23 August 2013
Dr Jessie Hohmann's book 'The Right to Housing: Law, Concepts, Possibilities' has been shortlisted for the Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship 2013.
The Peter Birks Prizes are offered by the Society of Legal Scholarship in recognition of outstanding published books by scholars in their early careers.
Dr Hohmann took up a lectureship with Queen Mary in September 2012, after completing a British Academy Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge. Her book, published by Hart in March 2013, represents a major contribution to the scholarship on an under-studied and ill-defined right. In terms of content, it provides a much needed exploration of the right to housing. In approach it offers a new framework for argument within which the right to housing, as well as other under-theorised and contested rights, can be reconsidered, reconnecting human rights with the social conditions of their violation, and hence with the reasons for their existence.
A human right to housing represents the law's most direct and overt protection of housing and home. Unlike other human rights, through which the home incidentally receives protection and attention, the right to housing raises housing itself to the position of primary importance. However, the meaning, content, scope and even existence of a right to housing raise vexed questions.