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Global Issues and their Impact on the Future of Human Rights

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Josef Korbel School Professor Micheline Ishay took part in a high level meeting of experts concerning the future of human rights and the international criminal justice system. Global Issues and Their Impact on the Future of Human Rights and International Criminal Justice, was held from Sept. 3-7 in Siracusa, Italy. The conference was held by the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC).

The conference included Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, President of the Arab Thought Forum and Adam Dieng, the UN Under-Secretary-General. In total, 98 experts gathered from a variety of disciplines. Other notable attendees included:

  • Minister Sheik Khaled Bin Ali Al Khalifa, Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs of Bahrain
  • Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, UN Under-Secretary-General; High Representative for the United Nations in New York
  • Danilo Turk, former President of the Republic of Slovenia
  • Dr. Ali Bin Mohsen Bin Fetais al-Marri, Attorney General of Qatar
  • Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp, Ambassador-At-Large, Office of Global Criminal Justice, US Department of State

Ishay's lecture was titled Human Rights and International Criminal Justice: Looking Back to Reclaim the Future. “There was a debate between me and another scholar, Stephen Hopgood. And it was about the question whether we thought that human rights and international criminal justice was viable and how so. And he argued that it wasn't. He wrote a book called The Endtimes of Human Rights, I wrote a book on the history of human rights and its progression. And so they brought us together in the panel. And we politely disagreed.”

Ishay, who teaches Introduction to Human Rights at the Josef Korbel School, says the conference will feed into her teachings on the future of human rights in light of global challenges.

“I think I have never seen a cluster of so many interesting people who are so accomplished,” Ishay said about the conference. “It was very impressive, the collection of people they put together.”

The panel of experts discussed issues concerning poverty, population and security in promoting progress in human rights and international criminal justice.