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.