UCL Faculty of Laws


Prof Philippe Sands QC gives PEN Hay Lecture

31 May 2018

Professor Sands addresses freedom of expression, the imprisonment of Turkish writer Ahmet Altan, and the future of the international rule of law

Headshot of Prof Philippe Sands QC

On 29th May, Professor Philippe Sands QC gave the PEN Hay Lecture at this year's Hay Festival in Wales. The lecture was titled 'Words, Memory and Imagination - 1945, and Today', and covered issues relating to international criminal justice and the protection of human rights, during WWII and in the present-day political climate. Prof Sands also referred to his recent experience in Istanbul, where he gave the Mehmet Birand Ali Lecture on World Press Freedom Day.

Prof Sands said:

'Lauterpacht believed - passionately - that we should concentrate on the protection of the individual, that every single human being had minimum rights under international law. That was a revolutionary idea back then... His minimum rights included freedom of speech and expression.'

Prof Sands is President of English PEN, a charity that campaigns internationally for freedom of literary expression.

Read the lecture notes