Friday, 13 April, Auditorium 12:30-13:30
Chair: Judith Pallot (BASEES President)
Mary McAuley (Independent Scholar)
Sergey Golubok (St. Petersburg Bar Association)
Heather McGill (Amnesty International)
Dalia Leinarte (UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, UN [CEDAW])
By the time delegates will have convened for this year’s annual conference, Russians will have just voted in their seventh President. The election will have taken place against a backdrop of concerns about just how free and fair the electoral process is in Russia and whether the movement towards greater democratisation in the country is stalled. No less than in Russia events in East Central Europe during the last decade have raised similar concerns, which are particularly poignant given that 2018 is the fiftieth anniversary of the Prague Spring and its suppression by Soviet armed forces. Our guest speakers in the opening keynote session, are all involved in different ways in promoting human rights in Russia and across the BASEES region either through their practical work or scholarship. The session will begin with Mary McAuley, who interviewed the leading human rights activists for her recent book “Human Rights in Russia: Citizens and the State from Perestroika to Putin” to introduce the topic discussing the changing face of human rights activism from the end of the Soviet period to present day. She will be followed by our three other speakers, all of whom are involved in different ways in defending human rights; human rights lawyer Sergey Golubok, who represents parties in cases heard before the Russian courts, including the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court, and before courts in Belarus and the European Court of Human Rights; Heather McGill, from Amnesty International who has been in charge of research on Belarus, Ukraine and the author of a recently published report of prisoners transportation in the Russian federation, and Dalia Leinarte, Professor of History at the University of Vilnius and currently chairperson of the UN The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) whose brief is to advance gender equality and human rights for women and girls around the world.
Mary McAuley (M.A., D. Phil. Oxon) left an academic career, as Fellow in Politics at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, in 1995 to head the Ford Foundation’s Moscow office, with particular responsibility for supporting human rights and legal reform. In May 2002 she returned to London, where, as an Associate of the International Centre for Prison Studies (then at King’s College, London) she wrote on juvenile justice. Publications include: Russia’s Politics of Uncertainty, Cambridge University Press, 1997; Deti v tiurme , OGI, Moscow, 2008; Children in Custody: Anglo-Russian Perspectives, Bloomsbury Academic, 2010; Human Rights in Russia: Citizens and the State from Perestroika to Putin, I B Tauris, April 2015
Sergei Golubok (LL.M. in International Human Rights Law (University of Essex, United Kingdom), Ph.D. in International Law and European Law (St Petersburg State University, Russia) has work experience with Registry of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (2008-2011). Since 2011 he is a practicing attorney in Russia, member of the St Petersburg Bar Association, mostly representing applicants before the European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court of Russia, and conducting criminal defense. In 2017 Dr Golubok was elected by his colleagues to serve as a Board member of his Bar Association. He is also member of the European Criminal Bar Association and associate member of the International Criminal Court Bar Association. In 2017 Sergei was awarded a prize for human rights litigation by the Moscow Helsinki Group. Available on Facebook: Sergey Golubok and on Instragram: goluboksergey.
Heather McGill graduated with an M.A. in Political Science from McGill University. Since 1990 she has worked in various roles with Amnesty International. Her first job was as USSR Field Officer, training and assisting Amnesty International activists in the former Soviet Union and then as researcher covering the Western CIS, Russia and since 2017 Central Asia. She has researched and published reports on the death penalty in Belarus, violence against women in Belarus and Ukraine, the investigation of torture allegations in Ukraine and Moldova and most recently a report on Prisoner Transportation in Russia. She is currently researching the issue of legal capacity and mental disability in Kazakhstan.
Dalia Leinarte is Professor of History and Chairperson of the UN CEDAW Committee. Leinarte writes extensively on women and family in Imperial Russia, and former Soviet Union. She is an author of The Lithuanian Family in its European Context, 1800-1914: Marriage, Divorce and Flexible Communities (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and Adopting and Remembering Soviet Reality: Life Stories of Lithuanian Women, 1945–1970 (Brill, 2010). Dalia Leinarte has received national and international recognition. In her country she is a recognized gender equality expert and defender of women’s rights. An especially strong example of the recognition of her work is that in 2012 the Lithuanian government nominated her as a candidate for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, UN (CEDAW). She was successfully elected.