Roth ’84 Lecture on Human Rights and International Law

The presentation by Prof. Brad Roth ’84 that was postponed last semester is back on!

COMING TO TERMS WITH RUTHLESSNESS: Human Rights Violations, Moral Outrage, and the Role of International Law

Prof. Brad Roth '84Brad Roth ‘84

Professor of Law, Wayne State University

Thursday April 18, 2013

4:30 PM

Bond Memorial Hall

Maps and directions

The norm of non-intervention is often ignored when the U.S. and other world powers claim that respect for Sovereignty should not be a shield to protect governments that are massacring their people. But there is a danger when the norm of non-intervention that has undergirded international law is put aside: an erosion of this norm licenses the strong to pursue justice as they unilaterally understand it. An over-emphasis on international criminal justice similarly undermines the nonintervention presumption. A potential result is a “ruthlessness to end all ruthlessness,” with moralistic outrage against wrongdoers being invoked to rationalize the infliction of what can turn out to be even greater human costs.

Professor Brad Roth, Swarthmore Class of 1984, teaches political theory and international law at Wayne State University. His recent book, Sovereign Equality and Moral Disagreement (Oxford University Press, 2011), applies principles of political morality to the relationship between international and domestic legal authority.

Sponsored by Departments of Political Science, Peace and Conflict Studies, and History