Dr Richard Carver


Senior Lecturer
CENDEP Associate


Dr Richard Carver has worked in human rights research and policy since the early 1980s, having been on the staff of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and ARTICLE 19. He has carried out consultancies for a variety of United Nations and non-governmental agencies.

In the 1990s Richard taught at the Refugee Studies Centre in the University of Oxford and has been a guest lecturer at a number of universities, including Cambridge, Harvard, Nottingham, York, London, Pavia, and Lisbon.

He has been an associate of the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) since September 2008. He is an adviser to the Rights in Exile Programme of the InternationalRefugee Rights Initiative.

Richard has just concluded a four-year multi-country project to research the effectiveness of torture prevention measures, with Dr Lisa Handley, Visiting Research Academic at CENDEP.

Teaching interest

Human rights; refugees and forced migration; media policy and regulation. Module leader for Human Rights and Governance, The Refugee Experience, and Independent Study. Interested in PhD supervision on any aspect of human rights, especially institutional protection of rights, torture, counter-terrorism, or media and freedom of expression.

Research interests and consultancy expertise

National human rights institutions; terrorism and counter-terrorism; prevention of torture; media and elections; hate speech; freedom of information.

Examples of recent projects:

  • Researching and writing the official history of the International Ombudsman Institute, 2016-17
  • Developing a training package on human rights fact-finding for national human rights institutions, UNDP 2016
  • Capacity assessment of the Ombudsman of Macedonia, UNDP 2015
  • Writing training manuals on media law and freedom of expression, Media Legal Defence Initiative, 2014-15
  • Devising a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of Ombudsman institutions in Central and Eastern Europe, UNDP 2013.
  • Devising a media monitoring methodology for the broadcasting regulator, Moldova, Council of Europe, 2010
  • Rationalization of the Croatian human rights protection system, UNDP, 2009-10
  • Litigation strategy on counter-terrorism, human rights and the rule of law, Open Society Justice Initiative, 2009
  • Strategic and communications planning, training curriculum, UNDP, 2008
  • Eminent Jurists' Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights, International Commission of Jurists, 2007-9
  • Talking about Terrorism: Risks and Choices for Human Rights Organizations, International Council on Human Rights Policy, 2007-8
  • Evaluation tools for Ombudsman institutions in the former Soviet Union, UNDP, 2007>
  • Prevention of Torture, training curriculum, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights/Association for the Prevention of Torture/Fahamu, 2006
  • Media and Elections, Administration and Cost of Elections Project (www.aceproject.org) International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2006

Selected publications:

Does Torture Prevention Work? (with Lisa Handley), Liverpool University Press 2016

“National human rights institutions, displacement and human security,” in Math Noortmann and Cedric Ryngaert (eds), Human Security and International Law: The Challenge of Non-State Actors, Intersentia, 2014.

"Central and Eastern Europe: the Ombudsman as agent of international law" in Ryan Goodman and Thomas Pegram (eds), Human Rights, State Compliance and Social Change: Assessing National Human Rights Institutions, Cambridge University Press 2012

"Is there a human right to shelter after disaster?" Environmental Hazards, 10:3-4, 232-47, 2011

"One NHRI or many? How many institutions does it take to protect human rights?" Journal of Human Rights Practice, March 2011

"A new answer to an old question: national human rights institutions and the domestication of international law", Human Rights Law Review, 10, 1-32, March 2010

Assessing the Effectiveness of National Human Rights Institutions, International Council on Human Rights Policy and Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2005

Performance and Legitimacy: National Human Rights Institutions, International Council on Human Rights Policy, 2000

"National Human Rights Institutions in Africa" in Kamal Hossein (ed), Human rights commissions and ombudsman offices: national experiences throughout the world, Kluwer Law International, The Hague and London, 2000

"Rwanda and beyond: broadcasting and political transition", in Richard Fardon and Graham Furniss (eds), African Broadcast Cultures, James Currey, 2000

"Measuring Media Bias," Communications Law in Transition Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2000

"Zimbabwe: Drawing a line through the past", Journal of African Law, Vol. 37, No. 1, 1993

"Called to Account: how African governments investigate human rights violations", African Affairs, 1990

The Struggle for Health: Medicine and the Politics of Underdevelopment (with David Sanders), Macmillan, 1985

Recent conference papers

Recent conference papers “Evidence-based Indicators for Torture Prevention” (with Lisa Handley), Primer Congreso Internacional de Indicadores en Derechos Humanos, Mexico City, April 2016

"Torture, international law and the enigma of prevention," Instituciones Nacionales de Derechos Humanos (INDDHH) y la Implementación de las Recomendaciones del EPU Relacionadas a la Prevención de la Tortura, Universidad de Palermo, Buenos Aires, December 2011.

"NHRIs and humanitarian crises: before, during and after," Non-state actors and human security: revolt, relief and reconstruction, Oxford Brookes University, September 2011.

"The EHRC and the implementation of international human rights law," The Equality and Human Rights Commission of Great Britain: Challenges and Opportunities, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, June 2011.

"Protecting and promoting ESC rights: How many NHRIs are necessary?," EU-China Human Rights Seminar, Universidad Nacional de Educación Distancia, Madrid, June 2010.

Richard Carver


School of Architecture

Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, OX3 0BP


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