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Poverty and Rights: Can and Should the Law Promote Socio-Economic Equality? In collaboration with The Equal Rights Trust

Start: Jun 06, 2013 06:00 PM
End: Jun 06, 2013 07:30 PM

Location: UCL Faculty of Laws, Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, London, WC1H 0EG



  • Judge Claire L’Heureux-Dubé (Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada 1987-2002)
  • Judge Kate O’Regan (Judge of the South African Constitutional Court 1994-2009)
  • Dr Octavio Ferraz (Associate Professor of Law at the University of Warwick)
  • Dr Virginia Mantouvalou (Co-Director of the UCL Institute for Human Rights and Lecturer in Law),

Chaired by Professor Sir Bob Hepple QC, Chair of the Equal Rights Trust

About this Event: In these times of austerity, the impact of public spending cuts on the most disadvantaged is in the spotlight. With research suggesting that the poor are disproportionately negatively impacted by spending cuts, the question of whether the law should step in on their behalf to challenge public spending decisions is at the fore. The longstanding divide between those who think that it is not the place of the law to redistribute resources and those who think socio-economic rights cannot be fully realised without such redistribution, is reignited.

Can equality law be used to transform human rights? Should the law lift people out of poverty? What is the appropriate role of the law in advancing the equal enjoyment of social rights such as the rights to health and education? Can the courts promote socio-economic equality without usurping the role of the state in determining resource allocation? Does it matter?

The distinguished panellists will draw on their rich and varied experiences of researching and adjudicating socio-economic rights and equality issues in addressing these questions. They will also engage in a discussion with the public on this topical issue.

About the Equal Rights Trust: The Equal Rights Trust is an independent international organisation whose purpose is to combat discrimination and promote equality as a fundamental human right and a basic principle of social justice. Established as an advocacy organisation, resource centre and a think tank, it focuses on the complex relationship between different types of discrimination, developing strategies for translating the principles of equality into practice.

Summary of the Event


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