[event] The Future of Human Rights (In Memory of Ronald Dworkin) (GULC)

4:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

The Next Generation’s Human Rights Challenges

Shami Chakrabarti, Director, Liberty (UK)

Pamela Karlan, Professor, Stanford Law School

Ken Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

Jeremy Waldron, Professor, New York University Law School

Moderator Rosa Brooks, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center


6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Lessons from the Past for the Future of Human Rights: A Conversation

Robert Silvers, Editor, The New York Review of Books

Justice Stephen Breyer, United States Supreme Court

Chief Justice Margaret Marshall (ret.), Massachusetts Supreme Court

Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCMG QC, Director, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law

Moderator, David Cole, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

[event] National Lawyers Guild Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference

Panels will cover issues including social movement lawyering, discussions of the pro bono model, returning citizens and expungement projects, and housing rights. The day will include a light breakfast and lunch during a presentation with keynote speaker Azadeh Shahshahani, the President of National Lawyers Guild, who will be addressing privacy rights in light of recent NSA litigation. Registration will begin at 8:30 at the Sansom entrance to Penn Law School. Speakers and panels start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m., with a happy hour to follow at a nearby venue. Please indicate your interest in attending at 

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Registration/Welcome
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. The Intersection of Social Movement Organizing and Lawyering
10:40 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. Concurrent Panels:
Questioning the Pro Bono Model
The Future of the Fair Housing Act: The Mount Holly Litigation and Beyond
11:40 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. Lunch and Keynote Speaker, Azadeh Shahshahani
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Concurrent Panels:
Returning Citizens and Expungement Projects
First Amendment Victories
2:10 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Concurrent Panels:
Developing Your Own Firm: A Model for Community Lawyering
NLG Business Meeting
5:00 p.m. Social Hour and Networking Event



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[event] Samuel Dash Conference on Human Rights: Multilateral Development Banks & Human Rights (GULC)

The relationship between human rights and development has been a topic of debate since well before the 1986 Declaration on the Human Right to Development. Much of the academic and policy discussion has focused on how specific bi-lateral and multi-lateral development agencies can or should incorporate human rights into their work. This conference will examine issues, challenges and opportunities in the context of an ongoing review of World Bank lending safeguards and Inspection Panel reforms, an effort to frame a post-2015 global development agenda, and a new planned development fund led by the BRICS countries.

The Samuel Dash Conference on Human Rights was established by Samuel Dash’s family and friends, Georgetown Law alumni and the law firm of Cozen O’Connor to honor Samuel Dash’s contributions to international human rights and domestic civil rights.

Confirmed speakers and moderators include: Richard Bissell, Executive Director, National Academies of Sciences Division on Policy and Global Affairs; Leonardo Crippa, Senior Attorney, Indian Law Resource Center; Professor Edith Brown Weiss, Georgetown University Law Center, former World Bank Vice President and former Chairperson of the World Bank Inspection Panel; Mac Darrow, Chief of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights Millennium Development Goals Section (appearing in his personal capacity); Jessica Evans, Senior Researcher and Advocate, Human Rights Watch; Siobhán McInerney-Lankford, Senior Counsel at the World Bank LEGAM (appearing in her personal capacity); Professor Alvaro Santos of Georgetown University Law Center; Meg Taylor, International Financial Corporation Vice President and International Financial Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman. 

To register, please contact Paulette Smith at or 202-661-6675

Some thoughts on the minutes of the Dec. 2013 “single-stakeholder” (business only) meeting at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

An excellent and comprehensive set of minutes is available from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  Even though it was an exclusive meeting, the transparency provided by the reporting is admirable and helpful to the process.

The meeting was a “second pillar” meeting, i.e. addressing the obligation on business to “respect” human rights imposed by the “Protect, Respect, and Remedy” framework  of the UN Guiding Principles.

Hence the quantities of baroquely intricate corporate language, such as the first speaker’s discussion of the “period of ‘absorption’ [that] has been taking place whereby leadership companies are working to integrate the UNGPs into management systems and core business processes.”

To be fair, there was discussion of specific examples and practices.  A speaker from Microsoft described two human rights impact assessments his company conducted with respect to beginning and expanding operations in Myanmar and China, respectively.

The minutes note several efforts to think about fresh and/or practical ways to engage businesses that are not yet conceptually invested in the notion of human rights.  For example, expanding from Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) programs, which most companies have, maintain respect for, and which have an obvious overlap with key human rights areas.

Similarly, the participants note that the most progress thus far has been made via sector-specific initiatives: companies in a sector understand their shared challenges with sufficient concreteness to conceive of potential practical steps, and may have sufficient experience working with each other to get collective efforts going in a more reasonable time.  Sector-specific work is by far the most realistic possibility for meaningful results in the near future and should be prioritized. Continue reading