human rights centre

Annual Human Rights Lecture

Attracting internationally renowned leading experts

Each year we invite leading experts from around the world to give our Human Rights Annual Lecture. The event is open to students, staff and members of the public.

Please join us on Thursday 8 July from 6.00pm for the Fifth Annual Lecture of the Human Rights Centre which will take place via Zoom.

This year’s lecture is delivered by Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights and chaired by Dr Andrew Fagan, Director of the Human Rights Centre.

Fourth Annual Lecture 2020: E. Tendayi Achiume

Our fourth annual lecture was held on Thursday 30 July 2020 and was delivered by guest speaker, E. Tendayi Achiume on 'Racial Borders: the urgency of a racial justice critique of international borders and migration'.

E. Tendayi Achiume is Professor of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, and a research associate of the African Center for Migration and Society at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. 

She is also the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, and is the first woman to serve in this role since its creation in 1994. The current focus of her scholarship is the global governance of racism and xenophobia; and the legal and ethical implications of colonialism for contemporary international migration. In 2016, she co-chaired the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law. She is also a recipient of the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award—the highest university-wide honour for excellence in teaching. Her publications include Migration as Decolonization, Stanford Law Review; Governing Xenophobia, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law; Syria, Cost-Sharing and the Responsibility to Protect Refugees, Minnesota Law Review; and Beyond Prejudice: Structural Xenophobic Discrimination Against Refugees, Georgetown Journal of International Law.

A recording of the lecture can be found on YouTube.

Third Annual Lecture 2017: Hina Shamsi

Our third annual lecture was held on Wednesday 21 June 2017 and was delivered by guest speaker, Hina Shamsi on “Defending Human Rights in an Authoritarian Age”.

Hina Shamsi is the director of the ACLU National Security Project, which is dedicated to ensuring that U.S national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights.

Our partner in this event, Allen and Overy, hosted a drinks reception following the lecture.

Hina Shamsi, Director of the National Security Project at American Civil Liberties Union, explains why we must "double down" to advance and protect human rights. She was speaking after giving our 2017 Human Rights Lecture.

Second Annual Lecture 2016: Antonio Guterres

Our second annual lecture was held on Wednesday 15th June 2016, and the keynote lecture was delivered by António Guterres, former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 2005-15 and since October 2016, current United Nations secretary-general.

Our partner in this event, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, hosted a drinks reception following the lecture.

We asked Mr Guterres and Professor Geoff Gilbert “How can we help solve the refugee crisis?” This is what they had to say.


Inaugural lecture 2015: Hina Jilani

Our inaugural Human Rights Annual Lecture took place in July 2015 and was given by Hina Jilani, pioneering lawyer, pro-democracy campaigner, leading activist in Pakistan's women's movement and international champion of human rights.

In this video, Hina Jilani talks about her own career as a lawyer in Pakistan and the critical importance of education for women.