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Symposium in Jerusalem on Ethics and Human Rights

Freie Universität Berlin and Hebrew University of Jerusalem Expand Collaboration on Human Rights Research

№ 352/2008 from Nov 07, 2008

A symposium on "Ethics and Human Rights in a Globalized World" will be held Nov. 25 – 28, 2008, in Jerusalem. The symposium is being organized jointly by Freie Universität Berlin and the Minerva Center for Human Rights of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in cooperation with the Israel Democracy Institute.

Roughly 40 junior researchers from Germany and Israel will meet in Jerusalem to discuss their work on ethics and human rights-related themes. In addition, a number of prominent professors from Berlin and Jerusalem will attend the meeting. The symposium is an official event of the German-Israeli Year of Science and Technology 2008 and is being supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The meeting co-hosted by Freie Universität Berlin and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will present a cross section of research focus areas of the participating institutions and academic disciplines. "We wish to provide interdisciplinary exchange in human rights research with a sustainable platform, as well as to strengthen research cooperation between our institutions," explained co-initiator Professor Klaus Hoffmann-Holland of Freie Universität Berlin's Department of Law. "We are aiming toward jointly educating Ph.D. students in the future."

The meeting will be opened by Prof. Aharon Barak, President of the Supreme Court of the state of Israel from 1995 to 2006. In addition to legal scholars and political scientists, the participants will include philosophers, media scholars, theologists, and education researchers. It is expected that the interdisciplinarity and internationality will lead to new perspectives in classical fields of discussion. For example, a discussion on the universality of human rights is planned under the guidance of Professor Mordechai Kremnitzer from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Professor Michael Bongardt of Freie Universität Berlin. In addition, individual human rights will be examined more closely, including political participation rights of women and migrants, a theme currently being investigated by doctoral students Sarah Wittkopp and Avinoam Cohen. Another theme is strategies that could be effective in protecting human rights. The role that might be played in this regard by, e.g., the World Bank or transnational companies, will be analyzed in depth. International criminal courts will be discussed in a panel discussion called "International Criminal Justice," to be led by Professor Yuval Shany of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Professor Klaus Hoffmann-Holland of Freie Universität Berlin.

Additional information may be obtained from:

Prof. Dr. Klaus Hoffmann-Holland, Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Law, Chair in Criminology and Criminal Law, Telephone: +49 (0)30 838 54090, Email: