The Centre gathers the knowledge and competence of high-level experts by bringing together leading academics from Latin America and Europe. The Centre's research focuses on multidisciplinarity, with a special emphasis on social and political sciences, international relations and mathematics.
It develops synergies and engaged debates between academics and the wider society from various disciplines connected to International Law and Global Governance studies through joint interdisciplinary research, debate activities, international events and workshops, educational programs, training and capacity-building courses. It delivers an academic-added value by providing a platform of cooperation, intellectual exchange and facilitation between the participating academics, practitioners, policy-makers and civil society.
All research projects developed under the auspices of the Centre are structured around four core dimensions (1), and make use of mixed methodologies (2).
The Centre’s research projects are structured around four core dimensions: Global Regulation (a), Global Litigation (b), Climate Change and Forests (c) and Human Rights and Democracy (d).
Multi-level decision-making and policy development in the International and European levels. It deals with topics such as Good governance, International rule making by Non-State Actors and its challenges. It includes specialized modules to foster a deeper understanding of particular policy areas.
Ongoing research projects:
- The Normative Legitimacy of the World Health Organisation in Brazil
- Decoding the influence of WHO standards in Brazil: a multidisciplinary approach
It encompasses the jurisdiction of international courts and tribunals (ICTs); the multifunctional role of ICTs, including the limits and potentials of their law-making function; the role of ICTs in the protection and promotion of community interests and related challenges; the participation and access of State and Non-State actors (NSAs) in international adjudication in a variety of ICTs; the discussion of mechanisms for compliance and enforcement of ICTs’ decisions. Globally, it addresses the input of ICTs to the global governance scheme.
Ongoing research projects:
- Expanding access to international justice: The participation of State and Non-State Actors before international courts and tribunals;
- Community interests and access to the International Court of Justice via the advisory function;
- Third-party intervention and compliance with decisions of the International Court of Justice;
- Community Interests and erga omnes parte obligations before the International Court of Justice;
- Non-State Actors and Investment Arbitration: Towards a broader dimension of compliance.
State and Non-State Actors are increasingly seeking climate justice through judicial means. Negotiation fora are not formulating public policies fast enough and the current state of environmental law does not provide sufficient clear-cut climate obligations. As a result, adjudicatory bodies are being called upon to address the lack of effective actions of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. Thus, their role has become more relevant in recent years, mainly in their advisory function – which gears international community with tools to seek compliance and the implementation of actions against climate change impacts. Accordingly, formal and effective access to justice concerning participation in advisory proceedings of ICTs poses a significant question to upholding community interests such as the rights of future generations.
The urgency and gravity of climate change impacts and the injustices thereby push for effective actions to mitigate and adapt to these impacts. Some State and NSAs are stepping up to deliver proper response to climate emergency. Indeed, calls for climate justice are multiplying while the complexity and the range of the issues demand for assorted actions in many instances. Deforestation remains a mostly overlooked issue that considerably affects climate change, contributing with increased GHG emissions. Likewise, the deforestation impacts are transboundary and yet unaccounted for. Considering the normative gap, one should assess legitimacy of international institutions such as the EU to adopt a legislative instrument to tackle deforestation, its transnational legal impact and effectiveness in mitigating climate change.
Ongoing research projects
- Climate Change Litigation in International Courts and Tribunals
- Forests and Climate Change: multilevel governance and regulation
It includes the legitimacy of the international and regional decision-making process; transparency; accountability; participation of individuals to international and regional proceedings; protection of Democracy; human rights protection and current challenges.
Ongoing research projects
- The Legacy of Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade: Towards Building a New Jus Gentium
- The Limits and Prospects of restraining the Veto Power in Face of Mass Atrocities
- Populism and International Law: challenges between rhetoric and legal practice in Brazilian Foreign Policy
The Centre develops research projects employing mixed methodology, notably with the use of the sequential eclectic approach, comprising theoretical and empirical analysis with both qualitative and quantitative elements in a multi-layered analysis.
Quantitative methods confer the possibility to establish systematic patterns, while qualitative methods are more adequate to capture socially complex phenomena, to identify new and multiple causal paths, and to explain individual cases of study, adding robustness to methodological gaps presented by the quantitative data. Therefore, mixed methods can be used as an epistemological reassurance of the results found by each research method individually.
Methodological pluralism and eclecticism focus on the process of mixing various methods, rather than the classification of each type of methods. According to Langford, ‘to attain the mantle of mixed methods there must be some integration, active mixture of methods through design and implementation’ (M Langford, ‘Mixed Methods in Human Rights’ in B Andreassen, H-O Sano and C Methven O'Brien (eds.) Research Methods in Human Rights: A Handbook (Edward Elgar, 2nd Ed, 2023). They can include, for instance, traditional doctrinal approaches, legal theory techniques, empirical methods from the social and natural sciences, and textual analysis and archival methods from the humanities.
Mixed methods can be employed in both the stages of the research, i.e. data collection and analysis and can combine both textual analysis and empirical legal research with quantitative and qualitative methods. In empirical legal research, qualitative interviews are often used as a research method in social and political science, where they are considered an effective means to elicit information not only on political but also on social behaviour.
An empirical study with the use of mixed methods was applied in the ongoing research on “Expanding access to international justice: The participation of State and Non-State Actors before international courts and tribunals”, incorporated both qualitative (conceptualization) and quantitative (data and textual analysis) research methods. The first systematic empirical analysis in the specialized literature to map the participation of State and NSAs in the ICJ's contentious cases and advisory proceedings.
Complex research methodology was also applied in “The Normative Legitimacy of the World Health Organisation in Brazil”. The project is developed in partnership between the Centre of Global Law (CPDG) and the FGV's School of Applied Mathematics (EMAp). In collaboration with Queen Mary and Fiocruz, this innovative research project in the field of law, health and mathematics aims to evaluate the impact of WHO norms on domestic legal systems. This research employs automated search methodology, such as natural language processing techniques and statistical methods for textual analysis. Natural Language Processing techniques, such as different types of vectorization (or embedding) and informational clustering techniques will be tested to determine the semantic proximity of the national documents and each WHO regulation. Statistical models aim to describe the chains of influence between an international organization’s normative instruments and the different branches of a national legal system.