Visit by Professor Philip Alston (NYU)
Renowned international law and human rights academic, Professor Philip Alston visited the Centre for International Governance and Justice recently. During his visit, Professor Alston conducted a masterclass with ANU PhD scholars working in the fields of human rights and international law. He participated in the Centre for International Governance and Justice’s ‘Workshop on Rights, Rituals and Ritualism: The Universal Periodic Review’, and gave a public lecture to mark International Human Rights Day.
Human Rights Reading Group
The Centre’s ‘Human Rights Reading Group’ considered a fascinating series of readings in its final meeting for the year, including Camus’ The Just Assassins, Michael Walzer’s seminal 1973 essay ‘Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands’, and two news articles on US Drone Strikes. Our discussion was led by Cynthia Banham, a PhD scholar at RegNet whose research attempts to account for the different responses of liberal democracies to the torture of their citizens following 11 September 2001.
The next Human Rights Reading Group will be held on 13th February. Participants’ summer reading needs have been catered for as we will be discussing Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Defoe’s Crusoe made an interesting appearance in debates during the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with delegates relying on various readings of Crusoe to defend their preferred version of what would ultimately be adopted as article 29(1) of the Declaration, dealing with an individual’s duties ‘to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.’