CHRC seminar on “The creation of New Rights: Radical Politics and Human Rights”, Wednesday 17 April 2013, 16.00-17.45.
Speaker: Dr.Illan Rua Wall, School of Law, University of Warwick
Room DH 110, Duncan House, High Street, Stratford, London E
There is a perpetual debate in human rights law surrounding the question of whether to create new human rights? On one side many bemoan the incessant rights generation. They insist that such 'new' rights may be adequately accommodated within existing frameworks, and that multiplication of international instruments and obligations merely waters down the 'core' set of demands. On the other side are those who insist on the necessity of a supple and fluid usage of the discourse that is responsive to events. The debate around 'new' human rights has focused upon making 'second generation' rights like water and sanitation substantive; and generating 'third generation' rights like development, peace or truth. Upendra Baxi insists that we must distinguish between a politics of human rights and a politics for human rights. Where the former describes the deployment of human rights in the management of the current distribution of power; the latter names an alternative, ruptural politics. The speaker will discuss how the question of new rights is displaced entirely from one of conserving the established and legitimate discourse, to a strategic question of engagement with and against law.
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