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Aleydis Nissen Wins the Andrés Bello Prize (Institut de Droit International)

During the 80th session of the Geneva-based Institut de Droit International, Aleydis Nissen was awarded the Andrés Bello Prize. The competition was established by James Brown Scott in 1931 and is carried out under the auspices of the Institut.

Aleydis Nissen

The J.B. Scott Prize bears the name of thirteen distinguished international lawyers on a rotating basis. The Andrés Bello Prize honours the best PhD dissertation on ‘North-South Relations and International Law’ worldwide.

After a blind review, the jury decided to award this Prize to Nissen’s PhD dissertation ‘Business and human rights: the role of European Union member states in developing accountability mechanisms for corporations from developing and emerging states’. Exceptionally, there were two James Brown Scott Prize winners. Baptiste Delmas (La Rochelle Université) also won the Andrés Bello Prize for his dissertation entitled ‘La compétence universelle du juge en droit du travail'. 

The 80th session and award ceremony were planned in Beijing, but transferred online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. After the introduction by Vice President Marcelo Kohen, Pierre-Marie Dupuy was joined by his fellow jury members - Jeannette Irigoin-Barrenne and Dire Tladi - to announce their verdict. President Xue Hanqin wrapped up and started a dialogue between the Institut and the Chinese Society of International Law on ‘International Law and Global Governance - Multilateralism in the Post Pandemic World’.

Nissen says ‘In 1826, Bello described in his poem Silva a la Agricultura de la Zona Tórrida how European consumption overtaxed the land and people in South America. While European consumption has only multiplied over the past centuries, many people in the global South are also in the thrall of their “own” corporations nowadays. Perhaps surprisingly, the field of “business and human rights” has remained largely silent on such private transnational corporations from developing and emerging states. If such corporations are included in the literature, then they are mostly studied in supply chain relations, as subsidiaries of corporations from European Union Member States and other economically developed states. I decided to study this North-South dynamic in my dissertation.’

In 2016, Nissen obtained a PhD grant to work on her dissertation from Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics. Since 2020, she has been working as a postdoc in Leiden and Brussels. In that year, she obtained two 3-year research grants from FWO in Flanders and FNRS-F.R.S. in Wallonia. Nissen is currently transforming her dissertation into a monograph entitled ‘The European Union, Emerging Global Business & Human Rights’. She is negotiating a book contract with CUP for publication in the series Cambridge Studies in European Law and Policy. Her next paper will be published in the Chicago Journal of International Law Online.

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