Law Professor speaks at Nobel Prize Nominee Nadia Murad's public lecture

Professor Jill Marshall highlights the vulnerability of girls and women in times of conflict despite international law's promise.
Law Professor speaks at Nobel Prize Nominee Nadia Murad's public lecture

Nadia Murad and Prof. Jill Marshall

Nobel Peace Prize nominee and UN Goodwill Ambassador Nadia Murad, who was held captive by so-called Islamic State members spoke at the University of Leicester on The Struggle of Yazidi people Against IS on 26 November 2016. Professor Jill Marshall brought the event to a close. She pointed out that although the actions described by Nadia are clearly illegal under many international and domestic laws, actually enforcing those laws can depend on the effective functioning of the relevant state and the ability and will of the International community.

Professor Marshall drew a comparison with previous genocides where sexual violence played a prominent role in the 1990s, when she was a similar age to Nadia: “I could not believe this was happening in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia - I thought these things were confined to the history books - and I can’t believe it’s happening now." She also highlighted the purpose of law: “Law is supposed to have some connection to justice and to protection especially of those less powerful and to punish aggressors." In terms of slavery, Professor Marshall referred to her recent lectures to our undergraduate Jurisprudence students and said "I sometimes think students see the things we talk about as in the past, history, and we now live in much better times, things have improved so much. But the buying and selling of humans is not confined to the history books - it is happening around us in the world today and we must do something about it..."

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