Human Rights Limits to Privatization - Humphrey lecture with Philip Alston


Chancellor Day Hall Maxwell Cohen Moot Court (NCDH 100), 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

The Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism invites you to this year's Humphrey Lecture in Human Rights, which will be given by Philip G. Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law, New York University School of Law, on the subject of Human Rights Limits to Privatization.


Privatization is generally presented as a technical solution for managing resources and reducing fiscal deficits, but in fact, it is an integral part of an economic and social philosophy of governance. Key international actors such as the World Bank and the IMF now promote it aggressively without regard to its human rights implications or consequences, while most human rights bodies have either ignored the phenomenon or assumed that tweaking existing procedures provides an adequate response.

The lecture will explore the ways in which human rights proponents need to fundamentally reconsider their approach to this issue.

About the speaker

Philip Alston teaches international law, international criminal law, and a range of human rights subjects. In 2014, he was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as its Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. From 2004 to 2010, he was UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, undertaking official missions around the world. He has also been on the Independent International Commission on Kyrgyzstan (2011) and the UN Group of Experts on Darfur (2007) and served as Special Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Millennium Development Goals (2002-07); chairperson (1991-98) and rapporteur (1987-91) of the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; and UNICEF’s Senior Legal Adviser on children’s rights (1986-92)

About the Humphrey Lectures

The John P. Humphrey Lectureship in Human Rights is an annual lecture on the theme of the role of International Law and Organization in the world-wide protection of Human Rights. The lecture was founded in 1988 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the drafting of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in recognition of the leadership of John P. Humphrey (BCL 1928) in the elaboration, drafting, and promotion of the Declaration.

A request for accreditation for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education has been made to a recognized provider.

Please note that while the location is wheelchair-accessible, construction work around the Faculty and the closure of McIntyre garage have made reaching our building more complicated. See our explainer on how to best reach the Faculty, which includes information for people with reduced mobility.

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