This post is a summary of the keynote lecture given by Professor Gearty during the workshop ‘The Universal Declaration at 70: What Next for Human Rights?’ on 26th November 2018. The event was co-organised by the Groningen Journal of International Law and the University of Groningen’s Centre for Religion, Conflict and Globalisation.
Professor Conor Gearty
How serious are current threats to the post-war international order of which the protection of human rights is such a central part?
Three potential challenges in particular come immediately to mind.
First there is the outright rejection of the very idea, with states organizing themselves formally around systems of rule in which individuals are allowed to be explicit casualties of passing state interests. Of course, not even the worst states put it quite like this, and with the passing of the era of the Cold War no substantial ideology sets its face against human rights in quite this explicit way: indeed, not even the Soviet Union did so at its height, preferring a different version of human rights (economic and social rights) to having none at all.