Two Qatar University (QU) law professors are given a platform to speak in New York recently, at the UN General Assembly and another professor speaks at the National Human Rights Committee. Dr. Jon Truby, Director of Qatar University's Centre for Law & Development from the College of Law spoke at the General Assembly on the environmental impact of blockchain technologies. Dr. Ioannis Konstantinidis, Assistant Professor of International Law also at the College of Law and Affiliate Member at QU Center for Law and Development (CLD), spoke at the Qatar National Human Rights Committee event on The Blockade on Qatar: Challenges and Opportunities in Human Rights, organized on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

Dr. Truby was invited to the event following his recent publication on the environmental impact of blockchain technologies. Amidst worries that blockchain uses up too much energy, Dr. Truby argued at the UN that not all blockchain technologies are harmful to the environment, but some can be extremely damaging and threaten the worlds progress towards achieving the Paris Agreement on climate change. Dr. Truby proposed to introduce policy tools to differentiate between high and low emission type blockchain, to discourage path dependence towards polluting the bitcoin model. If we do not do this and continue the same design as bitcoin, Dr. Truby says we will kill the planet. Introducing policy tools to encourage blockchain designs requires less computational energy, helps climate efforts and achieves the sustainable development goals.

In a separate event, Dr. Konstantinidis attempted to reassess the human rights redress mechanisms of the Arab system for protection of human rights, in light of both the Gulf diplomatic crisis and the flagrant human rights violations. The main aim of establishing a regional system is to obtain a level of protection that is more advanced than the protection granted by the international system. Dr. Konstantinidis argued mainly that Arab countries have an opportunity to improve and reinforce human rights protection at a regional level. To this end, an individual complaint procedure under the Arab Charter on Human Rights and the locus standi of individuals before the future Arab Court of Human Rights are indispensable prerequisites.

Source: Qatar University