Oxford University to create new £22m Institute of Human Rights

An artist's impression of the new institute. Image: Rick Mathers Architects
An artist’s impression of the new institute. Image: Rick Mathers Architects

Oxford University’s law school is to create a new institute for the study of human rights law.

The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights is a joint initiative between the university’s law faculty and Mansfield College, where it will be built, and will be led by human rights barrister Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, who is also Mansfield’s principal.

Kennedy said: “The Rule of Law and the protection of human rights is fundamental to stable societies. We only have to look at fragile legal systems around the world to see why law and independent lawyers and judges matter. On arriving at Oxford I knew that this had to be the big goal – to leave behind an Institute for Human Rights in one of the greatest law faculties in the world, located in the most perfect of colleges and supported by people who care about justice. The Institute will be at the heart of one of the greatest conversations of mankind – how to make a better world.”

Oxford vice-chancellor Professor Louise Richardson added: ‘Research and teaching in the field of human rights has never been more important. The creation of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights will enable us to bring renewed focus to our existing activities in this field.”

The Institute is expected to begin work in late 2016, and will provide Oxford law students with opportunities to gain practical experience. There will also be 74 student rooms for Mansfield undergrads.