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The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse


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Editor's note: This lecture contains sexually explicit language and/or profanity, please do not download if you may be offended.

Speaker(s): Geoffrey Robertson
Chair: Dr Chaloka Beyani

Recorded on 8 September 2010 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.

The Case of the Pope delivers a devastating indictment of the way the Vatican has run a secret legal system that has shielded paedophile priests from criminal trial around the world. Is the Pope morally responsible or legally liable under domestic or international law for the negligence that has allowed so many terrible crimes to go unpunished? Should he and his seat of power, the Holy See, continue to enjoy an immunity that places them above the law? To what extent do Vatican dogmas conflict with human rights treatise, and why has the United Nations allowed this church – alone of religions and NGOs – a privileged platform to promote them? Geoffrey Robertson QC demonstrates a deep respect for the good works of Catholics and their church. But, he argues, unless Pope Benedict XVI can divest himself of the beguilements of statehood and devotion to obsolete canon law, the Vatican will remain in grave breach of the convention on the Right of the Child and in some other respects, an enemy of human rights. This event marks the publication of Geoffrey Robertson's new book 'The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse.'

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