This week our guest is Professor Bill Bowring. Professor Bowring teaches human rights and international law at Birkbeck College, University of London. Bill Bowring is a practising lawyer who has represented applicants from Russia before the European Court of Human Rights in many cases. He is a co-founder and member of the Board of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC). He is also President of the organisation European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights.
The questions we discuss on the podcast include: when did Professor Bowring first become interested in Russia; examples of professional work in Russia; in terms of human rights, what distinguishes Russia from other countries; the most serious human rights issue in Russia today; civil society in Russia; the apparent desire of authorities in Russia to control everything; right of association in Russia; the FSB; the role of the European Court of Human Rights; recent developments; the future of human rights in Russia.
This podcast is in the Russian language. You can listen to it here:
The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.
Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: “A podcast with Bill Bowring, founder and board member of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC). Bill is the author of more than 130 publications on international law, human rights, minority rights, Russian law and philosophy. The grandson of an American Quaker, Bill showed us a portrait of Oliver Cromwell hanging on the wall of his home office. “We always had a portrait of Cromwell on the wall in our family,” Bill Bowring told us.
Professor Bowring, who lives in Britain, teaches human rights and international law at Birkbeck College, University of London. His first degree, in philosophy, was from the University of Kent. He has worked at Birkbeck since 2006. He previously taught at the University of East London, the University of Essex and London Metropolitan University. As a practicing lawyer since 1974, he has represented applicants before the European Court of Human Rights in many cases since 1992. Shortly before the first anniversary of the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, the case of Marina Litvinenko v. Russian Federation was brought before the European Court of Human Rights – on behalf of Marina and her family. This case was drafted by human rights experts Keir Starmer and Bill Bowring. We talked about many things, even the monument to Engels recently erected in Manchester. Too bad we didn’t have time to discuss the professor’s recent article ‘Marx, Engels, Lenin and the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination in International Law’ from the Handbook of Law and Marxism, but we did talk a lot about human rights in Russia and Britain. Do have a listen.
Simon Cosgrove adds: If you want to listen to this podcast on the podcasts.com website and it doesn’t seem to play, please download by clicking on the three dots to the right. A summary of some of the week’s events in Russia relevant to human rights can be found on our website here.