Does Affirmative Action Create
A panel discussion jointly organised by the
UCL Institute for Human Rights and The Equal Rights Trust
Thursday 19 June 2014
6pm-7.30pm followed by a drinks reception
Dr Gay McDougall - Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Fordham University School of Law, former UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues
Helen Mountfield QC - Barrister at Matrix Chambers
Judge Kate O’Regan - Judge of the South African Constitutional Court 1994-2009
Dr Dimitrina Petrova - Executive Director of The Equal Rights Trust
Professor Theodore Shaw - Professor of Professional Practice in Law at Columbia University School of Law
Chaired by Sir Bob Hepple QC, Chair of The Equal Rights Trust
About this event
Affirmative action to advance equality is a controversial issue in many countries. Black economic empowerment and employment equity measures have not made much headway in undoing apartheid's legacy in South Africa and racial criteria in university admissions in the USA have been contested in the courts. At the same time constitutional provisions favouring Bumiputera in Malaysia put members of the group in a privileged position that arguably amounts to discrimination. In Britain, a different but also debated approach is taken – that of “positive duties” – in the new generation of equality legislation.
Are affirmative action measures negatively divisive or are they necessary if we are to achieve equality? If they are necessary, when is the use of such measures justifiable? Are sex, race or disability quotas fair? If not, are there better strategies?
The distinguished panellists will clarify and explore the advantages and disadvantages of affirmative action policies favouring certain disadvantaged groups, as well as the British approach to positive duties. They will also engage in a discussion with the public on this contentious issue.
When & Where
UCL Faculty of Laws
The Faculty of Laws at UCL has a world-class reputation for research, and has been rated by the UK government in the highest categories for both research and teaching.
We value research not only in contributing to the quality of our teaching and the supervision we give our students, but also in its contribution to the development of law and its influence on legal practice and public policy.
The Faculty was ranked 2nd in the UK by The Times Good University Guide (subject table: Law) in 2008. UCL is ranked 4th in the World University rankings.