Apr 2, 2014
6:00pm - 7:30pm    |    Vanderbilt Hall 204, 40 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012

Watch the recording of this event:






RSVP and valid ID are required for this event. Please RSVP to Audrey Watne at watnea@exchange.law.nyu.edu by March 28th to be guaranteed admission. The event will be followed by a brief reception. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

CHRGJ and ESCR-Net are pleased to invite you to the launch of an important new publication, The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Commentary, Cases and Materials (Oxford University Press, April 2014) This timely volume brings together all essential documents, materials, and case law relating to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and its Optional Protocol, one of the most important human rights instruments in international law. It presents extracts from primary material alongside commentary and analysis, placing the documents in their wider context and situating economic, social, and cultural rights within the broader human rights framework.

We are honored to have the unique opportunity to discuss the book with two of its authors, who will be engaged in a lively conversation with Professor Philip Alston, as they discuss many of the key issues raised in the volume , including:

  • Are socio-economic rights still the poor cousins of civil and political rights, or have they finally come of age?
  • Are the origins of socio-economic rights recent, ancient, or in-between? Western or universal?
  • How far has the socio-economic rights jurisprudence developed and how far does it have to go?
  • Just what is justiciable and what is left to the realm of progressive realization?
  • How well has the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights performed, and where is there room for improvement?
  • How does the ICESCR relate to other international or regional human rights treaties?
  • How does the ICESCR relate to specialized regimes like the International Labour Organization?
  • When and how can ICESCR rights be lawfully restricted?
  • To what extent does the ICESCR apply extraterritorially?
  • How does the ICESCR apply to private actors, whether corporations or armed groups?
  • How are ICESCR rights measured?

About our Panelists

Introduction: Daniela Ikawa is Program Officer and co-coordinates of ESCR-Net’s Strategic Litigation Working Group. Before joining ESCR-Net, she litigated before the Inter-American System, served as co-editor of the Sur – International Journal on Human Rights, and developed a human rights legal clinic and pro bono projects around the world. Daniela holds a Master of Laws (Columbia University) and Doctorate (University of Sao Paulo School of Law) and has published and taught courses on human rights.  Ikawa is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

Moderator: Professor Philip Alston is the Co-Chair of the CHRGJ and also John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at NYU School of Law. As UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions (2004-10) he visited Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, the Philippines, Lebanon, Israel, Afghanistan, the USA, Brazil, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Albania and Ecuador. He was a member of the UN Group of Experts on Darfur, and of the Independent International Commission on Kyrgyzstan. He chaired the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from 1991 to 1998, and was its first Rapporteur (1987-90). He has also been Special Advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Millennium Development Goals and, from 1989-1997, the Independent Expert appointed by the UN Secretary-General to propose UN human rights treaty body reforms. He was Editor in Chief of the European Journal of International Law from 1996-2007. Alston’s most recent publications include The United Nations and Human Rights: A Critical Appraisal (2nd ed. forthcoming) (2013); International Human Rights (2013) (with Ryan Goodman); and “Book Review: Does the Past Matter? On the Origins of Human Rights,” 126 Harvard Law Review 2043 (2013). Alston received his J.S.D. and LL.M. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, and his B. Comm., LL.M. in Natural Resources Law, and LL.B. (Hons.) from the University of Melbourne.

Professor David Kinley holds the Chair in Human Rights Law at University of Sydney. He is an Academic Panel member of Doughty Street Chambers in London, and a member of the Australian Council for Human Rights.  Previously, he was the Founding Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University in Melbourne, and a founding member of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights.  For more than 20 years he has also advised and worked for a range of governments, international agencies, corporations and NGOs in many countries on human rights law and practice. His particular expertise is in human rights and the global economy, in which field his most recent publications include: Civilising Globalisation: Human Rights and the Global Economy (2009) (a Chinese edition of which was published in 2013); The WTO and Human Rights: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2009); Principled Engagement: Promoting Human Rights in Repressive States (2013); and Human Rights: Old Problems and New Possibilities (2013).    Currently he is working on a new book that focuses on the intersections between global finance and human rights, entitled An Awkward Intimacy: Why Human Rights and Finance must Learn to Love Each Other, and has just embarked on a new research project investigating the profound impact corruption has on the realization of human rights, and on that basis mounting an argument for a new human right to freedom from corruption.

Professor Ben Saul is Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney and a barrister, specialising in counter-terrorism law, the law of armed conflict, human rights, and international criminal law. He has published 10 books (including Defining Terrorism in International Law (Oxford, 2006)), 75 scholarly articles, and hundreds of other publications, and his research has been used in national and international courts. Ben has taught law at Oxford, the Hague Academy of International Law and in China, India, Nepal and Cambodia, been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, and has made hundreds of scholarly presentations. Ben practises as a barrister in international and national courts, and was lead counsel in the largest successful human rights complaint against Australia before the UN Human Rights Committee, involving 50 refugees indefinitely detained on security grounds and subject to inhuman treatment. Ben has advised various United Nations bodies, foreign governments and NGOs, delivered development projects, and often appears in the media. He has a doctorate in law from Oxford and honours degrees in Arts and Law from Sydney University.

Please also note that the book’s other co-author, Dr.Jacqueline Mowbray, is unable to attend the lecture. Ms. Mowbray is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Sydney and a Director of the Sydney Centre for International Law. She also lectures on the European Regional Master’s Degree in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe, taught at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. She is the author of Linguistic Justice: International Law and Language Policy (OUP, 2012) and (with Saul and Kinley) The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Commentary, Cases and Materials (OUP, 2014). Her particular area of interest is international law and legal theory, with a focus on economic, social and cultural rights within international law, and on issues of international law and language policy. She is currently working on a number of projects relating to choice of language in international legal scholarship and practice, and on the position of linguistic minorities under international law. Before joining the University of Sydney, Jacqueline worked as a commercial lawyer in Australia, Belgium and the UK, and she is admitted to legal practice in Australia and England and Wales. She is a graduate of the Universities of Queensland (BA LLB (Hons)), Melbourne (LLM) and Cambridge (LLM (Hons) PhD).

To order the book online, please see Oxford University Press at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199640300.do

About CHRGJ and ESCR-Net:

The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) was established in 2002 to bring together and expand the rich array of teaching, research, clinical, internship, and publishing activities undertaken at NYU School of Law on issues of international human rights.  Capitalizing on its unique capacity to interrogate the human rights field from a critical perspective, CHRGJ brings together scholars and practitioners to strengthen both the practice and theory of the field. The Center carries out this mandate under the interdisciplinary direction of five leading faculty members from both inside and outside the law school, its Global Justice Clinic, and a robust international fellowship program.  From 2012-14, much of the Center’s work has been focused on its initiative on “Human Rights Fact-finding, Methods, and Evidence.”

The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) connects over 250 NGOs, social movements, and advocates across 70 countries, striving “to build a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all.”  The collective work of members has included a successful campaign for the OP-ICESCR, development of related resources and toolkits, and strategic litigation and implementation of ESCR cases, as well as policy advocacy, utilizing the ICESCR.



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