Kantian Theory and International Human Rights Courts

The MultiRights project in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature, the Norwegian Kant Society, and the Norwegian Association for Legal Philosophy is organizing a workshop on Kantian Theory and International Human Rights Courts.

Katrin Flikschuh, Peter Niesen, Howard Williams and Reidar Maliks will be the speakers at this event. Thomas Pogge will contribute with comments.

A graduate conference on Kantian philosophy and human rights jurisprudence will take place the following day.

See the program here.

Human rights are rapidly becoming an important force in international relations. The number of human rights covenants and conventions is increasing, human rights courts and other regulatory organs proliferate, and the discourse of human rights has become important to global political agents ranging from NGOs to world leaders. While this indicates a new respect for human dignity and the rule of law it also raises several difficulties. How are human rights courts to be legitimate unless they are held accountable in properly democratic procedures? How can human rights treaties avoid reflecting ethnocentric values? What is the justification for the margin of appreciation courts sometimes gives states when it comes to human rights? At the deepest level: what is the philosophical foundation of international human rights?

This workshop will explore the contribution of Kantian theory in understanding these difficulties. Kantian theory is often invoked in debates about international human rights, but rarely systematically and with attention to the connection between principles and institutions such as courts. Participants are encouraged to explore how human rights should be understood in a Kantian perspective, and what the implications are for the legitimacy of the emerging international human rights regime.


Workshop schedule
27 August 2012


9.00     Opening remarks: Andreas Føllesdal (UiO) and Camilla Serck-Hanssen

9.15     Katrin Flikschuh (LSE): 'Human Rights in Kantian Mode: A Sketch'. 
            Comments: Carola von Villiez (Duisburg-Essen/UiO)
            Chair: Anita Leirfall (Bergen)

10.45   Coffee break

11.00   Peter Niesen (Darmstadt): 'Border-crossing Speech as a Human
            Right: a Kantian Perspective'.
            Comments: Christel Fricke (UiO)
            Chair: Andreas Føllesdal

12.30   Lunch

13.30   Howard Williams (Aberystwyth): 'Kantian Underpinnings for a Theory
            of MultiRights'.
            Comments: Svein Eng (UiO)
            Chair: Anita Leirfall

15.00    Coffee break

15.15    Reidar Maliks (UiO) 'Kantian Courts: On the Legitimacy of International
             Human Rights Courts'.
             Comments: Thomas Pogge (Yale)
             Chair: Matthew Saul (Durham/UiO)

16.45    End of proceedings

19.00    Dinner





Kant and International Human Rights 
28 August 2012
Graduate conference


9.00      Opening remarks: Anita Leirfall


             Section 1. Chair: Jacob Lautrup Kristensen

9.10      Robert Hoffmann (Pennsylvania): 'Kant on Rights and Resistance to the
             Comments:  Jacob Lautrup Kristensen

9.50      Sofie Møller (Copenhagen): 'Human Rights jurisprudence seen through the
             framework of Kant's legal metaphors'
             Comments: Svein Eng

10.30    Coffee break


             Section 2. Chair: Jacob Lautrup Kristensen

10.40    Aviva Shiller (Ontario): 'Kant and the Democratic Peace Thesis'
             Comments: Peter Niesen

11.20    Erin Cooper (Frankfurt): ‘The Family Analogy in Kant´s Doctrine
             of Right’
             Comments: Peter Niesen

12.00    Lunch


             Section 3. Chair: Jacob Lautrup Kristensen

12.40    Luke Davies (Oxford): ‘A Kantian Defence of the Right to Healthcare’
             Comments: Howard Williams

13.20    Øystein Lundestad (Trondheim): ‘Kant and the Use of Force in an 
             International State of Nature’
             Comments: Howard Williams

14.00    Coffee break


             Section 4. Chair: Reidar Maliks

14.10    Markus Patberg (Darmstadt): ‘Non-institutionalized Popular Sovereignty
             and the Legitimacy of International Human Rights Courts'
             Comments: Carola von Villiez

14.50    Svenja Ahlhaus (Darmstadt): ‘Two Solutions to the Democratic Paradox of
             International Human Rights Courts'
             Comments: Carola von Villiez

15.30    Coffee break


             Section 5. Chair: Reidar Maliks

15.40    Shania Wang (Essex): ‘The Legitimacy of Law in Transition - a
             Kantian Response'
             Comments: Jacob Kristensen (UiO)

16.20    Özlem Özgur (Stanford): ‘Welfare Rights and Collective Duties’
             Comments: Jacob Kristensen

17.00    Coffee break

17.10    Howard Williams (Aberystwyth): 'Re-evaluating Kant's political
             philosophy after almost 40 years'

17.50    End of conference

20.00    Dinner


Further details

The location is at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, Cort Adelers gate 30, Oslo. Participation is free and open to the public but prior registration is encouraged. Registration for meals is mandatory, with the exception of speakers. Please contact reidar.maliks@nchr.uio.no.


Check the updated workshop's program here.


Published Feb. 20, 2012 10:04 AM - Last modified Aug. 12, 2014 2:33 PM