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Inhuman and Degrading Treatment: the words themselves

LSE Space for Thought lecture series


Many human rights charters contain prohibitions on inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners and detainees. Terms like "inhuman" and "degrading" are difficult to interpret, but they are certainly not meaningless. It is important to attend to attend to the meanings of the words themselves, as well as to the decisions that courts have made about particular practices. Reflection on the meanings of these highly-charged terms reveals important complexity, which we can unpack in a way that enables us to better focus our debate about the proper treatment of prisoners and detainees.

Jeremy Waldron is University Professor at New York University School of Law and teaches legal and political philosophy. He was previously University Professor in the School of Law at Columbia University. He was born and educated in New Zealand, where he studied for degrees in philosophy and in law at the University of Otago. He was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand in 1978. He studied at Oxford for his doctorate in legal philosophy, and taught at Oxford University as a Fellow of Lincoln College from 1980-82. From 1982-1987, he taught political theory at the University of Edinburgh, and from 1987-1995, he was a Professor of Law in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program in the School of Law (Boalt Hall) at the University of California, Berkeley. He was briefly at Princeton, as Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics, before moving to New York in 1997.

Professor Waldron has written and published extensively in jurisprudence and political theory. His books and articles on theories of rights, on constitutionalism, on democracy, property, torture, and homelessness are well known, as is his work in historical political theory (on Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Hannah Arendt).

Professor Waldron gave the second series of Seeley Lectures at Cambridge University in 1996, the 1999 Carlyle Lectures at Oxford University, the Spring 2000 University Lecture at Columbia, the Wesson Lectures at Stanford in 2004, and the Storrs Lectures at Yale Law School in 2007. He travels widely and has delivered public lectures all over the world, from Buenos Aires to Jerusalem. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998.

The Space for Thought Lecture series celebrates the completion of the New Academic Building and is supported by the LSE Annual Fund. The next lecture in this series will be delivered by Dr Gerd Gigerenzer on the topic of Gut Feelings: short cuts to better decision making on Monday 20 October.


Speaker(s):

Professor Jeremy Waldron | talks
Chair: Professor Hugh Collins | talks

 

Date and Time:

16 October 2008 at 6:30 pm

Duration:

1 hour 30 minutes

 

Venue:

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, London School of Economics
New Academic Building
Lincoln's Inn Fields
London
WC2A 2AE


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Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
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Tickets:

Free

Available from:

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email events@lse.ac.uk or phone 020 7955 6043.

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