Professor Ruth Abril Stoffels teaches in the field of International Law, International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in several undergraduate and postgraduate studies at University CEU Cardenal Herrera. Expert in these matters, she has recently carried out a research project at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford.
Professor Abril is an international expert in the field of Human Rights and Law in crisis situations, a topic she had already taken on on her doctoral dissertation, which was published in 2003 and was awarded the most important recognition on International Humanitarian Law, given by the International Committee of the Red Cross. In her paper, Professor Abril analyzed situations of extreme need in which humanitarian help is not permitted. For this reason she was invited to participate in a table of international experts in a seminar organized by the United Nations two years ago.
With a long-time existing line of research on the field of the “responsibility to protect”, the University of Oxford is a reference worldwide in studying the problem of humanitarian intervention to prevent gross violations of human rights. The “responsibility to protect” is a new concept of sovereignty that forces States to prevent and fight against war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocides and campaigns of ethnic cleansing. By this “responsibility to protect”, the International Community is lawfully entitled to intervene even when a State does not want or cannot cooperate.
When Professor Abril was offered the possibility of carrying out a research project on the matter, she obtained funding via the Salvador de Madariaga Programme and started working in different discussion groups with the most renowned experts in the field.
As Professor Abril points out, the presence of the Spanish language at the University of Oxford is practically nonexistent, which makes contributions by Spanish researchers and experts unknown for most of their international peers. This has made her visit remarkably valuable, as she has had the opportunity to share her expertise with other international experts.
The presence of teachers and professors of University CEU Cardenal Herrera in this kind of academic forums is of great importance, as they can get in touch with professionals working in the most important international institutions. As Professor Abril states, this is important “because it shows the high professional standing of our academic staff, who can share their point of view at the highest academic level” and also because “it allows them to get in touch with professionals who have the same concerns and can analyze topics from a different perspective”.
Professor Abril will use her experience abroad for the benefit of her students.