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Can human rights survive?

If the idea of human rights manages to survive its current problems, it can provide the guidance and direction needed to resolve some big social issues such as the challenges of the war on terror, the revival of political religion, and the steady erosion of the world's natural resources.

Professor Conor Gearty, Rausing Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and professor of human rights law at LSE, publishes a new book this month [Thursday 18 May] focusing on the survival fight for human rights. He will also be participating in a seminar discussion panel on Thursday 25 May, chaired by Lord Justice Stephen Sedley, in which commentators including Shami Chakrabarti, the Director of Liberty, will respond to the book. The seminar will be held at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies from 4-6pm.

In his new book Can Human Rights Survive? (CUP, 2006), Professor Gearty summarises in three essays the lectures he originally presented as the prestigious 2005 Hamlyn Lectures in London, in Durham and in Belfast.

Professor Gearty, also a founding member of Matrix Chambers, was the latest in a long line of judges, legal academics and experts to deliver the Hamlyn lectures, held each autumn. The series first began 56 years ago in 1949, when Lord Denning spoke on Freedom under the Law. Other speakers have included Lord Woolf, Lord Scarman, and Sir Bob Hepple QC FBA.



  • Professor Conor Gearty, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE, at c.a.gearty@lse.ac.uk or on 020 7955 6554.
  • Jess Winterstein, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7060.


The Hamlyn Trust was created by Miss Emma Hamlyn in memory of her father, a solicitor and justice of the peace. The trust's aim is to further knowledge and understanding of the law, including the comparative jurisprudence of the chief European countries, among the people of the UK. Its objective is achieved primarily by an annual series of public lectures by distinguished judges, legal practitioners, academic lawyers and other eminent speakers.


The Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE was launched in autumn 2000 - and, thanks to the generous support of The Sigrid Rausing Trust- has had a full-time director in post since October 2002. The Centre draws upon LSE's considerable expertise and resources in the social sciences to develop its programmes of teaching, research and outreach in the field of human rights.

15 May 2006