31 Oct A Very Warm Welcome to Opinio Juris, Vivek Bhatt
A little over two years ago, I met a new colleague at Utrecht University School of Law for coffee. What was meant to be a first quick meet-and-greet turned into an hour and a half spanning everything from talk about Guantánamo Bay and other counterterrorism discussions, the laws of war, human rights and university pedagogy as well as more practical business, such as some particular idiosyncrasies of the Dutch university system and our concerns about in-person teaching during COVID (for which we were almost late during our first meeting with LL.M. students).
As the cliché goes, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. And though we at Utrecht have lost him recently to lucky colleagues in Scotland, our friendship and collaboration thankfully continue uninterrupted. I’m talking about Dr. Vivek Bhatt, Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Public International Law at the University of Aberdeen. I’m excited to officially announce that he is the newest permanent member of Opinio Juris!
You’ll likely have already read his riveting reflections on this blog on diversity and representation in the legal academy On Community, Courage, and Change in the Classroom: A Response to Mohsen al Attar; during our first international law and pop culture symposium with ‘The Mauritanian’, Guantanamo, and the Politics of International Law; a fantastic introspective reflection in Instant Noodles and International Law: Highly Processed Food and the Right to Culture; and some thoughts on the role of international law(yers) in A Visible College: Public Engagement with International Law(yers) During the Ukraine Invasion.
Prior to joining Utrecht University in 2021, Vivek was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Essex Human Rights Centre, where he consulted with government officials and published widely on the human rights dimensions of the UK’s COVID-19 responses as part of a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Prior to this, Vivek was a University Teacher of International Law and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. Vivek holds a PhD in Law from the University of Edinburgh, an MSc (with Distinction) in Political Theory from the London School of Economics, and a Master of International Law from the University of Sydney. He is an Asssociate Fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy, an Early Career Scholar of the International Law Association, and a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM).
Vivek’s research broadly relates international human rights law, global security, health inequalities, and critical theories of international law. He has written and published on the human rights dimensions of ‘long COVID’; contestation of human rights norms in the context of the UN’s counterterrorism work; the contributions of the US civil rights movement to international human rights law; and the enforcement of social and economic rights by international organisations. Vivek’s doctoral thesis, Words Matter: Human Rights Language in the UN’s Counterterrorism Law, Policy and Proceedings was examined in October 2020 and passed with no corrections. The research project was funded by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences.
Welcome, friend, to Opinio Juris. Here’s to many more years of our continued collaboration.