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The video of this year’s Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture, held on 10 November, is now available on the RSC’s YouTube channel. We were honoured to welcome Professor E Tendayi Achiume to give this year’s lecture on ‘Empire, Asylum, and Refugee Responsibility-Sharing’. Introducing her lecture, Professor Achiume asks “…what is the border? Where is it? What is it for? Who is it for? Who is it against? Is it just? Can it be just?” She continues, “This evening I want to make the case that these questions are pressing questions not just for philosophers and political theorists, but for international refugee lawyers, for students and practitioners of international refugee law, in addition to being urgent questions for the world at large.”

Watch the lecture here.


E. Tendayi Achiume is Alicia Miñana Chair in Law, and former Faculty Director of the UCLA Law Promise Institute for Human Rights. She is also a Research Associate with the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand. The current focus of her work is the global governance of racism and xenophobia; and the legal and ethical implications of colonialism for contemporary international migration. More generally, her research and teaching interests lie in international human rights law, international refugee law, international migration, and property. She received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2020—UCLA’s highest honor for excellence in teaching—and the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching.

In November 2017, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Professor Achiume the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, making her the first woman to serve in this role since its creation in 1993. In 2016, she was appointed to co-chair the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), and she is former co-chair of the ASIL Migration Law Interest Group.