The Public Life of Private Law: Private Law and the Subject of Human Rights


Event Date: 22 March 2013

The Institute of Advanced Study

Millburn House

Millburn Hill Road

University of Warwick Science Park



The Kent Law School presents:

The Public Life of Private Law

An ESRC Seminar Series

Seminar 2: Private Law and the Subject of Human Rights


Legal scholarship on the relationship between private law and human rights is dominated by (i) ‘constitutionalisation’; the idea that private law will absorb human rights norms over time  (ii) the instrumental use of private law to enforce compliance with human rights norms. But in many respects private obligation stands apart from human rights law, and as an alternative to it, because it encompasses notions of interpersonal care, reliance and responsibility over time (and indeed, of blunt economic efficiency) which may sit uneasily with traditional liberal conceptions of human rights. How should  we conceive of the relationship between private law and human rights? In thinking through these problems, our focus will be on the use of private law to seek reparations for human rights abuse.

Speakers include:

Daniel Leader (Barrister, Leigh, Day & Co),  Catherine Gilfedder (Reprieve),  Maeve O’Rourke (Justice for Magdalenes, Barrister at Four Paper Buildings),  Carolina Olarte (CERAC, Bogota),   Nikki Godden (University of Newcastle),  Andrew Williams (University of Warwick),  Tsachi Keren-Paz (Keele University) and others.


Andrew WilliamsPersonal Injury Claims in the context of Systemic Human Rights Violations: the case of Britain in Iraq


Catherine Gilfedder –  Private Law Litigation: Reprieve’s Practice


Nikki GoddenTort Law, Human Rights and Rape: Beyond the Enforcement of Criminal Justice


Carolina OlarteNew property regimes and the function of (corrective) constitutionalism


Tsachi Keren-Paz –  Private law in the service of human rights: the sex trafficking case study



All discussions are HERE [password protected]

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