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Daria Davitti

Assistant Professor in Law, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Biography

My research focuses on the implementation of international law in complex contexts, such as situations of armed conflict, forced migration and humanitarian emergencies. My work examines the obligations and responsibility of states, international organisations, and private companies operating in such contexts. I am interested in understanding the historically contingent development of international law and its theoretical, political and practical dimensions.

I am currently engaged in two main research programmes: one on forced migration (focusing on the policies of the European Agenda on Migration), and one on the historical contextualisation of international investment law (see the research summary below for more detailed information).

I joined the School of Law at the University of Nottingham in September 2016, after three years at Keele University, School of Law. I hold a PhD and LLM in Human Rights from the University of Nottingham, and a BA and MA from the University of Bologna in Italy.

Prior to joining academia, I worked with various international non-governmental organisations, and for three years as a Human Rights Field Officer with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and as a consultant for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). With UNAMA I served as the national focal point on freedom of expression and coordinator of the Transitional Justice theatre programme across Afghanistan. I also cooperated on international protection matters with UNHCR and the EU Special Representative's office.

Teaching Summary

On the LLM, I am the module convener of two modules: International Law and the Protection of Refugees; and Business and Human Rights. I am also part of the teaching team for International Investment… read more

Research Summary

I am currently engaged in two main research programmes: one on forced migration, and one on the history of the law of expropriation.

In relation to forced migration, I am the Head of the Human Rights Law Centre's Forced Migration Unit. My research looks critically, and from a variety of perspectives, at recent EU measures adopted to implement the European Agenda on Migration. I am interested in understanding what drives the on-going privatisation of migration, and how EU policies affect access to international protection. There are three sub-projects in which I am currently involved. The first is a study of the European Agenda on Migration from a philosophical perspective, using the work of Foucault, Agamben and Esposito (amongst others) to critique the measures adopted in response to the European refugee 'crisis' and to challenge the humanitarian language deployed in implementing these harmful measures. This work was presented at the Sixth Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law, organised by Professor Anne Orford, Professor Dino Kritsiotis and Professor Joseph Weiler. The second project, carried out in collaboration with Dr La Chimia, examines the external dimension of the European Agenda on Migration, and focuses in particular on the use of development aid as part of bilateral agreements with third countries to enhance cooperation on migration. The project analyses the implications of these agreements from the perspective of both development aid and international protection, through field work in Afghanistan, Sudan and in Europe. This work will be presented at an international workshop in Nottingham in November 2017. The third project studies the privatisation of migration, and more specifically the role of private, military and security companies in the European Agenda on Migration, and the international legal implications that their involvement engenders. This work will be presented at the Third Business and Human Rights Scholars Conference at Santa Clara University in September 2017.

In relation to the history of the law of expropriation, I am engaged in a longer term project which looks at specific historical events which have influenced the development of international investment law. I am currently looking at the way in which the law of expropriation was influenced by the revolutionary events of 1917. This work flows from my previous research on the intersection between international investment law and international human rights law, and will be presented at the conference '1917: Intervention, Revolution and International Laws' at Melbourne Law School in August 2017.

Recent Publications

  • D DAVITTI, 2017. Away from the Spotlight: Foreign Investment in the Afghan Extractive Sector and the State's Duty to Protect the Right to Water. In: C TAN and J FAUNDEZ, eds., Natural Resources and Sustainable Development: International Economic Law Perspectives Edward Elgar. (In Press.)
  • D DAVITTI and A LA CHIMIA, 2017. A Lesser Evil? The European Agenda on Migration and the Use of Aid Funding for Migration Control Irish Yearbook of International Law. (In Press.)
  • D DAVITTI, 2017. Business and Human Rights in the United Nations Special Procedures System. In: A NOLAN, R FREEDMAN and T MURPHY, eds., The United Nations Special Procedures System BRILL.
  • D DAVITTI, 2016. Refining the Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework for Business and Human Rights and its Guiding Principles Human Rights Law Review. 16, 55-75

On the LLM, I am the module convener of two modules: International Law and the Protection of Refugees; and Business and Human Rights. I am also part of the teaching team for International Investment Law.

At undergraduate level, I am a tutor for Contract Law.

Past Research

My forthcoming monograph Investment and Human Rights in Armed Conflict: Charting an Elusive Intersection will be published in 2018 as part of Hart Publishing's Human Rights Law in Perspective Series. Through the lens of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the book analyses the way in which international investment law protections impact on the parallel protection of the right to water in protracted armed conflict, with a focus on Afghanistan.

Future Research

I am currently engaged in two main research programmes: one on forced migration, and one on the history of the law of expropriation.

In relation to forced migration, my research looks critically, and from a variety of perspectives, at recent EU measures adopted to implement the European Agenda on Migration. I am interested in understanding what drives the on-going privatisation of migration, and how EU policies affect access to international protection. There are three sub-projects in which I am currently involved. The first is a study of the European Agenda on Migration from a philosophical perspective, using the work of Foucault, Agamben and Esposito (amongst others) to critique the measures adopted in response to the European refugee 'crisis' and to challenge the humanitarian language deployed in implementing these harmful measures. This work was presented at the Sixth Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law, organised by Professor Anne Orford, Professor Dino Kritsiotis and Professor Joseph Weiler. The second project, carried out in collaboration with Dr La Chimia, examines the external dimension of the European Agenda on Migration, and focuses in particular on the use of development aid as part of bilateral agreements with third countries to enhance cooperation on migration. The project analyses the implications of these agreements from the perspective of both development aid and international protection, through field work in Afghanistan, Sudan and in Europe. This work will be presented at an international workshop in Nottingham in November 2017. The third project studies the privatisation of migration, and more specifically the role of private, military and security companies in the European Agenda on Migration, and the international legal implications that their involvement engenders. This work will be presented at the Third Business and Human Rights Scholars Conference at Santa Clara University in September 2017.

In relation to the history of the law of expropriation, I am engaged in a longer term project which looks at specific historical events which have influenced the development of international investment law. I am currently looking at the way in which the law of expropriation was influenced by the revolutionary events of 1917. This work flows from my previous research on the intersection between international investment law and international human rights law, and will be presented at the conference '1917: Intervention, Revolution and International Laws' at Melbourne Law School in August 2017.

  • D DAVITTI, 2017. Away from the Spotlight: Foreign Investment in the Afghan Extractive Sector and the State's Duty to Protect the Right to Water. In: C TAN and J FAUNDEZ, eds., Natural Resources and Sustainable Development: International Economic Law Perspectives Edward Elgar. (In Press.)
  • D DAVITTI and A LA CHIMIA, 2017. A Lesser Evil? The European Agenda on Migration and the Use of Aid Funding for Migration Control Irish Yearbook of International Law. (In Press.)
  • D DAVITTI, 2017. Business and Human Rights in the United Nations Special Procedures System. In: A NOLAN, R FREEDMAN and T MURPHY, eds., The United Nations Special Procedures System BRILL.
  • D DAVITTI, 2016. Refining the Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework for Business and Human Rights and its Guiding Principles Human Rights Law Review. 16, 55-75
  • 2014. Investment and Human Rights in Afghanistan Investment and Human Rights Project, London School of Economics. Available at: <http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/investment-and-human-rights/portfolio-items/investafghanistan/>
  • M O'FLAHERTY and D DAVITTI, 2013. International Human Rights in Field Operations: A Fast Developing Tool. In: S SHEERAN and N RODLEY, eds., Routledge Handbook of International Human Rights Law Routledge. 169-181
  • D DAVITTI, 2012. On the Meanings of International Investment Law and International Human Rights Law: The Alternative Narrative of Due Diligence Human Rights Law Review. 12(2), 421-453
  • D DAVITTI, 2010. Shirking Responsibilities: Receiving Countries and the Structural Causes of Conflict Related Child Trafficking. In: G WYLIE and P MCREDMOND, eds., Human Trafficking in Europe: Character, Causes and Consequences Palgrave Macmillan. 41-59

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