The Global Impact and Implementation of Human Rights Norms

Date(s) of Conference:

March 11-12, 2011


University of the Pacific
McGeorge School of Law
Sacramento, CA


Human rights norms are often studied as an independent body of law with tribunals dedicated to interpreting and enforcing those norms. However, human rights norms are also increasingly incorporated into the development of
substantive law in fields as diverse as labor law, intellectual property, and armed conflict. The Pacific McGeorge Symposium will bring together scholars in diverse areas of substantive law to discuss the impact of human rights norms in their fields. 

Some of the questions that the conference will explore include:
– Are human rights norms used to define elements of causes of action, legal responsibility, or defenses? 
– How are human rights norms taken into account in law reform efforts? 
– Have human rights norms been the driving force behind law reform? 
– To what extent is the law of human rights balanced with another area of law in judicial decisions? How is that balance achieved?
– What are the consequences of greater incorporation of human rights norms?
– What happens when national and international institutions adopt conflicting interpretations of human rights norms?
– Is fragmentation necessarily problematic or can it serve useful purposes, such as facilitating experimentation with diverse approaches or providing a check on hegemonic ambitions?
– Alternatively, if harmonization should be a priority in  this field, what kinds of processes and institutions are best positioned to advance it?

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