Refugees and the myth of human rights: life outside the pale of the law

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

The current public debate over the West’s obligations to unauthorised immigrants is passionate, vitriolic, and divisive. Emma Larking’s Refugees and the Myth of Human Rights: Life Outside the Pale of the Law combines philosophical, historical, and legal analysis to clarify the key concepts at stake in the debate, and to demonstrate the threat posed by contemporary border regimes to rights protection and the rule of law within liberal democracies.

She highlights the tension in liberalism between partiality towards one’s compatriots and the universalism of human rights, placing this is the context of the rise and decline of the modern nation-state. She argues that the right to have rights (Arendt) must be secured globally in limited form, but that recognition of its significance should spur expansive changes to the border policy of liberal states.

Dr Larking is an Australian Research Council Laureate Postdoctoral Fellow at the Regulatory Institutions Network. Her research interests encompass the law, philosophy, history, and politics of human rights; refugees and immigration; global justice; political and applied philosophy; and contemporary political theory.

We will also welcome Dr Fiona Jenkins, a senior lecturer in the School of Philosophy and and Convenor of the ANU Gender Institute, and Mr Peter Hughes, a visitor at RegNet and formerly of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. They will each offer their expert views on Emma’s book.

For catering purposes please rsvp by c.o.b. Friday 24 April 2015 at the webform.