A B Charitable Trust

New Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at Oxford University to open in 2016

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The Faculty of Law in the University of Oxford has announced the creation of a dedicated Institute for the study of human rights law. Building work has started in the grounds of Mansfield College, where the new Institute is located. This joint initiative between the Faculty of Law and the College is led by Mansfield’s Principal, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, a barrister well-known for championing civil liberties and human rights.

The new Institute is called the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford, named after the Bonavero family. The A B Charitable Trust provided the Institute with an endowment to fund its Director and core staff. The Institute is expected to begin work in late 2016, with the building due to be completed for the start of the following academic year.

The Institute will serve as a focal point for human rights law scholarship in Oxford. Its chief aim will be to foster greater academic and public understanding of human rights law through teaching, research, and working with other disciplines with an interest in human rights. The Institute will also provide students and others in the Law Faculty with additional opportunities to gain practical experience and to enhance the impact of their research by working more closely with lawyers and policy-makers in the field.

The Institute has now appointed its first Director, Justice Catherine (Kate) O’Regan, who will be responsible for its academic direction. Other new posts at the Institute will include a programme director, research co-ordinator, and a postdoctoral researcher and support staff.

The building where the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights will be housed is designed by internationally-renowned Rick Mather Architects, whose previous projects at the University include the revamp of the Ashmolean Museum, which was nominated for the Stirling Prize in 2010.

Yves Bonavero said:

"In 1990, my wife Anne and I founded the A B Charitable Trust whose mission is to defend and promote the cause of human dignity, prioritizing unpopular causes. Clearly, the advancement of human rights had to be part and parcel of this project – though we could hardly have anticipated that human rights per se would become an unpopular cause in some quarters of Western democracies.

We are therefore delighted to support the timely creation of a world-class Institute of Human Rights and cannot think of a better home for it than the internationally-renowned Law Faculty at the University of Oxford. Under its aegis, the new Institute will produce and deploy in the field academic research of such calibre that the lives of men, women and children worldwide will be improved.

Anne and I are particularly pleased that our family, many of whom have benefitted from an Oxford education for which they are thankful, wholeheartedly support lending the family’s name to this endeavour."

Read the announcement on the Oxford University website