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Award wins for Queen Mary human rights law expert

Associate professor in law Dr Hedi Viterbo has won prestigious international prizes for his latest book, which explores how the Israeli state and its critics shape and weaponise the categories of child versus adult.

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In 'Problematizing Law, Rights and Childhood in Israel/Palestine', Dr Viterbo bridges disciplinary divides and draws on hundreds of previously unexamined sources (many of which are not publicly available), revealing how Israel has increasingly used children's rights and international law to hone and legitimise its violence against Palestinians.

Dr Viterbo argues that the human rights community is complicit in this situation, pointing out its uncritical embrace of international law and recurring emulation of Israel's security discourse. The book also highlights some of the human rights community's problematic assumptions about childhood - issues where Dr Viterbo has particular expertise, as Director of Queen Mary's Childhood, Law & Policy Network.

The American Political Science Association recently praised the publication as the Best Book of 2022 in its Human Rights Awards. Earlier this year, the UK's Socio-Legal Studies Association also honoured Dr Viterbo with their Early Career Book Prize, in recognition of his work through the book to advance knowledge in the field.

Following the wins, Dr Viterbo said: “I am delighted and honoured that this book - the culmination of 14 years of research - is receiving such recognition, especially given that it radically challenges conventional wisdom about law, rights and childhood.”

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