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3 PhD and/or post-doc research positions at Ghent Human Rights Centre

We are seeking to fill three full-time positions as part of the ERC-funded research project “DISSECT: Evidence in International Human Rights Adjudication” (ERC-AdG-2018-834044).

These positions will be filled at either doctoral or post-doctorate level, as appropriate in view of the CV and experience of the candidates. If the selected candidate is a PhD candidate, the post is for 48 months. If the selected candidate is a post-doctoral fellow, the post is for a maximum of 36 months (less if the project is realisable in a shorter period).

If you apply for a PhD position, you will have a MA in a relevant Social Sciences discipline and/or Law. If you apply for a post-doc position, you will have a PhD in a relevant Social Sciences discipline and/or Law.

The postholders will become members of the Human Rights Centre at the Faculty of Law and Criminology.

As part of a research team that explores together evidence in international human rights adjudication, your task will be to investigate, from a truly interdisciplinary perspective, an intricate problem of evidence which arises in, or is relevant to, international human rights adjudication. If appropriate, you will conduct fieldwork.

Examples of possible projects include:

• Studying the impact of the current digitalisation of evidence (thus bringing a Science and Technology Studies perspective);

• Exploring the way unconscious bias may enter the reasoning of the judges (bringing e.g. a Social Anthropology perspective).

• Looking at how judges make evidential inferences which are scientifically dubious or even positively incorrect (bringing e.g. a Critical Criminology expertise);

These are examples only. Applicants are encouraged to submit their own proposal for a project which interrogates evidence in an original and interdisciplinary manner.

You will be part of the DISSECT research team and will share your findings and/or insights with the team on a regular basis.

If you are a doctoral candidate, you will write a PhD thesis. If you are a post-doctoral fellow, you will write academic publications. You will also attend academic conferences and participate in the dissemination of the findings of the research project.

English will be your main language of work.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BROADER RESEARCH PROJECT Evidence is at the heart of adjudication, and adjudication at the heart of the international protection of human rights. Yet evidence in international human rights (IHR) adjudication remains to be comprehensively studied. DISSECT captures the evidentiary regimes in place in the world’s three regional human rights courts and in UN human rights quasi-judicial bodies. It sets itself four main tasks:

1. To examine from a purely legal perspective the formal and informal rules and practices (‘regime’) which govern the treatment of evidence in IHR adjudication.

2. To examine the political underpinnings and uses of the IHR evidentiary regime.

3. To identify ‘best’ and ‘worst’ practices and generate specific recommendations for use in IHR adjudication.

4. To develop new insights on evidence, truth and power and thus to create a new strand in Critical Legal Studies.

DISSECT’s overall intention is to support international human rights adjudicatory bodies who are always at risk of losing their legitimacy if they cannot demonstrate that they are acting logically, consistently and fairly. It also seeks to benefit victims of human rights abuse who seek international redress without knowing exactly what evidence is required of them.

Current concerns about ‘alt-truth’ and ‘truth decay’ make DISSECT’s subject of enquiry particularly timely. This recruitment wave is designed to help DISSECT deliver especially its fourth aim, although some projects may also contribute to the realisation of the other aims.