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Human Rights – A Drop of Liberation or Fig Leaf of Legitimation?

Newcastle Human Rights Research Group Symposium Announcement: Human Rights – A Drop of Liberation or Fig Leaf of Legitimation?

Date: 23 January 2010, Newcastle Law School, Newcastle University, UK.

Confirmed Speakers

Professor David Kennedy, Harvard University – ‘The International Human Rights Movement: Still Part of the Problem?’

Professor Keith Ewing, Kings College London – ‘The Final Futility of the Human Rights Act’

Professor David Bonner, University of Leicester – ‘If you cannot change the rules of the game, adapt to them: United Kingdom responses to the restrictions set by Article 3 ECHR on “national security” deportations’

Professor Christine Bell, University of Ulster – ‘Human rights activism, expertise and academic inquiry: beyond legitimation v emancipation – a self-critical reflection’

Steven Wheatley, Reader, University of Leeds – ‘The problematic authority of international human rights law.’

This symposium draws upon the proliferation of academic commentary asserting that the international human rights system is in a state of crisis in the first decade of the twenty-first century, a discourse which requires an evaluation of both the impact and future direction of the human rights project. With papers from world leading authorities on human rights, this symposium provides a forum for the re-evaluation the effectiveness of human rights as an element of international law and in the domestic context of the United Kingdom at the end of a decade when the human rights project has faced renewed and novel challenges. Moreover, this Symposium draws together skeptics and supporters as well as disparate strands of transatlantic scholarship.

A limited number of places for delegates are available on a first-come-first-served basis, at a cost of £30 per head (or £10 per head for full-time postgraduates), inclusive of lunch and refreshments. Full details of the Conference Programme are available on the Newcastle Law School Website:

For further details regarding this symposium, please contact Dr Rob Dickinson ( or Dr Ole W. Pedersen (

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