2012 Protect the Human / Protect the Planet

Our 2012 series has now finished. We are very grateful to our lecturers for giving us their time and experience. We'll now be preparing the book of the series for publication.


Amnesty’s watchword, ‘Protect the Human’, is a call to respect existing human life. But in putting humans at the centre of our moral universe, do we imperil the ecological resources on which we depend? Does our insistence on human rights ask too much of the planet?

Both climate change and the fight against it have immense human consequences. Do human rights get in the way of an effective response? Or might they form the basis of a new environmental ethics? Can we refashion human rights to acknowledge our interconnectedness with nature? Or should human rights move aside to make room for less human-centred system of values?

Can we protect the human and save the planet? Join an Economics Nobel Laureate, an environmental activist, a UN Special Rapporteur, a political theorist, and others to find out in this year’s series of Oxford Amnesty Lectures.

Lecturers, titles and dates

All lectures start at 5.30pm in the Gulbenkian Lecture Theatre, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3TU.

Tickets on sale now. Click on the names of the speakers for more information. 

Friday 30 March

Elinor Ostrom, 2009 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and Distinguished Professor, Indiana University, Bloomington
Avoiding the Tragedy of the Commons 

Tuesday 24 April

Peter H. Gleick, Co-founder of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, Oakland, California
The Human Right to Water

Thursday 26 April

Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and Professor of Law at the University of Louvain (UCL)
Human Rights and the Post-Carbon Economy

Tuesday 1 May

Alan Boyle, Professor of Public International Law, University of Edinburgh
Human Rights and the Environment - Where Next?

Thursday 3 May

Simon Caney, Professor in Political Theory at Magdalen College, Oxford
Realising Human Rights in a Finite World

Thursday 10 May

Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace
Green Rights are Human Rights

Thursday 17 May

Bina Agarwal, Director & Professor of Economics, Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi
Food Security, Forest Conservation: The Imperatives of Cooperation and Gender Inclusion

There are a fixed number of free tickets for students and other concessions to attend the final lecture! The first 50 people to email us at info@oxford-amnesty-lectures.org will be able to come for free to the Bina Agarwal's lecture. Forward to your friends today.

Venue map

The Gulbenkian lecture theatre is in the Faculty of Law, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3TU.


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2012 Supporters

The 2012 series is organised in collaboration with the The Faculty of Law, University of Oxford.

This year's flyer

Download this year's flyer and put it up somewhere public to help us spread the word.

2012 flyer

2012 flyer

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