2017 Symposium

“Regional Human Rights Systems in Crisis”
8:30am, Friday, March 31, 2017
Room 2260, University of Wisconsin Law School

This Symposium is free and open to the public! Please join us and register here.

*Approved for 6.5 hours of CLE credit for WI Attorneys*

Speakers     Program     Sponsors

Photo by Andrew Magill, retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/amagill/111870822/:

Keynote Speaker

Commissioner James L. Cavallaro

President, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

Professor of Law, Stanford Law School



Regional human rights systems have been heralded as one of the greatest innovations in the project of global governance. However, there are a host of urgent issues — of growing importance to social justice and human well-being — that pose fundamental challenges to the more developed regional systems, even as they make it harder for newer regional systems to develop. It is unclear, for example, how well these systems grapple with questions of economic inequality, climate change, migration crises and organized non-state violence. They are challenged as well by Brexit and other criticisms of globalization. In this Symposium, we explore how and whether regional rights systems can constructively engage in these challenging times. We include not just the highly developed systems of Europe and the Americas, but also the new and less judicialized systems of Asia and the Middle East. Taken together, the conference allows us to ask anew the question of what are human rights, and where do human rights inscribed at the regional level take us in the contemporary era?

Some themes that may be addressed include:

  • Political stand-offs in the more well-developed systems: Brexit, the European Union and the Council of Europe System, the Inter-American Commission in crisis; the African Union versus the International Criminal Court
  • The challenges of constructing regional human rights in Asia and the Middle East
  • The pros and cons of the state liability model in facing issues of migration; terrorism; corporate liability; transboundary harm, internet privacy, international crimes
  • Human Rights versus Buen Vivir, Occupy, religions, and other discourses concerned with social, political, and legal justice
  • Universal (UN-based) versus regional human rights protection


* For any questions, please contact the Senior Symposium Editor, Emmeline Lee, at symposium.wilj@gmail.com. Requests for sign language interpreters, real time captioning, Braille or electronic documents should be made no less than two weeks before the event. We will attempt to fulfill requests made after this date but cannot guarantee they will be met.

* Free and Open to all University Students, Staff, Faculty, and the Public.

* Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1849112462045027

* Sponsors:

University of Wisconsin Law School

Associated Students of Madison

East Asian Legal Studies Center

Global Legal Studies Center

Human Rights Program

JD Grants Committee

Jean Monnet European Union Center of Excellence

Multicultural Council

University of Wisconsin Law School Student Bar Association

The Center for European Studies

Wisconsin Experience