Banyan Summary 2012

2012 has been an exciting year for Banyan, and as we begin our first full year, we would like to give you a quick summary of our activities so far:

April 2012 saw the official creation of Banyan: SOAS Advocates, with an extremely successful opening event on 23rd April. “Putting your degree into action” saw a number of speakers from legal, NGO and academic backgrounds discuss the many ways students could demonstrate their abilities and experience, encouraging them to make the most of opportunities to apply their skills in practice on different research projects in a range of environments.

Since then, Banyan has offered a series of exciting opportunities to postgraduate students at SOAS.

In August 2012, the Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) asked Banyan to build a team of several students to work with RWI in supporting the implementation of the government of Guinea’s new mining code. The students have helped the government in ongoing negotiations and drafted research reports on different mining companies.

In the same month three Banyan students joined the MSI Project, an NGO monitoring the human rights impacts of multi-stakeholder initiatives. They wrote reports analysing some of these initiatives and helped generate recommendations to improve their adherence to human rights standards.

In November 2012, the Aegis Trust came to Banyan via Dr Chandra Sriram from the SOAS School of Law. Four postgraduate students are researching and drafting a report regarding Sudan and the ICC, which should be available by mid-February 2013.

Banyan is in the process of creating a team to work on a case with human rights solicitors Deighton Pierce Glynn. Deighton are particularly interested in Banyan’s multi-lingual membership as the case relates to immunity for torture prosecution and a leading official in an Arabic speaking country.

Finally, Dr Lutz Oette at SOAS has asked Banyan to recruit a single student to collaborate with the African Centre for Justice and Peace on a major report focused on Sudan.

As you can tell, this year has been an exciting one for Banyan and its members, something we’re hoping to continue this in 2013. If you’d like to get involved in running Banyan and working alongside out partner organisations, please contact us at

We hope everyone has an excellent 2013!

Luke, Jess and Deval

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