Is the Era of Universal Human Rights Coming to an End (Conor Gearty, LSE)

by | Jan 5, 2018

CorinRedgrave​​ Memorial ​​Lecture ​​2018

Conor Gearty

Professor​ of ​​Human​ ​Rights ​​Law​ ​at ​​LSE​

Is​ The​​ Era​​ of​ ​Universal​​ Human ​​Rights​ Coming​ To​ ​An ​​End?

Saturday​ 27 ​​January​​ 2018 ​​at ​​2​​p.m.

Conway​Hall,​​25​​ Red​ ​Lion​ ​Square,​​ London​​ WC1 R​​4RL

The challenges that human rights face today have not come out of the blue. Rather they are the result of what from the human rights perspective are three systemic weaknesses in the architecture of the post-World War Two political settlement : the acceptance of national sovereignty; the focus of human rights on governmental rather than private power; and the relative weakness of social and economic rights as compared with the more traditional civil and political guarantees. The attacks of 11 September 2001 and the financial collapse from 2008 have exposed these weaknesses and the responses to both have threatened the system in a direct way. At a time when the United States has forsaken any role as defender of international human rights, even on a hypocritical basis, the future might appear bleak. But a reinvigorated Europe​ may ​​yet ​​operate ​​as ​​an ​​antidote ​​to ​​pessimism​.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Corin Redgrave was not only an outstanding artist but an inspirational, passionate and steadfast campaigner for human rights. For over 40 years Corin worked for and alongside those in struggle against injustice whether in the labour and trade union movement or in individual cases of miscarriages of justice and for those detained without trial in Guantanamo. No case was too big​or​​too​​ small​. Corin was tireless in his opposition to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the so-called ‘War on Terror’ and his work was recognised both at home and abroad. He was a founder of the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission and Peace​ and​ ​Progress​​-​​A ​​Party ​​for ​​Human​ ​Rights​.

Conor Gearty is Professor of Human Rights Law at LSE and a Barrister at Matrix Chambers. He is a leading international expert on human rights who has written several books on the subject including ‘Can Human Rights Survive?’. ‘Liberty and Security’ and his latest book ‘ON FANTASY ISLAND, Britain, Europe and Human Rights. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a member of the Royal Irish​ Academy​​ and ​​a ​​Bencher​ ​of ​​Middle​ ​Temple​.


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