UCL Institute for Human Rights
IHR Newsletter

Contact us: human.rights@ucl.ac.uk

Previous IHR Events

Workshop on Allen Buchanan’s ‘The Heart of Human Rights’

Publication date:

Start: May 19, 2015 10:00:00 AM
End: Jun 3, 2015 2:00:00 PM

The UCL Institute for Human Rights and the UCL Legal Philosophy Forum (ULPF) invite you to 

A Workshop on Allen Buchanan's 'The Heart of Human Rights'

on Wednesday 3rd June 2015
14.00 - 16.45 pm

About the author and the event
Allen Buchanan is James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy at Duke University, and is a leading philosopher on a broad range of topics in international law, morality, and human rights. He is the author of eleven books and over one hundred-fifty articles. He currently divides his time between Duke University, King’s College London, and the University of Arizona.

The workshop is on Buchanan’s latest book ‘The Heart of Human Rights’ (Oxford University Press, 2013). The book explores international human rights law, the plurality of considerations that may justify international legal human rights, and the legitimacy of the institutions responsible for their creation and development.

Programme and speakers
14.00 pm: Panel 1
Justifying Human Rights: Methodological Issues and the Role of Legal Practice
with Saladin Meckled-Garcia  (UCL School of Public Policy)
Tom Dannenbaum (UCL School of Public Policy)
George Letsas  (UCL Laws)
Responses by Allen Buchanan and Q & A

15.15 - 15.30 pm: Tea & Coffee Break

15.30 pm: Panel 2
International Human Rights: Legitimacy, Supremacy and Ethical pluralism
with Jeff King (UCL Laws)
Virginia Mantouvalou  (UCL Laws)
Colm O'Cinneide  (UCL Laws)

Click here to register for the event.

Discussing 'Human Rights and European Law’ with Lady Justice Arden and Judge Dean Spielmann, President of the European Court of Human Rights

Publication date:

Start: Jun 8, 2015 5:00:00 PM
End: Jun 8, 2015 7:00:00 PM

-- Invitation only --

A panel discussion of issues arising from Lady Justice Arden’s new book Human Rights and European Law: Building New Legal Orders taking place at UCL Faculty of Laws on Monday, 8 June 2015, at 5pm (followed by a reception).

The panel discussion will be led by Judge Dean Spielmann, President of the European Court of Human Rights, and will include contributions from UCL academics Professor George Letsas, Dr Virginia Mantouvalou, Colm O’Cinneide and Dr Kimberley Trapp.

Britain and the European Convention on Human Rights

Publication date:

Start: Mar 23, 2015 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 23, 2015 7:30:00 PM

Should we think of the ECHR as undermining decisions of democratically elected governments or as placing the sorts of limitations on governments required to protect human rights?


‘Nous sommes citoyens’: Freedom of Expression after Paris

Publication date:

Start: Feb 11, 2015 6:30:00 PM
End: Feb 11, 2015 8:00:00 PM

post-Charlie poster

In the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris recently, there is an urgent need to debate the values that tie us together as citizens – a commitment to freedom of expression and to freedom from violence and fear – and the challenges of sustaining those values in a world of difference and conflict.

Equality: The New Legal Framework Revisited

Publication date:

Start: Oct 28, 2014 6:00:00 PM
End: Oct 28, 2014 7:30:00 PM

Professor Sir Bob Hepple - Equality: The New Legal Framework Revisited

This panel discussion will be opened by Professor Bob Hepple’s presentation of his latest work: Equality – The Legal Framework (2nd ed., Hart, 2014), and his analysis of the main developments in the UK Equality Law framework since the adoption of the Equality Act 2010.

Does Affirmative Action Create Unfair Advantage?

Publication date:

Start: Jun 19, 2014 6:00:00 PM

The Equal Rights Trust

Affirmative action to advance equality is a controversial issue in many countries. Black economic empowerment and employment equity measures have not made much headway in undoing apartheid's legacy in South Africa and racial criteria in university admissions in the USA have been contested in the courts. At the same time constitutional provisions favouring Bumiputera in Malaysia put members of the group in a privileged position that arguably amounts to discrimination. In Britain, a different but also debated approach is taken – that of “positive duties” – in the new generation of equality legislation.

Gender, Human Rights, and Cultural Relativism. Tackling the Issues of FGM and Gender Violence in Domestic Law

Publication date:

Start: Mar 27, 2014 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 27, 2014 7:45:00 PM

Stop FGM

A screening of the documentary “The Cruel Cut,” by our notable speaker and co- founder of the organisation Daughters of Eve, Leyla Hussein; followed by a panel discussion with Ms Hussein and Dexter Dias QC

UCL CLP: The dialogic model of constitutionalism and the system of checks and balances

Publication date:

Start: Mar 27, 2014 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 27, 2014 7:00:00 PM

Professor Roberto Gargarella

Numerous countries in the world have, in one way or another, incorporated social and economic rights (SER) in their Constitutions. However, while these Constitutions look modern and rights-rich, they also look old and regressive concerning the organization of governmental power  -particularly in what regards the organization of a system of checks and balances. As a consequence, a recurring problem affecting these Constitutions is the “mismatch” between their progressive, 21st century commitments concerning SER and the form of constitutional democracy inherited from the 18th century. In this presentation Roberto Gargarella will examine both the promise of the bill-of-rights sections of these renewed Constitutions and the frustrations generated by the organization-of-powers-sections of the same documents. In particular, he will show how a deliberative conception of democracy and a dialogic understanding of the system of checks and balances can help us make the promise of SER – the achievement of a just society - a reality.

Why Love Matters for Justice: Workshop on Martha Nussbaum's 'Political Emotions'

Publication date:

Start: May 31, 2014 10:00:00 AM
End: May 31, 2014 4:00:00 PM

Martha Nussbaum

Martha Nussbaum has for many years been at the forefront in exploring the nature of the emotions, their place in a flourishing human life, and their practical significance for politics and law. In her book, Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice (Harvard University Press, 2013), she turns her attention to the emotional roots of a liberal political order.

HIV/AIDS at Work: I.B. v Greece

Publication date:

Start: Mar 24, 2014 1:00:00 PM
End: Mar 24, 2014 2:00:00 PM

Landmark Judgement on HIV/AIDS Discrimination in the Workplace

In the first ever case relating to HIV/AIDS discrimination in the workplace, I.B. v. Greece, the European Court of Human Rights held that the dismissal of an HIV-positive worker in response to workforce pressure violated human rights. The applicant was represented by the Co-Directors of the UCL Institute for Human Rights, Dr George Letsas and Dr Virginia Mantouvalou.

Britain & Europe Seminar Series: Refugee Protection, Migration and Human Rights in Europe: Notes from the field

Publication date:

Start: Mar 4, 2014 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 4, 2014 7:30:00 PM

UCL Britain and Europe Lecture Series

The Syrian crisis is not only the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis at present, but also Europe’s biggest refugee crisis in 20 years. Last December the Commissioner carried out a “thematic mission”, following the route taken by many Syrian refugees through Turkey, Bulgaria and Germany. This journey strengthened the Commissioner’s conviction that European states can and must do much more to live up to their obligation to protect Syrian refugees.

Is Prolonged Solitary Confinement Cruel and Inhumane? The Experience of California Prisoners

Publication date:

Start: Mar 10, 2014 6:00:00 PM

UCL CLP - Immigration Detention: The Grounds Beneath our Feet

California  holds several thousand prisoners in solitary confinement throughout the state. Over 1000 of these prisoners confined in isolation are at Pelican Bay State Penitentiary. They live in 80 square foot windowless cells, locked in their cells for 22 ½ to 24 hours a day. Hundreds of prisoners have been held in solitary for over a decade, many for over two decades. Last summer, 30,000 California prisoners went on hunger strike in protest over California's use of solitary. This talk will discuss why United States courts have thus far refused to hold that the use of such prolonged solitary confinement constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, why that might change now, and the movement in California to end such use.

Ruins: Chronicle of an HIV Witch-Hunt

Publication date:

Start: Nov 18, 2013 12:00:00 PM
End: Nov 18, 2013 2:00:00 PM

Ruins: Chronicle of an HIV Witch-Hunt

Ruins: Chronicle of an HIV Witch-Hunt (directed by Zoe Mavroudi) focuses on the case of a group of 31 HIV-positive women who were detained by the police a few days before the May 2012 general election in Greece and force-tested for HIV; those who diagnosed positive were publicly exposed on television and accused of illegal prostitution and seeking to spread the virus intentionally.

UCL CLP - Immigration Detention: The Grounds Beneath our Feet

Publication date:

Start: Nov 21, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Nov 21, 2013 7:00:00 PM

UCL CLP - Immigration Detention: The Grounds Beneath our Feet

Both our common law constitution and human rights law treat liberty as a central value. Yet, immigration detention remains less constrained, both normatively and institutionally, than other forms of detention.

UCL CLP - Whither the Margin of Appreciation?

Publication date:

Start: Mar 20, 2014 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 20, 2014 7:00:00 PM

President Dean Spielmann

The doctrine of the margin of appreciation may be regarded as being among the most prominent judge-made legal constructs in European human rights jurisprudence. It is an analytical tool that guides the European Court in its examination of the complaints raised under many, but not all, provisions of the Convention and its Protocols. It makes for a body of human rights law that accepts pluralism over uniformity, as long as the fundamental guarantees are effectively observed.

UCL Britain & Europe Series - An International Bill of Rights of Man: Where Next?

Publication date:

Start: Oct 31, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Oct 31, 2013 7:30:00 PM

UCL Britain and Europe Lecture Series

UCL is hosting a symposium on the occasion of the re-publication of Hersch Lauterpacht's An International Bill of Rights of Man, with an Introduction by Professor Philippe Sands, UCL, published by Oxford University Press.

Doctors of the Dark Side - a film showing and discussion panel

Publication date:

Start: Oct 29, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Oct 29, 2013 8:00:00 PM

Doctors of the Dark Side screening and panel at UCL Institute for Human Rights

UCL Institute for Human Rights is pleased to announce a film screening followed by a panel discussion of the film Doctors of the Dark Side.
About this event

The New Commonwealth Model of Constitutionalism: Theory and Practice

Publication date:

Start: Jun 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM
End: Jun 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM

Professor Stephen Gardbaum Book Cover

Speaker: Professor Stephen Gardbaum (MacArthur Foundation Professor of International Justice and Human Rights, UCLA)

Drones, Morality and International Law

Publication date:

Start: May 16, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: May 16, 2013 7:00:00 PM

People protesting against drones

Part of the Current Legal Problems Series 2012-13

Speaker: Professor David Luban (Georgetown University)

Whose Poor / Who's Poor?: The Significance of Relative Deprivation

Publication date:

Start: Feb 19, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Feb 19, 2013 7:30:00 PM

Hands reaching out

Speaker: Professor Judith Lichtenberg (Georgetown University)

Chair: Professor John Tasioulas (UCL)

About this event: According to one recent estimate, the poorest five percent of Americans are richer than two thirds of the world’s people. But such comparisons can be misleading. Contemporary philosophers have been preoccupied with determining whether we have special moral obligations to members of our own society—for example, our poor compatriots—that we do not have to those outside our society. But they have neglected to ask how to compare the situations of poor people in one society to poor people in another. Professor Lichtenburg argued that for a variety of reasons, well-being is largely relative: how well off you are depends to a great extent on how well off others around you are. This fact has complex implications, for our responsibilities for benefiting poor compatriots as opposed to poor people in developing countries.

A Decade of Darfur - Why Genocide Continues Today

Publication date:

Start: Mar 12, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 12, 2013 7:30:00 PM

A market seen in Dafur, Sudan


  • Dr Mukesh Kapila, UN Representative on Sudan in 2004 and whistler blower on the genocide. Author of 'Against a Tide of Evil', released 14th March 2013, Aegis Trust Special Representative
  • Baroness Goudie, Campaigner on women's rights
  • Mariam Suleiman, Chairperson Darfur Victims Organisation
  • Olivia Warham, Director of Waging Peace

Bridging the divide - Matters to be taken into account in relation to the integration of equality bodies and human rights institutions

Publication date:

Start: Mar 15, 2013 10:00:00 AM
End: Mar 15, 2013 4:00:00 PM



  • Morten Kjaerum, Director, EU Agency for Fundamental Rights
  • Colm O’Cinneide, Reader in Law, University College London
  • Alan Miller, Chair, European Group of National Human Rights Institutions
  • Jozef de Witte, Chair European Network of Equality Bodies
  • Sarah Spencer, Senior Fellow, Centre for Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford 
  • Vladlen Stefanov, Chief, National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

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

Publication date:

Start: Jun 6, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Jun 6, 2013 7:30:00 PM



  • 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),

The Ascendancy of the Rule of Law in South African Adjudication

Publication date:

Start: Nov 26, 2012 1:00:00 PM
End: Nov 26, 2012 2:00:00 PM

South African Flag
  • Professor Cora Hoexter (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Globalisation and the Middle Class

Publication date:

Start: Nov 14, 2012 6:00:00 PM
End: Nov 14, 2012 7:30:00 PM

Reflection in a globe shape


  • Prof. Katherine Stone (Arjay & Frances Miller Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law) 

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