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Swansea University Research Excellence Scholarship (SURES): Fully Funded PhD Scholarship: Vulnerability in International Criminal Law

Swansea University - Law

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Swansea
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £18,622 for 2023/24
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 19th February 2024
Closes: 11th March 2024

Funding providers: Swansea University 

Subject areas: Law 

Project start date: 1 October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September)

Project description: 

Humanitarian situations can create vulnerable people. Wars and human rights abuses can cause people to suffer from genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. These situations are frequently dealt with in international criminal law, either at the International Criminal Court or in a domestic court through the use of universal jurisdiction. However, once a situation has been identified for international criminal justice, there is little discussion about vulnerability and whether and who could be vulnerable within the legal process.  

This project aims to determine how vulnerability is understood within international criminal law. Victims are perhaps seen as the most obviously vulnerable, as they have suffered deep deprivations and harms as a result of being victims of the humanitarian situation that is under investigation. However, their vulnerabilities often arise before the start of the international criminal law process, rather than as a result of their involvement in international criminal justice. This project aims to go beyond these types of vulnerabilities and examine whether vulnerability is created by or exists in the international criminal law process itself. Specifically, it will determine whether and to what extent situational and ‘imposed’ vulnerabilities could arise on any number of people within the trial process from legal and practical decisions, structural issues, and approaches taken.   

There are several competing definitions of vulnerability and it is not clear which approach, if any, is used within international criminal justice. The method used could also depend on the court, tribunal or jurisdiction that the international criminal trial is taking place. For example, do vulnerability concerns change if the trial takes place in the International Criminal Court or within a domestic court using universal jurisdiction? Further, vulnerability is often seen as a ‘group’ issue with little room for individual vulnerability. Is the group approach appropriate to international criminal law? Is there a framework or method of determining who is vulnerable? 

Eligibility

Candidates must have attained, or must be expected to attain, a first-class honours degree and/or a distinction at master’s level. If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship (i.e. a student who is eligible to pay the UK rate of tuition fees) but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements. Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations. 

Please visit our website for more information on eligibility.

Additional Funding Information

This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rate (currently £18,622 for 2023/24).

Additional research expenses will also be available.

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