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Corin Redgrave Memorial Lecture: JUSTICE IN A BROKEN WORLD

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Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square

London

WC1R 4RL

United Kingdom

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David Andress introduces his lecture:

Human Rights are one of the most powerful expressions of a commitment to justice in the world. Yet they have been from their origins compromised even by those who declared them. This lecture will consider whether alternative ways of framing the goals of a rights-driven order might offer different routes to achieving more of such goals in the future.

The long pre-history of “Natural Rights” associated them with the underlying belief in a natural order that was essentially religious and unquestionable. When, with the French Declaration of the Droits de l'Homme in 1789 these ideas became Human Rights, they also became the immediate object of great hypocrisy. The French of 1789 took almost sixty years more to abolish slavery in their domains. The framing states of the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights 150 years later included Stalin's USSR and a USA facing decades of civil-rights struggle, not to mention Britain's and France's reluctant decolonisers.

Throughout the modern history of rights, questions of the optimistic assertion of a just order have collided with terrible problems in implementing any such order. Optimism about the capacity to remake history has itself often driven the worst excesses of tyranny, with left and right in their different ways disregarding the humanity of individuals caught in their plans. Now, with the world on the brink of inescapable climatic breakdown, can we reconsider how to centre the humanity of all people within the need to act drastically for survival?

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Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square

London

WC1R 4RL

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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