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UCL events news and reviews


The Triumph of Human Rights: Dream or Nightmare?

By news editor, on 2 February 2012

Claire Lougarre, UCL Laws PhD candidate, reports on ‘The Triumph of Human Rights: Dream or Nightmare?’, a UCL Lunch Hour Lecture held on 26 January. The talk was presented by Colm O’Cinneide (Reader, UCL Laws) and chaired by Michael Freeman (Professor, UCL Laws).

In 1945, the United Nations decided to provide a high level of protection to certain rights that it considered fundamental to human dignity, in response to the atrocities committed during the Second World War. This marked the start of human rights law.

This notion has since been stretched by academics, judges and the civil society to give rise to a greater protection of more and more human rights.

Colm O’Cinneide, Reader in Law with a considerable expertise in human rights, therefore, decided in his lecture to question whether the notion of human rights had been interpreted too extensively from its initial purpose.

And what perfect timing this was as, the previous day, David Cameron addressed in his speech to the Council of Europe the merits of human rights law, while criticising its extensive interpretation by the European Court of Human Rights.


Tweeting to Topple Tyranny

By news editor, on 18 November 2011

Anna Donovan, a UCL Laws PhD candidate, reports on the third UCL Centre for Ethics & Law Annual Lecture, “Tweeting to Topple Tyranny: Social Media and Corporate Social Responsibility” (live-tweeted by @UCLethicsandlaw). The lecture was presented on 15 November by Professor Erika George (S. J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah) together with Dr Nina Seppala (Department of Management Science and Innovation, UCL) and chaired by the Dean of UCL Laws, Professor Dame Hazel Genn.

Given the use of social media to mobilise the UK riots this summer, this was a timely as well as highly engaging lecture during which Professor George discussed the emerging (and fast changing) issues arising from the special relationship that we all have with social media.

Professor George discussed a number of key considerations regarding our relationship with social media, although the central question of the lecture asked whether this special relationship gave rise to particular obligations of corporate social responsibility for social media companies. The large audience from a wide range of backgrounds including academia, practice, regulation and industry was a testament to the relevance of the subject matter and the interest in Professor George’s thoughts on this complex issue.