Thinking Outside the Box (Literally): Reconceptualizing the Scope and Meaning of Human Rights

seminar with Mark Gibney

Stockholm Center for International Law and Justice has the honour of welcoming you to a lecture by

Mark Gibney

on the topic of

Thinking Outside the Box (Literally):

  Reconceptualizing the Scope and Meaning of Human Rights

Most work of human rights institutions focuses on the national or internal obligations that states have and how states that have ratified the various human rights instruments implement these provisions within their national borders. Globalization challenges fundamental principles governing international law, especially with respect to state sovereignty and international relations. This transformation has had a significant impact on the practice of trade law, financial regulation, and environmental law but relatively little effect on one area of law and regulation: human rights. In an increasingly interdependent world—where public and private international actors have great influence on the lives of individuals everywhere—it is insufficient to assess only the record of domestic governments in human rights. It is equally important to assess the effect of actions taken by intergovernmental organizations, international private entities, and foreign states. It is also necessary to address how states’ actions or omissions may affect the prospects of individuals in foreign states and asks important questions: To what extent do agricultural policies of rich countries influence the right to food in poorer countries? How do decisions to screen asylum seekers outside state borders affect refugee rights? How does cooperation among different states in the “war on terror” influence individuals’ rights to be free from torture? This seminar will discuss the need for an updated approach to the protection of human rights worldwide.

This seminar is financed with a contribution from the Cassel Foundation

Registration (voluntary):, by 24th  February

MarkGibney2-190x240 Mark Gibney is the Raoul Wallenberg Visiting Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.  He is also the Carol Belk Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina-Asheville.  Gibney is the author or editor of 14 books, including most recently: The Handbook of Human Rights (edited volume with Anja Mihr) (Sage Publications, 2014); Watching Human Rights: The 101 Best Films (Paradigm, 2013) and Litigating Transnational Human Rights Obligations: Alternative Judgments (edited volume with Wouter Vandenhole) (Routledge, 2014).