November 13, 2009, 16.30 – 18.30, Casino – Cas 823 Festsaal

Human rights have become one of the most important and most widespread justification nar-ratives in the contemporary world. They are associated with individual and collective historical experiences of injustice. They are used to justify resistance against political domination and to justify military interventions to protect minorities against repression by their governments. By the same token, they are also thematized in apparently unrelated contexts, for instance in disputes over trade restrictions before the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The almost ubiquitous recourse to human rights raises the concern that they are becoming a rhetorical formula in the negative sense. The panel will examine these and other aspects of the issue of human rights as justification narrative.

Prof. Klaus Günther

Introductio

Klaus GüntherKlaus Günther: born 1957; studied philosophy and law in Frankfurt am Main; Pro-fessor of Legal Theory, Criminal Law and Law of Criminal Procedure at the Goethe Univer-sity Frankfurt; Co-Speaker of the Cluster of Excellence EXC 243 ‘the Formation of Normative Orders’; member of the Collaborative Research Council of the Institute of Social Research, Frankfurt am Main; Permanent Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities of the Goethe University in Bad Homburg v. d. H.; Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (1995-96); guest professorships in Buffalo (2000), Oxford (2001) and Paris (2003). Most important publications: Der Sinn für Angemessenheit (1988; English 1993, Portuguese 2004); Schuld und kommunikative Freiheit (2005).

Prof. Robert Howse

Human Rights Discourse in World Trade

Robert HowseRobert Howse is the Lloyd C. Nelson Professor of International Law at NYU School of Law. Professor Howse received his B.A. in philosophy and political science with high distinction, as well as an LL.B., with honours, from the University of Toronto, where he was co-editor in chief of the Faculty of Law Review. He also holds an LL.M. from the Harvard Law School. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Paris 1 (Pantheon-Sorbonne), Tsinghua University, and Osgoode Hall Law School in Canada and taught in the Academy of European Law, European University Institute, Florence. Since 2000, Professor Howse has been a member of the faculty of the World Trade Institute, Berne, Master’s in International Law and Economics Programme. He is a frequent consultant or adviser to government agencies and international organizations such as the OECD, the World Bank, UNCTAD, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Law Commission of Canada and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. He is a contributor to the American Law Institute project on WTO Law. He has acted as a consultant to the investor's counsel in several NAFTA investor-state arbitrations. He is a core team member of the Renewable Energy and International Law (REIL) project, a private/public partnership that includes, among others, Yale University, the law firm of Baker & McKenzie and the investment bank Climate Change Capital. Howse serves on the editorial advisory boards of the European Journal of International Law and Legal Issues in Economic Integration. He is sub-series editor for the Oxford University Press Commentaries on the WTO treaties. Prior to pursuing legal studies, Howse held a variety of posts with the Canadian foreign ministry, including as a member of the Policy Planning Secretariat and a diplomat at the Canadian Embassy in Belgrade. Howse is the author, co-author, or co-editor of six books, including Trade and Transitions; Economic Union, Social Justice, and Constitutional Reform; The Regulation of International Trade; Yugoslavia the Former and Future; The World Trading System; and The Federal Vision: Legitimacy and Levels of Governance in the EU and the U.S. He is also the co-translator of Alexander Kojève’s Outline for a Phenomenology of Right and the principal author of the interpretative commentary in that volume.

Prof. Günther Frankenberg

Menschenrechte als Rechtsfertigungsnarrative

Günther FrankenbergGünther Frankenberg is Professor of Public Law, Philosophy of Law and Comparative Law at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Following studies in law in Germany and in government and legal studies in the United States, he obtained a doctorate in philosophy from the Institute of Social Sciences at the Technical University Munich in 1978 and a doctorate in law three years later at the University of Bremen. He is an active member of numerous national and international committees and associations. In addition he is coeditor of the journal Kritische Justiz. Selected publications: Die Verfassung der Republik (1996); Autorität und Integration (2003); Staatstechnik – Perspektiven auf Rechtsstaat und Ausnahmezustand (forthcoming 2010 Suhrkamp stw).

 


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