Conference Examines the Landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Future of Human Rights Advocacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 25, 2008 – As part of the global celebration of the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), American University Washington College of Law and the American Society for International Law will present the day-long conference “Realizing the Promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Examining the First 60 Years and Beyond.” Panelists will examine the past, present, and future of this landmark document, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at American University Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20016, room 603.

Harold Koh, dean of Yale Law School and a leading expert on international law and human and civil rights, will present the keynote address, “The Politics of Implementation: The Role of Human Rights in Foreign Policy,” at noon.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an important milestone in the process of developing a common narrative of human dignity,” said Claudio Grossman, dean of Washington College of Law and chair of the United Nations Committee against Torture. “As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the declaration we focus on both the values it identifies and the challenges of its full implementation.”

Conference Schedule

9:00 – 9:30 a.m.:  Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Dean Claudio Grossman, American University Washington College of Law
  • Elizabeth Andersen, Executive Director, American Society of International Law
  • Hadar Harris, Executive Director, WCL Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

9:30 – 11 a.m.:  Incorporating the UDHR into the Domestic Realm

  • Overview: Professor Herman Schwartz, American University Washington College of Law
  • Regional Systems: Antti Korkeakivi, Council of Europe (on leave)
  • Remedies and Implementation: Professor Dinah Shelton, George Washington University Law School

       Moderator: Professor Diane Orentlicher, American University Washington College of Law

11:00 – 11:15 a.m.:  Break

11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m.:  Challenges to Promoting the UDHR: International Supervision and Enforcement

  • United Nations: Dean Claudio Grossman, American University Washington College of Law
  • European System: Professor Fernanda Nicola, American University Washington College of Law
  • NGO Perspectives: Viviana Krsticevic, Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)

       Moderator: Hadar Harris, American University Washington College of Law

12:30 – 2:00 p.m.:  Lunch and Keynote Address – The Politics of Implementation: The Role of Human Rights in Foreign Policy

Dean Harold Koh, Yale Law School

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.:  New Frontiers for Universal Rights: The Next 60 Years

  • Climate Change and the Environment: David Hunter, American University Washington College of Law
  • Science and Technology: Rick Weiss, Center for American Progress
  • Poverty, Economic and Social Rights: Maria Foscarinis, National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty
  • The Future of Human Rights Advocacy: Sarah Mendelson, Center for Strategic and International Studies   

Moderator: Elizabeth Andersen, American Society of International Law