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Events 2010-2011

It's a man's world: a feminist reading of the West African / EU border's differential porosity

Speaker: Luna Vives

When: 12:30-14:00, September 22, 2010
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Room 609)

Event Description and Speaker Bio: Gender is a constitutive factor of both international migration and the borders that states put in place to manage it. Border scholars are, however, reluctant to give gender the importance it deserves, both in their analysis of the border-crossing experience and of border policy and practice. This curtails our understanding of borders as complex entities with variable meanings and levels of porosity. Using feminist geopolitics as the critical foundation for my discussion, Luna Vives will analyze the West African/Southern European border as an example of how a heavily gendered and racialized conception of South-North migration determines who must be stopped and how.

Luna Vives is a Geography PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia. Her PhD research focuses on the cross-border journeys of Senegalese women who have recently migrated to Spain and the ways in which the intersection of race, gender, and migration status shapes their experiences once in the country.

Le droit international remplit-il ses promesses face aux enfants touchés par les conflits armés?

Speakers: Professor François Crépeau, Guillaume Landry, Élise Groulx, et Tatiana Romero

When: 16:00-18:00, September 30, 2010
Where: Room 100, CDH (Maxwell Cohen Moot Court)

Speaker Bios: Holder of the Hans and Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law; Director of Programmes, International Bureau for Children's Rights; President of the International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association, Founder and Honorary president of the International Criminal Bar; Technical Advisor on Education, Save the Children Canada

Global Conference on Human Rights & Diverse Societies

Speakers: Echenberg Conference - Programme [.pdf]

When: October 7 - 9, 2010
Where: Centre Mont Royal

Conference Description: This was the second Echenberg Family Conference on Human Rights. Organized in collaboration with the McGill Faculty of Law, which gathered diverse scholars, judges, politicians, policy makers, journalists, students and members of civil society in an effort to understand how to establish and evaluate multiculturalism policies that will help diminish sources of cultural conflict and foster increased participation of all members of society at all levels.

Mobilizing Law: Emerging Norms for Latin America's informal workers

Speaker: Professor Diana Kapiszewski

When: 16:00-17:15, October 12, 2010
Where: Room 100, CDH (Maxwell Cohen Moot Court)

Speaker Bio: Diana Kapiszewski is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include public law and comparative politics (with an emphasis on comparative judicial politics, comparative democratization, and a regional focus on Latin America) and methodology (focusing on qualitative methods and field research methodology).

She is currently completing a book manuscript examining high court-elected branch interactions in the realm of economic governance in Argentina and Brazil. She is also co-authoring a book on field research in political science (with Lauren MacLean and Benjamin Read).

She is beginning two new projects: one explores the role of electoral courts and councils in politics in Brazil and Mexico, and the other analyzes how the relationship between informal workers and the legal system is negotiated and defined in Latin America.

Finally, she is co-editor of a volume on comparative courts linked to a Sawyer Seminar on comparative judicial power, and co-PI on an initiative to create a Qualitative Data Repository. Her work has appeared in Perspectives on Politics and PS: Political Science and Politics.

The Equality Effect Launch: Effecting Equality through Groundbreaking Human Rights Initiatives and African-Canadian Partnerships

Speakers: Fiona Sampson and Pearl Eliadis

When: 12:30-14:00, October 25, 2010
Where: Room 312, NCDH

Event Description: The Equality Effect is a unique initiative that brings together leading human rights experts in Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, and Canada to conduct ground-breaking legal work on women's human rights issues, effectively using international human rights law to improve the lives of women and girls. Join us in celebrating the official launch of this dynamic organization, learn about the opportunities to contribute to and support its work, and hear from two of its human rights lawyers: Fiona Sampson & Pearl Eliadis. Amongst other initiatives, come and learn about its groundbreaking "160 Girls Project". Equality Effect's lawyers have joined Kenyan colleagues and politicians at their request in a legal challenge to force the Kenyan government to enforce existing laws against the sexual torture of children. The project has brought together 160 Kenyan rape victims under the age of 18 to fight for protection. Essentially, the group is trying for a Kenyan version of what Jane Doe managed when she sued the Toronto Police Department over rape-challenging the way rape victims are subsequently treated by police and the legal system.

Transnational Dimensions of Social Movement Media

Speaker: John Downing

When: 17:30-19:00, October 28, 2010
Where: Arts Building, Room W215

Speaker Bio: John Downing is currently Visiting Professor in the Information and Media Studies Department, Aarhus University, Denmark, and will be a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the universities of Helsinki and Tampere, January-May 2011. He is Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Global Media Research Center, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He has also taught at the University of Texas at Austin (1990-2003), and previously at Hunter College, City University of New York (1981-1990). His research interests include globalization, culture and media; alternative media and social movements; political cinemas of the global South; social class, racism and media. His recent publications include: Radical Media: Rebellious Communication and Social Movements (Sage Publications Inc., Thousand Oaks, California: 2001); Sage Handbook of Media Studies (Sage Publications Inc., Thousand Oaks, California: 2004); Representing 'Race': Racisms, Ethnicities and Media (co-author Charles Husband) (Sage Publications Co., London, UK: 2005); and the Sage Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media (2010). He also edited the segment on international communication in the 12-volume International Encyclopedia of Communication, edited by Wolfgang Donsbach. He serves on the executive editorial board of the journal Global Media & Communication, was recently elected editor of the ICA journal Communication, Culture & Critique, and is a vice-president of the International Association for Media and Communication Research.

Does Our Youth Protection Legislation Adequately Protect Our Children?

Speaker: Me Sym-Anthony Davis

When: 12:30-14:00, November 2, 2010
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Stephen Scott Seminar Room (Room 16)

Speaker Bio: Counsel with the Department of Legal Services for Batshaw Youth and Family Centres.

The Courage to Remember: Stories of our Labrador Residential School Experience

Speaker: Joseph Flowers

When: 12:30-14:00, November 2, 2010
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Room 312 NCDH

Event Description and Speaker Bio: A film screening followed by discussion led by Joseph Flowers. The Courage To Remember narrates the multi-generational impacts of residential schools. Joseph Flowers shared some of his experiences as a son, nephew and grandson of residential school survivors.

International Children's Rights: A Panel Discussion

Speakers: Susan Bissel and Nadja Pollaert

When: 14:30-16:30, November 18, 2010
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Stephen Scott Seminar Room (Room 16)

Speaker Bios: Susan Bissell first joined UNICEF in 1987 in New York in what was then called DIPA - the Division of Information and Public Affairs. She then enrolled in the University of Toronto to complete a Masters degree in law, economics and international relations. Following graduation, she joined UNICEF Sri Lanka, working on education and CEDC - children in especially difficult circumstances - issues. Susan moved to Bangladesh and continued to work in UNICEF with a focus on CEDC and education and child labour. Susan returned to UNICEF in 2001 as the Chief of Child Protection in India. In 2004, she transferred to the Innocenti Research Center where she managed the Implementing International Standards Unit. Susan managed a number of reports including a 62-country study on the implementation of the general measures of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and global research on the Palermo Protocol and child trafficking. As member of the Editorial Board of the report of the UN Secretary General's Study on Violence Against Children which was released in 2006, Susan has also been involved in follow-up activities that will advance the implementation of the recommendations of the UN Study.

Nadja Pollaert received her diploma in International Relations from the Institut d'études politiques in Paris. She received a Master's degree from the University of Montréal, having studied the integration of North African Muslim women in a post colonial context. As Coordinator of the Committee to Aid Refugees in Montréal, Ms. Pollaert defended human rights and advocated for asylum seekers in Canada. She has also been an active member of Amnesty International. Ms. Pollaert also worked as a cultural and political affairs consultant for the Representation of the State of Bavaria (Germany) in Québec. Nadja Pollaert is an active member to the Board of Directors of Maison Buissonnière, an organisation devoted to the educational principles of Françoise Dolto for children from 0 to 4 years. Madame Pollaert is member of the board of directors of the Canadian Coalition on the Rights of the Child, member of the Board of directors of Peacebuild and president of the Board of Directors of Service d'éducation et d'intégration interculturelle de Montréal (SEIIM) an organisation providing trainings on intercultural issues.

Humphrey Lecture: A Dene perspective on Canada, its laws and its institutions

Speaker: Stephen Kakfwi

When: 17:00-19:00, January 11, 2011
Where: Room 312, NCDH

Speaker Bio: Stephen Kakfwi, former North West Territories (NWT) Premier and Dene Nation President, has been at the forefront of all these developments. His experiences and perspectives on a wide range of historic and contemporary NWT issues make Stephen Kakfwi a popular public speaker at conferences and meetings of resource industries, the academic community, environmental organizations, governments and Aboriginal people.

Stephen Kakfwi can help Canadians to learn more about the north and understand the experiences of the Dene, the contemporary challenges all northerners face, their vision for a self-governing and self-reliant territory, and the importance of all these developments for the rest of Canada. He has been outspoken in his beliefs on the importance of NWT Aboriginal participation in the northern political and economical mainstream, balancing northern resource development with stewardship of the land, and protecting and preserving NWT Aboriginal languages, culture and traditions. Mr Kakfwi is also a musician and singer.

Rights-Based Civil Society in the Developing World

Speaker: James Ron

When: 12:00-14:00, January 17, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall

Speaker Bio: James Ron is an Associate Professor at the Norman Paterson School for International Affairs, Carleton University, Canada's oldest graduate program for international public affairs. He is also a former Canada Research Chair in Conflict & Human Rights at McGill, and a former assistant professor of sociology & political science at Johns Hopkins University.

Religious Revival in a Post-Multicultural Age

Conference Chairs: Professors Shai Lavi and René Provost

When: January 28-29, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall

Event Description and Speaker Bios: Religious Revival - Programme [.pdf]

For several decades, "culture" played a central role in challenging the liberal tradition and its legal and philosophical foundations, a debate particularly acute in the field of human rights. "Religion", which also had posed a challenge to liberal thought for centuries, seemed to have almost faded away beyond constitutional debates regarding the limits of free exercise.

More recently, however, religion seems to have reemerged as the new central challenge facing Western liberal societies. The conference will address the significance of the growing presence of "religion" in contemporary law and politics, and discuss the following questions:

  • Has "religion" indeed taken the place of "culture" as a centre of political tension and social integration? How have liberal democracies faced the rise of religion in the age of multiculturalism?
  • Do religious and ethnic groups pose similar challenges to modern liberal societies, or are these challenges significantly different? Has the traditional struggle for "religious freedom" been transformed to a struggle for political recognition in line with the more contemporary "politics of identity"? Are contemporary discussions of a "post-secular" society similar to those of "multi-cultural" societies?
  • Are notions of religious belief being merged with cultural practices to enlarge the constitutionally protected autonomy of minorities? Can this destabilize societies viewing themselves as multicultural by relying on a common foundation presented as secular?
  • Can the notion of "citizenship" escape any religious overtone, given the significance of religious beliefs in the identities of so many groups constituting modern societies?
  • Is "secularization" itself, as some have argued, "culturally biased"? Is "culture" in the final analysis nothing more than a "secularized" version of (Christian?) "religion"?
  • More generally, what is the philosophical and legal sense of "religion" and "culture"? Have these concepts and the phenomena they represent undergone a historical change? Are we in need of new concepts, doctrines and theories to comprehend and resolve the new challenges of religious revival in the post-multicultural age?

From Field to the Faculty: Experiential Learning through Human Rights Internship

Speakers: Christopher Maughan, Patrick Reynaud and Alana Klein

When: 12:30-14:00, February 14, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Room 609

Event Description: Presentations by Christopher Maughan on "An Evaluation of Prospects for the Creation of a Regional Human Rights Charter and Court in the ASEAN Region" and Patrick Reynaud on "Framing Dissent: Opportunities for Peaceful Resistance in Cambodia". Discussant: Professor Alana Klein.

Jurisdictional Justice, Democracy and the Story of Insite

Speaker: Professor Hester Lessard

When: 12:30-14:00, February 16, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Room 202

Event Description and Speaker Bio: A talk by Hester Lessard, Professor at the University of Victoria's Faculty of Law. Hester Lessard's research and teaching interests lie in the areas of feminist legal theory and constitutional law. She is currently spending a sabbatical year as a Visiting Scholar at McGill Faculty of Law. Her sabbatical projects include an analysis of the litigation concerning Insite, Vancouver's safe injection site, and feminist critiques of models of social provision. Hester Lessard is co-editor of two collections of essays: Reaction and Resistance: Feminism, Law, and Social Change (UBC Press 2007) and Storied Communities: Narratives of Contact and Arrival in Constituting Political Community (UBC Press 2011).

Film screening: "You Don't Like the Truth - 4 days inside Guantánamo"

Speakers: Colleen Sheppard and Frédéric Mégret

When: 16:30-19:30, February 16, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall

Event Description and Speaker Bio: "YOU DON'T LIKE THE TRUTH - 4 days inside Guantánamo" 'is a documentary based on security camera footage from the Guantánamo Bay prison. This encounter between a team of Canadian intelligence agents and a child detainee in Guantánamo has never before been seen. Based on seven hours of video footage recently declassified by the Canadian courts, this documentary delves into the unfolding high-stakes game of cat and mouse between captor and captive over a four day period. Maintaining the surveillance camera style, this film analyzes the political, legal and scientific aspects of a forced dialogue. The film won the Special Jury Award at the Amsterdam International Documentary Festival (IDFA). The jury said YOU DON'T LIKE THE TRUTH is "An important story. Its effective use of evidence, opinion and testimony, creates a provocative and moving story that reaches into the dark hole of our consciousness. The film maintains a consistent visual and audio vocabulary that allows its viewers to determine what is just and what is moral. It challenges it's viewers to consider : what is a crime in the times of war and where are the boundaries of our humanity."

The screening was followed by a discussion featuring Colleen Sheppard and and Frédéric Mégret.

Le renforcement de l'état de droit en Colombie, au Guatemala et en Haïti

Speaker: Pascal Paradis and Francine Néméh

When: 18:00, March 1, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Maxwell-Cohen Moot Court (Room 100)

Event Description and Speaker Bios: Pascal Paradis and Francine Néméh of Lawyers Without Borders Canada will provide a brief history of the association, and talk about three ongoing projects that are taking place in Columbia, Guatemala and Haiti. Presentations will be in French, followed by a bilingual Q&A.

Screening: "Which Way Home?"

When: 12:30-14:00, March 7, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Room 202 NCDH

Event Description: As the United States continues to build a wall between itself and Mexico, Which Way Home shows the personal side of immigration through the eyes of children who face harrowing dangers with enormous courage and resourcefulness as they endeavor to make it to the United States. The film follows several unaccompanied child migrants as they journey through Mexico en route to the U.S. on a freight train they call "The Beast." Director Rebecca Cammisa (Sister Helen) tracks the stories of children like Olga and Freddy, nine-year-old Hondurans who are desperately trying to reach their families in Minnesota, and Jose, a ten-year-old El Salvadoran who has been abandoned by smugglers and ends up alone in a Mexican detention center, and focuses on Kevin, a canny, streetwise 14-year-old Honduran, whose mother hopes that he will reach New York City and send money back to his family. These are stories of hope and courage, disappointment and sorrow. They are the ones you never hear about - the invisible ones.

Documentary screening & discussion: "Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today"

Speaker: Professor Payam Akhavan

When: 17:00, March 9, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Maxwell-Cohen Moot Court (Room 100)

Event Description: One of the greatest courtroom dramas in history, Nuremberg: Its Lesson For Today shows how the four allied prosecution teams - from the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union - built their case against the top Nazi leaders. As documented in the film, the trial established the "Nuremberg principles," laying the groundwork for all subsequent prosecutions, anywhere in the world, for crimes against the peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

The film premiered in The Hague as the centerpiece of the Erasmus Prize ceremonies. In 2009, the Prize was awarded to Ben Ferencz, one of the original Nuremberg prosecutors, who is now 90, and to Antonio Cassese, first President of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and currently President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Stolen Sisters; a critical discussion about missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada

Speakers: Gladys Radek, Bernie Williams, Craig Benjamin, and David Hugill

When: 18:00-20:00, March 10, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Room 312-316 NCDH

Event Description: An estimated 583 to 3000 aboriginal women have gone missing or been murdered in Canada since the 1980s. This event features a roundtable discussion between community members and researchers that have dedicated themselves to bringing awareness to this issue. The general lack of information or proper coverage, as well as an absence of police investigations of missing and murdered women raises cause for concern. Speakers will share with us their perspectives on the scope of this issue, the factors that aggravate, and the actions that need to be taken to address the continued disappearance of our sisters.

Speaker Bios: Gladys Radek and Bernie Williams are founders of Walk4Justice, a grass roots movement aimed at drawing public attention to the countless number of aboriginal women who have either gone missing or have been murdered throughout Canada. Gladys took up the campaign after her niece went missing on Highway 16, also known as the Highway of Tears. Bernie took up the campaign after loosing her mother and two of her sisters to violence. The tragedies suffered by these women brought them together to work tirelessly for change. To keep public attention focused on our mothers, daughters, and sisters, Gladys and Bernie organized a walk across from Vancouver to Parliament in 2008 and another last June from Vancouver and up along Highway 16.

Craig Benjamin is national campaigner for the human rights of Indigenous peoples with Amnesty International Canada. Craig's work has included coordination of research and campaigning on violence against Indigenous women, advocacy on a number of Indigenous land rights cases across Canada, and promotion of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In addition to his work at Amnesty International, Craig has had the honour of working with Indigenous communities in Latin America and South East Asia on a wide range of rights issues from traditional knowledge protection to peacebuilding

David Hugill is a Ph.D. student at York University and author of MISSING WOMEN, MISSING NEWS; Covering Crisis in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, which examines newspaper coverage of the arrest and trial of Robert Pickton, the man charged with murdering 26 street-level sex workers from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. The book demonstrates how news narratives obscured the complex matrix of social and political conditions that made it possible for so many women to simply 'disappear' from a densely populated urban neighborhood without provoking an aggressive response by the state.

The Campaign to End Crimes against Future Generations

Speaker: Sébastien Jodoin

When: 12:30-14:00, March 14, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Room 101 NCDH

Speaker Bio: Sébastien Jodoin is the Director of the Campaign to End Crimes against Future Generations. He is also a Lead Counsel with the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law and holds fellowships with the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Canadian Centre for International Justice. He previously worked at the United Nations and Amnesty International Canada and holds graduate degrees in law, international law, and international relations from McGill, the London School of Economics, and the University of Cambridge.

From Field to the Faculty: Experiential Learning through Human Rights Internships

Speaker: Caylee Hong and Chiara Fish

When: 12:30-14:00, March 16, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Room 609

Event Description and Speaker Bios: Presentations by Caylee Hong on "Human rights at home: opportunities and challenges of internships in Canada" and Chiara Fish on "Abandoning Inuit Youth in Custody: The Youth Criminal Justice Act in Nunavut." Discussant: Vrinda Narain.

The ICC and Transitional Justice in Northern Uganda: Combating Impunity or Imposing Justice?

Speaker: Moses Okello

When: 11:30-12:30, March 17, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Room 316

Speaker Bio: Senior Research Advisor at the Refugee Law Project, Uganda.

Where Do Human Rights Come From?

Speaker: James Walker

When: 15:00, March 24, 2011
Where: Leacock Building, Room 232

Event Description and Speaker Bio: In commemoration of this week's United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, McGill is pleased to welcome Professor James Walker from the University of Waterloo to address the meaning of human rights, how they are achieved and why they still matter today. Professor Walker will discuss international patterns and themes and explain how we can look to Canadian history for valuable insights into the concept of human rights and the process by which they are achieved and maintained.

René Cassin Lecture: Justice, Truth, and Peace

Speaker: Jon Elster

When: 17:00, March 24, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Maxwell Cohen Moot Court (Room 100)

Speaker Bio: Jon Elster (Ph.D., University of Paris, 1972), holder of the Robert King Merton Chair of Social Sciences from Columbia University. Before coming to Columbia University, he taught at Paris, Oslo and Chicago. His publications include Ulysses and the Sirens (1979), Sour Grapes (1983), Making Sense of Marx (1985), The Cement of Society (1989), Solomonic Judgements (1989), Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences (1989), Local Justice (1992), Political Psychology (1993), Alchemies of the Mind (1999), Ulysses Unbound (2000) and Closing the Books: Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective (2004). His research interests include the theory of rational choice, the theory of distributive justice and the history of social thought (Marx and Tocqueville). He is currently working on a comparative study of constitution-making processes from the Federal Convention to the present, besides being engaged in a project on the microfoundations of civil war.

Liberation Theology, Human Rights and Development: a talk with Luis Felipe Zegarra

Speaker: Luis Felipe Zegarra

When: 14:00-17:30, March 31, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Room 312 NCDH

Description: The Faculty's Grupo Hispano and LALSA, together with the Institute of the Study of International Development, have invited Professor Luis Felipe Zegarra, from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, to speak on liberation theology. Prof. Zegarra is a disciple of Gustavo Gutiérrez, one of liberation theology's founders. The talk will be in Spanish with simultaneous translation. The question and answer period will be trilingual.

Abstract: Liberation theology views God as humanity's good neighbour. For this reason, the discourse of this theology is a discourse about the human being. The talk will touch themes such as freedom and the preferential option for the poor as an authentic universal. Professor Zegarra will also discuss thematic aspects of human rights, such as dignity without exclusions and the right to ethnic difference. In addition, he will discuss a proposal for development based on ideas of integrity and solidarity, and its relation to liberation theology.

Book launch - "Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide" by Rebecca Hamilton

Speaker: Rebecca Hamilton

When: 17:00-19:00, March 31, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall, Atrium

Event Description and Speaker Bio: McGill University Faculty of Law and Penny & Gordon Echenberg cordially invite you to a talk and cocktail reception to celebrate the publication of the book Fighting for Darfur Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide by Rebecca Hamilton, a McGill-Echenberg Human Rights Fellow.

Forced Migrations: Human Rights Challenges

Speakers: See Forced Migrations - Programme [.pdf]

When: May 11-13, 2011
Where: Day, Chancellor, Hall

Event Description: The 2011 Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) Conference will bring together researchers, policymakers, displaced persons and advocates from diverse disciplinary and regional backgrounds to discuss the human rights of migrants in the context of national and international security policies. This year's conference will be hosted by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism at McGill.

We invite participants from a wide range of perspectives to explore the practical, experiential, policy-oriented, legal and theoretical questions raised by security regimes at the local, national, regional and international levels. The conference will feature keynote and plenary speeches from leaders in the field. Individual papers and organized panels will be structured around the following broad subthemes:

  1. Current trends and challenges in human rights protection of forced migrants.
  2. Human rights and durable solutions to forced migration.
  3. New approaches and theories in forced migration studies.

Enjeux des élections péruviennes: Bilan d'une démocratie vulnérable à d'anciennes mémoires d'actualité

When: 19:00-21:00, May 12, 2011
Where: 400 Sainte-Catherine East, room A-3440, Pavillon Hubert-Aquin - UQAM, Montreal

Event Description: A conference at UQAM by BCL/LLB student Jean-Paul Saucier-Calderòn on the Peruvian elections. Comment by Eduardo Malpica Ramos. Organized by the UQAM's Groupe de recherche sur les imaginaires politiques en Amérique latine

World Bank Group and the UN: Cooperation through Independence

Speaker: Justice Albie Sachs

When: 16:00-17:00, May 19, 2011
Where: Room 312, NCDH

Speaker Bio: Justice Albie Sachs was appointed to the Constitutional Court of South Africa by Nelson Mandela in 1994 and retired in October 2009. Justice Sachs is recognized for the development of the differentiation between constitutional rights in three different degrees or generations of rights: from classic civil and political rights to housing, health, education, welfare and the rights of future generations. In this lecture, Justice Sachs will discuss the enforcement of social, economic and environmental rights in the judicial context. The key problem regarding the enforcement of these rights is not necessarily a question of judicial legitimacy. The real difficulty is most often the institutional capacity of courts to enforce rights. Courts are institutionally unsuited to take decisions on houses, hospitals and schools. However, courts are also inherently concerned with questions of human dignity and oppression. According to Justice Sachs 'both freedom and bread are necessary for the all-round human being. Instead of undermining each other, they are related and interdependent.' The fundamental right to human dignity underlies the enforcement of social, economic and environmental rights. Justice Sachs will discuss how courts have and can enforce these rights in a manner consistent with human dignity as well as the institutional limitations of the judiciary.