’s College, University of Cambridge for many years where he taught and carried out research on issues relating to law and public policy. Sudarshan holds a Masters degree from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi where he held a UGC scholarship for Centre for Advanced Studies in Economics. Sudarshan has an impressive track record of publications comprising books, articles, and UN policy reports. He has a dozen years of experience in inter-disciplinary research and teaching in development economics, human development, law, state and poverty at the Universities of Delhi (1972-74), Oxford (1974-77), Cambridge (1977-82), and East Anglia (1982-83). He has another 28 years of experience in the United Nations Development Programme and the Ford Foundation related to public policy.
Matej Accetto
Matej Accetto
Gulbenkian Professor of Law at Católica Global School of Law
Matej Accetto is Gulbenkian Professor of Law at Católica Global School of Law/UCP in Lisbon. He studied law at the University of Ljubljana, taking his LL.B. in 2000; he then received an LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2001 and a Doctorate in Law from the University of Ljubljana in 2006, where he has also previously served as Associate Professor of European Law. His other experiences include having spent time as a stagiaire at the Court of Justice of the European Union, a Fellow of the Lord Slynn of Hadley European Law Foundation (2003–04), the Monica Partridge Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam College (2006), a Japan Foundation Fellow at Waseda University (2011) and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law (2012). He has offered visiting courses at the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing (China), ISES Foundation in Kőszeg (Hungary), Irkutsk State University (Russia) and Católica, as well as visiting lectures at various universities around the world. His primary area of expertise is EU law, with particular interest in issues involving judicial review, the relationship between EU and national legal orders and nationality law.
Yiğit Sayın
Assistant Professor at Koç University Law School
Yiğit Sayın (LLB Istanbul University) (LLM University of Warwick) (Phd Istanbul University) had his bachelor degree on law from Istanbul University School of Law in 1998 and his LLM degree on International Economic Law from University of Warwick in 2001. After practicing law as an attorney and a legal consultant for four years, he started his phd on private law at Istanbul University School of Law in 2003. In 2004 he joined Istanbul University School of Law as a research assistant within the department of Roman Law Studies. In 2009, he received his Phd on private law and moved to work in Koç University College of Law as an assistant professor. He had taught a variety of courses (Roman Law, Legal Theory, Legal History, Advocacy Law, Legal Aspects of International Transactions, International Business Law) and has also developed a course of Ethical Reasoning for students of all disciplines. He has published works on International Financial Institutions, Law of Obligations, Legal History and Roman law.
Amnon Lehavi
Amnon Lehavi
Dean of Radzyner Law School
Amnon Lehavi (Yale, J.S.D) is the Atara Kaufman Professor of Real Estate and Dean of  Radzyner Law School, and Academic Director, Gazit-Globe Real Estate Institute, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya. Prof. Lehavi is a leading authority on property, real estate, land use controls, international economic law, and law and globalization. He is the author of The Construction of Property: Norms, Institutions, Challenges (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and the editor of Gated Communities (Nevo Press, 2010). Prof. Lehavi has published extensively in top journals, including the Columbia Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Texas Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, Law and Social Inquiry, and Yale Journal of International Law. He has won numerous prizes, including the 2007 Tzeltner Award for an outstanding young scholar and the 2008, 2010, and 2014 IDC Award for excellence in scholarship. Prof. Lehavi served as the Chairperson of the Israeli Association of Private Law (2012-2013) and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley (2013-14).
Claudio Lucena
Professor at Paraíba State University
Claudio Lucena is a Professor and former Dean of the Law Faculty at Paraíba State University (UEPB) in Brazil.
Francisca María Pou Giménez
Academic Division of Economics, Law and Social Sciences
Eli Bukspan
Senior lecturer in the Radzyner Law School
His teaching and research focus on the areas of contract and corporate law as well as corporate social responsibility, risk management, compliance and ethics.
Murat Önok
Assistant Professor at Koç University Law School
Dr. Önok’s fields of research are criminal law, human rights law and international criminal law. He has also taught public international law and criminology.