Archive for October 18th, 2013

October, 2013

Blogger of the week: Dr Rosa Freedman

Rosa graduated from Queen Mary University of London in 2005. Throughout her undergraduate studies she worked as a non-qualified residential social worker. Rosa undertook a specialised LLM (Public International Law) at University College London before completing the BVC and being called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn (2007). Rosa joins Birmingham Law School from QMUL, where she was awarded a studentship for the duration of her doctoral studies. She has previously taught Criminal Law on the LLB and the Law for Graduates programme. Rosa has written articles on legal matters for The Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ website, and has provided research and expertise to a number of NGOs. Her book, The United Nations Human Rights Council: an early assessment was published in March 2013.

Rosa will be posting each day for a week, starting on Monday 21 October.

October, 2013

…….and in conclusion

Over the course of this week I have looked at some detail at the Nobel Peace Prize. I have argued that the prize committee does not always simply passively award the prize to obvious persons after their good deeds are done; for example, to the likes of Mr Mandela or Mr Gorbachev after apartheid or after the end of the Cold War. Instead I have argued that the actions of the committee can be understood as agenda-setting and deeply political. In case of the award to Mr Obama, for example, I have speculated that he was awarded the prize so as to shape the future of his presidency in difficult times, while awarding the IPCC on a (then) contentious issue send a very strong signal. This year’s award can be seen in the same light and I would suggest that the choice of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is in no small measure a statement on both the use of chemical weapons in Syria in August 2013, and Obama’s plans to militarily intervene – when as proven by the OPCW- diplomacy works too.

If I am right in what I have argued over the course of this week then – this year- at least some of the committee members were seriously considering giving the award to Edward Snowdon for services to human rights, and perhaps even to Chelsea aka Bradley Manning. Alas, to find out whether they were even nominated we’ll have to wait fifty years, but at least this delay and the general secrecy surrounding nominations means that no one can completely refute the speculative thoughts I have entertained in this blog over the past couple of days.



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