Mark Lattimer to present the 2016 Annual Thornberry Lecture

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Posted on 07 April 2016


‘Two Concepts of Human Rights’ 

presented by Mark Lattimer
Executive Director
Minority Rights Group International

Tuesday 19 April 2016, 4-6pm

Room DH0.51

Human rights are often defined as those rights which all human beings possess simply by virtue of being human. This definition invites thinking of human rights as a set of basic minimum standards for human treatment. However, the term human rights is also often used, particularly in the context of identity struggles or by opposition social movements, in a quite different sense to denote rights that constitute the human. Under this conception, human rights are the rights that make us human. This lecture will briefly sketch the philosophical foundations of these two concepts and point to some consequences for the implementation of rights in practice. The tension between the two concepts is to some extent what has driven developments in human rights, the tension only ever being resolved at one moment in history: the moment of revolution.

The lecture is followed by a drinks reception.

Places are limited. Please book your free ticket online here.

The Thornberry Lecture in International Law and Human Rights is an annual lecture established in 2015 by the Keele Law School and the School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy (SPIRE).

It is named in honour of Patrick Thornberry - an alumnus and Emeritus Professor of International Law at Keele - and brings to the University leading academics, thinkers and experts on major current international law and human rights issues.

For more information about this event, please contact Mario Prost at