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Is there anything special about international human rights law?
Date: 16 May 2013 Time: 09.00am
Venue: Lancaster House Hotel
The requirement for a proper understanding of the idea of human rights has become a live one for academic and policy-orientated debate in moral and political theory and political thought. The most prominent of the debates in the United Kingdom relates to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on the right of prisoners to vote. The results of the multidisciplinary enquiry will be of interest to those in the academy and in relation to domestic policy-debates as the UK public is increasingly sceptical about the function of a supranational Court in resolving questions of political controversy. The focus of the debate is on the way in which we interpret human rights treaties. There is general agreement that human rights treaties should be interpreted primarily in line with the 'object and purpose' of the instrument: the protection of human rights. But this circular argument is unhelpful in the absence of conception of 'human rights'. The international law concept of 'human rights' must necessarily be informed (it might be argued) by the idea of 'human rights' in moral and political theory and political thought with which it shares a family resemblance. The multi-disciplinary discussions in the workshop will focus on the following questions in ethical, philosophical and political thought, and their implications for understanding the idea of 'international human rights law': What is the moral basis of 'human rights'? What is the function and the distinctive claims of 'human rights' in world society? What are the sources of 'human rights'? How, and in what ways, should international 'human rights' limit the possibilities of political self-determination in democratic States?
Speakers Dr Michael Addo (Exeter), 'What is Special About Evidence-Based International Human Rights Law?' Professor Mashood A. Baderin (SOAS), 'Human Rights between Law and Morality: A Comparative Enquiry.' Professor Christine Bell (Edinburgh), 'Human rights and Constituent Power: When and how do and should human rights bodies dictate the structure of the polity?' Professor Bill Bowring (Birkbeck), 'A heterodox account of human rights.' Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott (Oxford), 'Is there a moral basis to human rights?' Professor Helen Fenwick (Durham), 'Setting the limits of political self-determination in democracies in relation to international human rights.' Dr Jessie Hohmann (QMUL), 'Making a Claim, Making a Person? Investigating the Role of Human Rights Claims in Human Personhood.' Professor Javaid Rehman (Brunel), 'Freedom of thought, conscience and religion as a moral basis and contributor to the human rights code.' Professor Sir Nigel Rodley (Essex), member UN Human Rights Committee, 'The Conceptual and Political Underpinnings of International Human Rights Law.' Professor Surya Subedi (Leeds), UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia, 'Human Rights Principles: Universal or Western?'
Workshop fee £60 (including lunch and refreshments). Reduced rate of £45 for PhD students.
To book for the workshop: http://online-payments.lancaster-university.co.uk/browse/product.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=384
For enquiries about the workshop, please contact Professor Steven Wheatley, Director, Centre for International Law and Human Rights: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accommodation (B&B) is available on campus: £82 Lancaster House Hotel; or £42 for University Halls. Please contact Emma Parker: email@example.com. The workshop is preceded by a public Lecture: Professor Alan Buchanan (Duke University) 'Human Rights: Taking International Legalization Seriously' at 5pm on Wednesday 15 May 2013. You are welcome to join us for Dinner at Lancaster House Hotel after the Lecture by Professor Buchanan. The cost is £29.50. Please contact Emma Parker to book: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Event website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/cilhr/
Who can attend: Anyone
Associated staff: Steven Wheatley
Organising departments and research centres: CILHR Centre for International Law and Human Rights, Law
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