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School of Law

State duties and the protection of human rights

About the event

Human rights scholars are all familiar with the notion that rights impose duties. The duties generated by national and international human rights law are imposed primarily on the state but our consideration of duty in this context usually only involves a brief discussion of how the state is to be defined. Looking more closely at state duty, we can see that often the state is reluctant or slow to comply with its human rights duties. Using human rights law to ensure compliance is difficult not least because of the numerous challenges facing rights holders ranging from access to justice to discrimination in the legal system. The pandemic has dramatically highlighted how important it is to think more carefully about the duties of the state when reliance on rights is fruitless, difficult, or impossible. In this alumni series seminar, Professor Amos will explain why a stronger focus on state duty is necessary and important to the protection of human rights, and how this might be achieved.

About the Speaker

Merris Amos is Professor of Human Rights Law in the Department of Law. She has previously held posts at the University of Essex, University of Westminster and the Australian Human Rights Commission. Her research and teaching focusses on national human rights law, in particular the UK Human Rights Act 1998, and the relationship between national and international human rights laws and institutions. Her book, Human Rights Law (Oxford: Hart, 2021, Third Edition) is an important reference point for scholars, students and practitioners. Since 2014 she has been a member of the Executive Committee of the UK Constitutional Law Association and in 2018 she was appointed as the UK member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Constitutional Law.

** Please note this is an online event and that all registrants will be sent joining details on the day.

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