‘Critical Exploration of Human Rights’ Conference – IELF Forum
On 7 and 8 May 2021, the UCD Centre for Human Rights held a very successful international online conference on Critical Exploration of Human Rights: When Human Rights Become Part of the Problem. Adopting a critical perspective, speakers and attendees discussed a broad range of topics on human rights including the issue of humanisation of war, the issue of uses and abuses of human rights, the issue of inequalities and economic rights, the issue of human right advocacy and activism, but also human rights and violence, and human rights and crises.
Professor Samuel Moyn (Yale) delivered a fascinating keynote lecture on the Humanisation of the War based on his new book Human: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War about the origins and significance of humane war. Distinguished guest speakers, Professor Neve Gordon (Queen Mary University, London), Dr. Daniela Lai (Royal Holloway, University of London), Professor Jacques Leider (French Institute of Asian Studies), Dr. Joel Pruce (University of Dayton), and Dr. Sharon Weill (Sciences Po, Paris), delivered thought-provoking presentations which were followed by lively discussions. A suite of 22 papers were also delivered in the different panels over the two days.
The event was introduced by Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact. She emphasised the importance of such contribution to the debate on human rights at a time when Ireland sits, as an elected member, at the United Nations Security Council for the 2021-22 term. Ireland is more than ever involved in complex issues involving human rights in different parts of the world and human rights are very much a key aspect of Irish foreign policy centred on the maintenance of international peace and security. Professor Colin Scott, Principal of the College of Social Sciences and Law and University Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said that the Conference exemplified the interdisciplinarity and the international dimension of the research undertaken in the University and in the College of Social Sciences and Law in particular. Professor Imelda Maher, Dean of UCD Sutherland School of Law, acknowledged the importance of the Centre’s contribution for the School of Law. The Conference was the occasion to showcase the expertise of lawyers in human rights and cognate issues with the presentation in particular of the School’s newest ERC project PROPERTY[IN]JUSTICE by Professor Amy Strecker, lead investigator, Sonya Cotton and Raphael Ng’etich.
The event was co-organised by Dr. Marie-Luce Paris (Law, Director of the UCD Centre for Human Rights) and Dr. Lea David (Sociology), and co-funded by the UCD Sutherland School of Law as its 23rd Irish European Law Forum, and the UCD School of Sociology.
The recordings of the presentations are available to watch on UCD School of Law YouTube Channel.