Seminars of the People's Academy

People's Academy of International Law Seminars

The right to health and a clean and healthy environment

      • The right to health and environment is one of the most important issues of our time, and climate change and catastrophe is an urgent matter. At the same time, the right to health is an international human right recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2021. This seminar will address the struggle against climate catastrophe and environmental destruction.Unilateral coercive measures and their illegality

Unilateral coercive measures and their illegality

      • The United States and its allies have implemented coercive economic measures against many states, including 28% of the world’s population. According to the UN Charter, economic sanctions may be considered legal only when approved by the UN Security Council under Article 41. The UN Human Rights Council has appointed a special rapporteur on the effects of these illegal unilateral coercive measures. This seminar will address the illegality of these coercive measures and the struggle to bring them to an end.

The use of law against justice and the rights of the people

      • People’s struggles also face repression from governments or opposition forces. Sometimes they use law and the courts as a weapon, as in the case of “lawfare” or SLAPP actions targeting people’s movements. Meanwhile, many countries have also adopted legislation or special extrajudicial measures targeting left activists, in the name of “security” or “counter-terrorism.” This seminar will consider how to resist lawfare and repressive legislation. 

Abolition of nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants (IAEA, NPT)

      • The treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons was adopted but many nuclear-armed countries have not yet ratified it. At the same time, the Non-Proliferation Treaty is an unequal system that privileges current nuclear powers.  IAEA is charged with the promotion of nuclear power generation internationally. This seminar will consider this contradictory situation, especially amid a threat of nuclear crisis in Ukraine and East Asia.

Palestine, Western Sahara and Kashmir

      • The right of self-determination of peoples is important to many human rights treaties. This seminar will consider this right and the struggles of the people of Palestine, Western Sahara and Kashmir for self-determination and national liberation.

Using international law to combat neoliberalism and corporate
domination of economies; debt cancellation

      • This seminar will discuss the Supremacy Clause (UN Charter, article 103) and the use of international law to challenge neoliberalism and corporate domination, particularly in both domestic courts and UN fora.

Korean unification and Illegality of UN and US Actions

      • This seminar will explore the legal issues on the Korean peninsula, including the illegality of using the name of UN Command and the UN flag (UNSC), the illegality of the US military base in south Korea and the military alliance treaty. It will also discuss the illegality of the Korean War under the UN Charter and the ongoing legal problems related to the unended War. At the time of the War, the UN Security Council allowed the US to organize a multinational force, not a UN force; but afterward the US has continued to use the name of UN Command and the UN flag illegally. This means that the UNC and UN military forces are playing a role obstructing Korean unification today.

Indigenous Peoples’ and First Nations Struggles

      • This seminar will explore the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as well as non-state-based systems, with the goal of supporting indigenous peoples’ struggles for justice and liberation.

Independence of the judiciary and protection of lawyers

      • Lawyers as human rights defenders are under attack, materially and in the courts of various countries. This seminar will examine in particular the cases of the Philippines and Turkey and the use of international law to defend lawyers under attack. 

Right to Peace

      • The Declaration on the Right to Peace was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2016. The right to peace is derived from the preamble of the UN Charter, which also indicates that people can play a role in global security, a function typically occupied by States. This seminar will consider this right and how it can be used to resist war and develop peace on a global level.