Nakba@75: The Struggle for Justice

Key information

6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Brunei Gallery, SOAS
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT)
Event type
Event highlights

About this event

  • Speaker: Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.
  • Respondents: Professor Lynn Welchman and Dr. Nimer Sultany, School of Law, Gender and Media, SOAS
  • Chair: Professor Dina Matar, Chair of the Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS


About the speakers

Francesca Albanese was appointed the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, by the Human Rights Council at its 49th session in March 2022 and has taken up her function as of 1 May 2022. She is a lawyer by training, specialised in human rights.

Albanese is an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University, as well as a Senior Advisor on Migration and Forced Displacement for a think-tank, Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD). She has widely published on the legal situation in Israel and the State of Palestine; Her book "Palestinian Refugees in International Law", co-authored with Lex Takkenberg, is considered a milestone in refugee academic literature.

She regularly teaches and lectures on international law and forced displacement at universities in Europe and the Arab region. Ms. Albanese has also worked as a human rights expert for the United Nations, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees.

Francesca holds a Law Degree (with honors) from the University of Pisa and an LLM in Human Rights from SOAS. She is currently completing her PhD in International Refugee Law at Amsterdam University Law Faculty.

Lynn Welchman is Professor of Law with particular reference to the Middle East and North Africa. She was recruited to SOAS as a lecturer in Islamic Law in 1997. She designed the International Human Rights Clinic, for which she was joint winner of the SOAS Director’s prize for Inspirational Teaching in 2019.

After graduating as an Honorary Scholar with college and Faculty prizes from Cambridge University, Lynn went to Birzeit University and then to work with al-Haq, the first Palestinian human rights organisation, in Ramallah. She subsequently worked with other Palestinian human rights groups, and has also worked with international human rights groups, mostly in the Middle East and North Africa but occasionally elsewhere (Haiti and Rwanda), before and also since coming to work at SOAS. She is a Board member of the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Support of Human Rights Defenders, and on the International Advisory Board of the Open Society Foundation’s MENA office.

Lynn has been the Law School’s head of department and held a number of other senior positions in the department and at SOAS. Among her recent publications is Al-Haq: A Global History of the First Palestinian Human Rights Organization (2021), which was one of three winners in the academic books category at the Middle East Monitor's Palestine Book Awards 2022.

In 2021 Lynn was appointed to the UN Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

Nimer Sultany is Reader in Public Law. He holds a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Harvard Law School, and was the recipient of the British Academy Fellowship (2016/17) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at SUNY Buffalo Law School (2012/13). He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of The Palestine Yearbook of International Law. Prior to joining SOAS, he practiced human rights law in Israel/Palestine, and was the director of the Political Monitoring Project at Mada al-Carmel—The Arab Centre for Applied Social Research.

He published extensively on constitutional theory, comparative constitutionalism, and Israeli jurisprudence. His book Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring (Oxford University Press, 2017) won the 2018 Book Prize awarded by the International Society of Public Law and the 2018 Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship awarded by the Society of Legal Scholars.


Registration is required. Please note that seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Title image: Government Press Office (GPO) / Flickr