The Eli Lauterpacht Lecture 2020: 'Women and Children and the Transformation of International Law' - Dr Radhika Coomaraswamy

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Lecture summary: The lecture attempts to look at some important concepts and landmarks in international law and analyse how they have been impacted by developments in the field of women and children's rights. The sources of international law, sovereignty, state responsibility, human rights and the status of non state actors have all been transformed by issues concerning women and children. These developments have created a more intrusive international law framework while highlighting universal global values. The lecture will also look at the some of the critiques of this new approach to international law while looking to the future to see how these issues will unfold. Welcome by Dr Ivan Berkowitz Chaired by Professor Eyal Benvenisti Radhika Coomaraswamy received her BA from Yale University, her J.D. from Columbia University and her LLM from Harvard University. In Sri Lanka, she was Director of International Centre for Ethnic Studies from 1982 to 2005 and the Chairperson of the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission from 2003 to 2006. Recently, from 2015-2018, she was a member of the Constitutional Council. Internationally, Radhika Coomaraswamy served as UN Under Secretary General and as Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict from 2006 until her retirement in 2012. Earlier, from 1994 to 2003, she was the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, an independent expert attached to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. In 2014, the UN Secretary General asked Radhika Coomaraswamy to lead the Global Study to review the fifteen year implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. In 2017 she was appointed to the UN Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar and also appointed as a member of The Secretary General’s Board of Advisors on Mediation. She was been privileged to be asked to deliver the Grotius Lecture of the American Association of International Law in 2013 and has received numerous honorary degrees and honors. These lectures are kindly supported by Dr and Mrs Ivan Berkowitz who are Friends of the Centre.

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