13 December 2018
Philippe Sands, Professor of Law at University College London and practising barrister at Matrix Chambers, was invited by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the Geneva Academy for a public conference to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Genocide Convention.
The lecture closed a scientific symposium co-organized by the Department of International History of the Graduate Institute and the Geneva Academy, which brought together jurists and historians to debate and confront critical approaches and views on the UDHR.
Building upon his research on two prominent founders of contemporary international law (Hersch Lauterpacht and Raphael Lemkin) and his own family’s experience, Philippe Sands explained how, starting from the Nuremberg Trials of 1945-1946, international law has developed by protecting at the same time the individual (according to Lauterpacht's vision) and the group, with the success of Lemkin's endeavour towards a convention on the prevention and prohibition of genocide.
‘The ideas and endeavours of Lauterpacht and Lemkin influenced politics, history, culture, my life and yours’, said Professor Sands. ‘The concepts of ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘genocide’ have entered our world, although many are under the impression that they have existed since time immemorial. They have not: both are the product of creative and inventive minds, two men driven by their own experiences forged on the anvil of a single city.’
This public lecture by Professor Philippe Sands, which closed the public symposium on ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Seventy: Historical and Juridical Perspectives’, examined, from the Nuremberg Trials until now, the development of international law.
During one week, academics from China, Cuba, Indonesia, Iran Malaysia and Viet Nam deepened their knowledge and expertise of United Nations human rights mechanisms during a customized training course co-organized with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights of the University of Oslo.
Giles Duley will travel to five case study states – Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Palestine, Ukraine and Vietnam – to document and tell the stories of persons with disabilities during and following armed conflict.
This public conference will discuss the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants in Europe and its contribution to the SDGs and the UN Decade of Family Farming.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
This short course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy