Home > News and media > News > News archive > 2004 > Is the idea of human rights doing more harm than good?

 

Is the idea of human rights doing more harm than good?

Professor Conor Gearty, Rausing Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), will explore whether the message of human rights is now doing more harm than good in a public lecture on Tuesday 12 October at LSE.

Since the end of the Second World War, and especially following the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989, the idea of human rights has been assumed to be a force for good in the world. Recent events and the intellectual justification that has provided for them, however, now raise the spectre of a commitment to human rights that undermines rather than facilitates human flourishing.

Professor Gearty will consider the issues raised by recent world events and ask what should human rights activists and scholars do when their language is used both to support invasion abroad and to legitimise the abuse of rights at home? Does the democratic commitment to human rights make the abuse of human rights more rather than less likely? Are we near a time when those genuinely committed to human rights will need to acknowledge that their phrase has been irredeemably hijacked, or is there still life left in this powerful force for human good?

Conor Gearty is Rausing Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE and barrister at Matrix Chambers, of which he is a founder member. He has published widely, including The Struggle for Civil Liberties, and the recent Principles of Human Rights Adjudication. He has been a frequent adviser to judges, practitioners and public authorities on the implications of the UK Human Rights Act.

Is the idea of human rights doing more harm than good? is on Tuesday 12 October at 6pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A. The event is free and open to all with no ticket required.

Ends

To request a press seat, please contact Jessica Winterstein, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7060 or email j.winterstein@lse.ac.uk| 

29 September 2004

Share:Facebook|Twitter|LinkedIn|