Human Rights: Old Dichotomies Revisited

25 November 2011 to 26 November 2011


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The Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence and the Sydney Centre for International Law are pleased to announce a major conference being held in November 2011.

The purpose of this conference will be to reflect upon the traditional, 'classical' dilemmas and taxonomies in the philosophy of human rights, in the light of recent developments in theories of rights and in the international law of human rights. We all have been taught, and have taught, a number of traditional dichotomies that have been entrenched in theories of human rights for a number of decades: moral versus legal, positive versus negative, first-generation versus second- (and third- ) generation; vertical (against the state) versus horizontal (against other citizens); universal versus relative (or particular); judicially-enforced versus legislatively-protected, etc. Have these dichotomies retained their validity and only the circumstances of their practical applications been altered or have they outgrown their validity altogether?

There have been important developments in the philosophy of human rights and in the international law of human rights, both of which may shed a new light on the dilemmas encapsulated by these (and other) dichotomies.

The conference will bring together the leading international and Australian scholars in jurisprudence and in international human-rights law who will be asked to reflect upon the relevance (or otherwise) of the traditional "dichotomies" at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Tom Campbell, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE)
  • Professor Leslie Green, Oxford University
  • Professor David Kinley, University of Sydney
  • Professor Susan Marks, London School of Economics
  • Professor Thomas Pogge, Yale University and CAPPE
  • Professor Jeremy Waldron, New York University & Oxford University
  • Professor Neil Walker, University of Edinburgh


Click here for a copy of the program.Click here for abstract details.


Full fee: $200 inc GST

Concession: $120 inc GST(Alumni/ FT Academic / NGO)
F/T student: $20 inc GST

To express interest or for further information, please contact:

Professor Wojciech Sadurski or Dr Kevin Walton, Sydney Law School


The conference will be organised jointly by JSI (Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence) and SCIL (Sydney Centre for International Law) at Sydney Law School, with CAPPE (Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics) as the co-organiser. It will be prepared by a program committee, chaired by Wojciech Sadurski, with Tom Campbell, David Kinley, Euan MacDonald and Kevin Walton as members. The organising committee will be chaired by Kevin Walton, Director of Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence.

Time: To be confirmed

Location: Sydney Law School

Cost: Full fee: $200, Concession: $120, F/T student: $20 inc GST

Contact: Professor Wojciech Sadurski or Dr Kevin Walton

Phone: 02 9351 0248

Email: 07592e5a0c073b14101a143c1523774e03214a2818