International and Human Rights Law from the Margins - International Conference
A two-day conference, in collaboration with the David Berg Foundation Institute for Law and History
The conference, to be held on December 10-11, 2018, will mark the seventieth anniversary of the Genocide Convention and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These seminal documents were produced in the wake of the atrocities of the Second World War and have to a large extent framed the categories of discussion and action in international law in relation to genocide and human rights abuses. The perception that these documents represent unequivocal achievements has however been challenged by recent scholarship exposing the attempts of victim groups and intellectuals to promote alternative conceptualizations of international legal concepts, such as a cultural conception of genocide proposed by Jewish groups and rejected by the state parties to the Genocide Convention. Through this conference, the Minerva Center seeks to explore the efforts of victim, subaltern and civil society groups to shape the norms and institutions of international law, and these groups’ transnational legal activism more broadly.
We will adopt a comparative and historical perspective, spanning a wide array of fields of international law, including international criminal law, international human rights law, and international environmental law, and explore both successful and failed interventions. We will compare the engagements with international law of groups as diverse as Jews after the Second World War, Palestinians today, indigenous and women's groups, and conservative groups. We aim to recover forgotten critiques and alternative conceptualizations of international law; expose the actors and processes involved in the production of international norms; understand the conditions of successful interventions; and assess the benefits, risks and costs for groups of turning to international and transnational law.
The conference program can be found here.