Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights

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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Sally Engle Merry Visiting

Sally Engle Merry

Sally Merry, Adjunct Professor at RegNet and Professor of Anthropology in the Institute for Law and Society at New York University, returns to the CIGJ next week. On Tuesday she will present a seminar considering how the soft power of international human rights law is hardened through the use of quantitative performance measures.

A human rights assessment of the proposed needle and syringe exchange program in Canberra’s prison

Next week’s post, written by Anita Mackay – a recent visitor at the CIGJ – considers the human rights implications of the needle and syringe exchange program which the ACT government wants to introduce in Canberra’s Alexander Maconochie prison. The program aims to reduce the spread of blood-borne viruses in the prison, where up to 65% of inmates have Hepatitis C and there is evidence to suggest some prisoners contracted the virus while in prison.


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Human Rights: Old and / or New?

By Roland Burke

La Trobe University, School of Historical & European Studies

The search for the origin(s) of human rights is a pursuit that has attracted much scholarship, historical, legal, philosophical, and anthropological.  In the past decade, finding human rights – and their precursors – has seen the emergence of some highly impressive histories.  It has also, more recently, seen the emergence of a sharp historiographical clash.

While Paul Gordon Lauren’s Evolution of International Human Rights (2003) and Lynn Hunt’s Inventing Human Rights (2007) cast their glance back centuries to ‘find’ human rights, Samuel Moyn (The Last Utopia, 2010) casts his gaze back to find not rights, but their absence.  Continue Reading →