Tubman Speaker Series: Jean Allain on “The Paradox of slavery: A fundamental human right which is rarely tried in court”

The Tubman Speaker Series and the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crimes and Security are pleased to present Professor Jean Allain, a generalist in public international law with a specialisation in human rights and an expertise in issues of slavery and trafficking, and his talk on the “The Paradox of slavery: a fundamental human rights which is rarely tried in court” on Tuesday, March 25th from 12:30-2:00 at Osgoode Hall Law School, Room 4034. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to lgonsalves@osgoode.yorku.ca.

This talk will consider the evolution of the law related to contemporary slavery, setting out the dynamics which were at play over the last hundred years that all but exclude the trying of cases for slavery in courts of law. Allain will consider the manner in which international courts in the early years of the twentieth-first century led the way in trying cases, but also in struggling to set out a coherent reading of what it means to be a slave in societies where the legal ownership of another is no longer possible. The talk will then consider the approach which has taken hold to give new life to the law of slavery through a coherent reading of the established international definition of slavery; an approach which is both internally consistent, while mirroring the lived experience of those caught up in modern slavery.

Allain (1)Jean Allain holds the Chair in Public International Law at Queen’s University, Belfast, and is the Director of its Human Rights Centre. He also holds an Extraordinary Professorship with the Centre of Human Right of the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. Allain clerked for the President of the Yugoslav Tribunal. He is also the co-founder of the Irish Yearbook of International Law, and is the author of The Slavery Conventions, 2008, The Legal Understanding of Slavery, 2012, and Slavery in International Law, 2013.

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