Durham Human Rights Centre Activities 2011-2012
During the 2011-2012 academic year, Durham Human Rights Centre continued its tradition of providing a full programme of events for the human rights community in Durham University. This included the 2011 Lord Irvine Human Rights Lecture, a conference for postgraduate students, and a rich programme of seminars. In addition, members of Durham HRC engaged in academic work outside of Durham University, including by collaborating in national and international online fora for the dissemination of research and the discussion and critique of contemporary developments and debates in human rights.
2012 Lord Irvine Human Rights Lecture: Professor Conor Gearty
The Human Rights Centre's Lord Irvine Annual Lecture was held on Friday 20th January 2012 in ER201. The Irvine Human Rights lecture is an important event in the calendar of the Law School and, since the inaugural lecture was delivered by the former Lord Chancellor Lord Irvine of Lairg QC in 2002, has attracted an number of leading human rights campaigners, practitioners and academics to theCentre. Previous Irvine Lecturers include Shami Chakrabati, Lord Justice Laws, Baroness Hale, Rabinder Singh QC (now Mr Justice Singh), and Hugh Tomlinson QC. The 2012 lecture was delivered by Professor Conor Gearty of the Department of Law, London School of Economics and entitled 'Is attacking multi-culturalism a way of tackling racism - or feeding it?' The lecture was dynamic - it clearly held the audiences' full attention for the entire period - no mean feat late on a Friday. The turn-out for the lecture was excellentand included a large number of undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Law School, together with students and staff from other Departments. The question session was around half an hour and it was difficult to fit in all the questions. They were challenging and thoughtful, which suggested that the topic had clearly engaged the audience. The first question, which was delivered very confidently, was from a first year Law student.
Professor Conor Gearty, is one of the most prominent legal academics currently working in the United Kingdom and maintains a practice at the leading human rights law chambers, Matrix. His published work concerns civil liberties and human rights, and he is the author of a number of leading texts including Freedom under Thatcher (Clarendon, 1990), The Struggle for Civil Liberties (OUP, 2000) (both with KD Ewing), Principles of Human Rights Adjudication (OUP, 2004), and most recently Debating Social Rights (Hart, 2010) (with Virginia Mantouvalou). His work on the Human Rights Act should be familiar to virtually all undergraduates and post-graduates.
The full text of the lecture is available here
2011-2012 Durham HRC Seminar Series
Durham HRC has a strong tradition of attracting speakers to its seminar series from across the UK and beyond. The same was true of the 2011-2012 series. Papers in this series addressed freedom of religion and non-establishment (Prof. Carol Rasnic, Virginia Commonwealth University), parliamentary sovereignty (Michael Gordon, Liverpool), proportionality (Alison Young, Oxford), and intellectual privacy (Neil Richards, Washington University).
2012 Postgraduate Research Conference
The PGR conference was held on 18 May 2012 in Durham Castle. In all, nine students took part in the conference, presenting their work to contemporaries and members of the Law School staff. The full schedule for the conference is available here, together with paper abstracts.
Careers in Human Rights Event
In January 2012, Durham HRC held an event outlining pathways into careers in human rights for interested students. The speakers were drawn from a variety of rights-related spheres and students were invited to both listen to individual presentations on how the speakers became advocates, scholars and activists for rights and to engage in an open Q&A session afterwards. The speakers were Meghna Abraham (Head of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Team, International Secretaria), David Nolan (Deputy Director, Human Resources, World Health Organisation), Daniel Carey (Solicitor, Public Interest Lawyers), and Aoife Nolan (Durham Law School).
Durham HRC engagement with the UK Constitutional Law Blog
In November 2011 Prof Helen Fenwick was invited to contribute to the UK Constitutional Law Group blog; read her entry (The Conservative anti-ECHR stance and a British Bill of Rights: rhetoric and reality) here. To find out more about the group, which has postings from other HRC members, click here.
As well as the Centre activities outlined above, Durham HRC members continued to publish their research in a wide range of outputs and at internationally recognised levels of qualit. The publications of Centre members are listed here.