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Inaugural Doctoral Lecture: Dr Alice Donald

Event information

START DATE 19 November 2014
START TIME 05:00pm

Room C211, 2nd Floor, College Building, Hendon Campus, Middlesex University, London NW4 4BT

END DATE 19 November 2014
END TIME 07:30pm

'The Legitimacy of International Human Rights Law'

The post-war triumph of human rights is visible in the proliferation of treaties, laws and institutions that set, enforce and promote human rights standards. Yet human rights regimes around the world face critique and resistance, not only from authoritarian regimes, but also governments that pride themselves as being champions of human rights and democracy but are increasingly prone to complain about external human rights supervision as an illegitimate constraint on their domestic democratic affairs.

What does it mean to say that an international legal regime is legitimate and, specifically, that it enjoys democratic legitimacy? Can international human rights regimes claim to be democratically legitimate and why, in particular, should well-functioning, generally rights-respecting democracies bind themselves to such mechanisms?

Drawing on insights from international law and political theory, Dr Donald's lecture will explore these questions with a focus on critiques of the European Court of Human Rights and the nature of the Court's response.

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Order of events: 17:00 Tea; 17:30 Lecture; 18:15 cheese and wine reception.

Dr Alice Donald, Middlesex UniversityBiography - Dr Alice Donald

Dr Alice Donald is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Law and Politics teaching and pursuing socio-legal research in the field of human rights. Her PhD by Public Works, gained in March 2014, was on the implementation and impact of the Human Rights Act 1998, a subject on which she has published and blogged widely. 

Alice graduated in 1987 with a First Class degree in History from Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The first phase of her career spanned 14 years (1991-2005) as a journalist, journalism trainer, editor and commissioner in the BBC World Service. Among other roles, from 1999 to 2004, she edited the daily news programme 'East Asia Today'. In 2006, Alice passed the MSc Human Rights at the London School of Economics with Distinction, before working as an independent researcher and consultant and, in 2010, joined London Metropolitan University as a Senior Research Fellow in the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute. In January 2013, she joined Middlesex University. 

She has conducted research projects funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Nuffield Foundation and the Thomas Paine Institute, and acts as a consultant expert for the Council of Europe. She is currently co-authoring (with Professor Philip Leach) a book for Oxford University Press on Democracy and human rights compliance: the role of parliaments in the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

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