Lunchtime Seminar Series with Dr Jessie Hohmann University of Cambridge

11 March 2010

Seminar Topic: Conceptual Issues in the International Human Right to Housing

The right to housing has gained a significant place in the international human rights corpus, yet the right remains contested and controversial. Drawing on doctoral and more recent research, Dr Hohmann will argue that the way in which the right to housing has been interpreted, particularly in legal fora, serves to obscure and marginalise the actual issues that complicate a realisation of the right to housing.

In this presentation, Dr Hohmann will seek to illustrate this argument through specific conceptual issues in the right to housing: space, privacy and identity. These concepts provide an opportunity to explore the meaning of housing and to reveal the interests that motivate inclusion of housing within the corpus of human rights. Yet they remain largely absent from legal inquiries into the meaning, scope and violation of the right to housing.

The presentation will consider whether this conceptual/legal divide has implications beyond the interpretation and realisation of the right to housing, In the process, Dr Hohmann will investigate how human rights may be interpreted in ways that lose touch with social conditions, and evaluate whether this affects the prospects for actual social change through human rights.

About the Speaker

Dr. Jessie M Hohmann

Dr Jessie Hohmann is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge and the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law and holds a Junior Research Fellowship at Darwin College, Cambridge.

Dr Hohmann's research focuses on human rights and the normative limits of international law, investigating how human rights push at the limits of the international legal system and the implications of these pressures for international law. She lectures on the LLM human rights courses at both Cambridge and King's College London.

Previously,Dr Hohmanncompleted a PhD at the University of Cambridge on 'The Right to Housing: Theoretical and Practical Possibilities.' She also holds a LLM from the University of Sydney, a LLB from Osgoode Hall (York University) and a BA from the University of Guelph. She is a barrister and solicitor of the Law Society of Upper Canada and was previously Associate Lecturer at Macquarie University.

Dr Hohman's publications include the forthcoming 'Visions of Social Transformation and the Invocation of Human Rights in Mumbai: The Struggle for the Right to Housing' 13 Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal (2010) and the recently published 'Igloo as Icon: A Human Rights Approach to Climate Change for the Inuit?' (2009) 18(2) Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems 297.

Time: Light lunch 12:30pm - 1:00pm; Seminar 1:00pm - 2.00pm

Location: Sydney Law School, Building F10, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Cost: Free

Contact: Events Coordinator

Phone: 9351 0429

Email: 145633400645321f40142644562e3d4a006d0a03446d0e07