Dr. Hohmann joined UTS Faculty of Law as Associate Professor in 2019. She is an internationally recognised expert on the right to housing in international law. Her research also engages with the material culture, objects and materiality of international law, and with Indigenous Peoples and international law. Her2013 monograph 'The Right to Housing: Law, Concepts, Possibilities' (Hart) was shortlisted for the Society of Legal Scholars Peter Birks' Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship. She is also the editor of Hohmann & Joyce (eds) 'International Law's Objects' (OUP 2018) and Hohmann & Weller (eds) 'The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Commentary' (OUP 2018).
Before joining UTS she was Senior Lecturer in Law at Queen Mary, University of London (2012-2019), and held a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Cambridge (2009-2012). She held an Independent Social Research Foundation Early Career Fellowship, pursuing research on the materiality and objects of international law in 217-18.
Dr. Hohmann holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, a LLM from Sydney Universtity, a LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School (York University) and a BA from the University of Guelph.
Can supervise: YES
Hohmann, J 2013, The Right to Housing: Law, Concepts, Possibilities, Hart Publishing, UK.
This paper considers the Grenfell Tower fire as a breach of the right to housing by the UK, in contravention of its obligations under international law. I examine how the fire, the underlying housing conditions that at least in part led to it, and the government’s response, breach the elements of the right to housing under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. I concentrate on the requirements that housing must be habitable, accessible – particularly for disadvantaged groups – and in an adequate and safe location. In a close analysis of the international legal standards, I clarify the ways the UK breached the right to housing, and how those international legal standards point to its inadequate actions and response for the survivors and victims. In concluding, I suggest that although the government is likely to resist the right to housing, it remains a powerful political tool to demonstrate the government’s lack of care of its people, and its overall legal and policy shortcomings as made strikingly clear by the Grenfell Tower fire.
Hohmann, J 2018, '‘The Treaty 8 Typewriter: Tracing the Roles of Material Things in Imagining, Realising and Resisting Colonial Worlds’', London Review of International Law, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 371-396.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Hohmann, JM, Buckner Inniss, L & Tramontana, E 2018, 'Cecilia Kell V Canada'.
Hohmann, J 2012, '‘Events: The Force of International Law by Fleur Johns, Richard Joyce & Sundhya Pahuja (eds)’', British Yearbook of International Law, vol. 82, no. 1.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Hohmann, J 2011, '‘Human Rights and their Limits by Wiktor Osiatyński & Advocating Dignity: Human Rights Mobilizations in Global Politics by Jean Quataert’', Cambridge Law Journal, vol. 70, no. 1.
Hohmann, J 2010, '‘Visions of Social Transformation and the Invocation of Human Rights in Mumbai: The Struggle for the Right to Housing’', Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 135-184.
Hohmann, J 2009, '‘Igloo as Icon: A Human Rights Approach to Climate Change for the Inuit?’', Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, vol. 18, no. 2.
Hohmann, J 2006, '‘The Thin End of the Wedge: Executive Detention of Non-Citizens & the Australian Constitution’', Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence.
Hohmann, J 2005, '‘Dictating to One of ‘Us’: The Migration of Mrs. Freer’', Macquarie Law Journal.
Buckner Inniss, L, Hohmann, J & Tramontana, E 2019, '‘Kell v Canada: Revaluating the CEDAW Decision in a Feminist Light’' in Hodson, L & Lavers, T (eds), Feminist Judgments in International Law, Hart Publishing, UK, pp. 333-372.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In 2008, Cecilia Kell, an indigenous woman from the Behchokǫ̀ community in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT), submitted a complaint to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (‘CEDAW Committee’). Over a decade earlier, Kell had been living in a common-law relationship with her partner, William Senych. Together, they had lived in housing specially set aside for indigenous people, allocated by the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation. Senych himself was not indigenous. Senych was abusive, and Kell was forced from their home on multiple occasions. On one occasion, she returned to find the locks changed, and to discover that Senych, who was a member of the Community’s housing board, had exploited his position on the board to have her name removed from the title to the property.
Over the next 11 years, Kell struggled to regain her home. In multiple engagements with the Canadian legal system, many of them mediated through state-provided legal aid lawyers, Kell found the law deaf to her claims. As a marginalised person seeking to be audible to the law, her struggles reveal the almost Kafkaesque nature of legal engagements for marginalised actors. Her legal aid lawyers advised her not to contest her forced removal from the home. They pursued compensation while she sought restitution of the home itself. They acted contrary to her instructions. The lack of independent funds to pursue her case hampered her. Her claims were dismissed without written reasons. Throughout, however, she remained committed to one aim: regaining her home.
Although the CEDAW Committee found in Kell’s favour, our re-written decision is motivated by a number of issues that we perceive to be problematic with the CEDAW views in this case from a feminist perspective.
Notably, the CEDAW Committee’s decision hints at, but fails to fully expose, the multiple ways in which the law marginalised and silenced Cecilia Kell. The decision reveals a failure to grasp the intersectio...
Housing provides and protects some of our most fundamental needs. It shields us from the elements and provides refuge from external physical threats. It gives us a base from which to build a livelihood and take part in the community, from the neighbourhood to the state. Moreover, housing provides a space in which our psychological needs can be met and fostered. As I have explored elsewhere, housing is important in the formation and protection of identity, community and place in the world (Hohmann, 2013). The recognition of the right to housing in law is based on an appreciation of the importance of housing to privacy, autonomy and freedom; its function in facilitating participation and inclusion in society; and its role in providing the material goods that make all of these things meaningful and possible. In other words, the principles that inform and underlie the right to housing include some of the most fundamental concerns of human rights (Hohmann, 2013). Moreover, while aspects of a person’s relationship with her housing and home may be protected by rights to privacy, property, liberty and security, by rights to vote and to freedom of expression, a right to housing shifts the focus, insisting that housing is not instrumental to the realization of other human needs and goods, but itself fundamental (Hohmann, 2013).
Hohmann, J 2018, '‘The UNDRIP and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Existence, Cultural Integrity and Identity, and Non-Assimilation: Articles 7(2), 8, and 43’' in Hohmann, J & Weller, M (eds), The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Commentary, Oxford University Press, UK.
Hohmann, J & Perez-Bustillo, C 2018, '‘Indigenous Rights to Development, Socio-Economic Rights, and Rights for Groups with Vulnerabilities: Articles 20–22, 24, and 44’' in Hohmann, J & Weller, M (eds), The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Commentary, Oxford University Press, UK.
Hohmann, J 2017, '‘Principle, Politics & Practice: The Role of UN Special Rapporteurs in the Development of the Right to Housing in International Law’' in Nolan, A, Freedman, R & Murphy, T (eds), The UN Special Procedures, Brill, UK.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Hohmann, J 2016, '2016 ‘Opium as an Object of International Law: Doctrines of Sovereignty and Intervention’' in Reinish, A, Footer, M & Binder, C (eds), International Law and… Select Proceedings of the European Society of International Law, Hart Publishing, UK.
Hohmann, J 2018, International Law’s Objects.
Hohmann, J 2018, 'The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Commentary'.
Hohmann, J 2016, 'Protecting the Right to Housing in England: A Context of Crisis Parallel Report to the UN CESCR on England’s performance under ICESCR, 2015'.
Hohmann, J, 'Independent Social Reseach Foundation Early Career Fellowship 2017-18'.