Samuel Dash Conference on Human Rights
The Samuel Dash Conference on Human Rights is named for former Law Center professor Sam Dash. Our largest annual event, the conference brings together leading figures in the human rights field to discuss and debate a current human rights issue.
The Dash Conference was established by Samuel Dash's family and friends, Georgetown Law alumni and the law firm of Cozen O'Connor to honor Dash's contributions to international human rights and domestic civil rights. Dash, who joined the Georgetown Law faculty in 1965, and was on the board of the International League of Human Rights, traversed the globe in pursuit of justice. He led a human rights mission to Northern Ireland to investigate the 1972 "Bloody Sunday" incident, and traveled to the Soviet Union and Chile. In 1985, he was the first American to visit Nelson Mandela in prison and became involved in mediation efforts that eventually led to Mandela's release. Dash also served as Chief Counsel of the Senate Watergate Committee's investigation into the Nixon administration's involvement in the Democratic National Committee break-in, which ultimately led to President Nixon's resignation. Professor Dash passed away in 2004.
The 2014 conference will take place from 9:30 - 5:30 on Monday, April 7 and will focus on multilateral development banks and human rights. A conference invitation can be found here.
Confirmed speakers and moderators include: Richard Bissell, Executive Director, Nataional Academies of Sciences Division on Policy and Global Affairs; Professor Edith Brown Weiss, Georgetown University Law Center, former World Bank Vice President and former Chairperson of the World Bank Inspection Panel; Mac Darrow, Chief of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights Millennium Development Goals Section; Jessica Evans, Senior Researcher and Advocate, Human Rights Watch; Siobhán McInerney-Lankford, Senior Counsel at the World Bank LEGAM (appearing in her personal capacity); Professor Alvaro Santos of Georgetown University Law Center; Meg Taylor, International Financial Corporation Vice President and International Financial Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman.
Multilateral Development Banks & Human Rights: Issues, Opportunities, Challenges
Monday, April 7, 2014
9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Georgetown University Law Center
Gewirz Student Center, 12th Floor
The relationship between human rights and development has been a topic of debate since well before the 1986 Declaration on the Human Right to Development. Much of the academic and policy discussion has focused on how specific bi-lateral and multi-lateral development agencies can or should incorporate human rights into their work. This conference will examine issues, challenges and opportunities in the context of an ongoing review of World Bank lending safeguards and Inspection Panel reforms, an effort to frame a post-2015 global development agenda, and a new planned development fund led by the BRICS countries.
Panel I: The Substance of Lending Safeguards
The World Bank is currently in the process of revising its lending safeguards. But how should human rights law and principles be incorporated into the Bank's major activity—lending? The first panel will focus on the substantive content of current lending safeguards, how certain rights are specifically implicated by the lending practices of multilateral development banks and how they might be taken into account in revised World Bank safeguards. The panel will discuss one or more area of rights and feature the experiences of those directly affected by lending.
Panel II: Independent and Robust Oversight Mechanisms
The second panel will focus on oversight mechanisms, including the World Bank Inspection Panel, which many view as under threat by potential reforms. This panel will focus on what is required to make accountability mechanisms effective (including procedural requirements, like staffing and independence, and substantive requirements, like remedial powers and clear safeguards). The panel will also discuss how oversight works (or does not work) at other bilateral and multilateral donor agencies and World Bank Group entities, including by looking at recent examples, such as the findings of the International Financial Corporation's Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman in the Dinant case.
Panel III: What Shapes How Multilateral Development Banks Promotes Human Rights?
The final panel will focus on key external factors that can advance or inhibit the role of human rights in the work of multilateral development banks such as the World Bank. Topics may include the proposed new BRICS development fund, UN efforts to mainstream human rights, and the actions of individual donor governments, such as efforts by the United States Congress to condition assistance and by Nordic Countries to target assistance. The panel will also discuss the role of affected individuals and civil society in shaping the development agenda of multilateral development banks.
To register, please contact Paulette Smith at email@example.com or 202-661-6675.
Past Samuel Dash Conferences
- 2013: Jurisdiction for Mass Atrocities
- 2012: Maternal Health and Human Rights
- 2011: The Role of Accountability in Protecting Human Rights and National Security
- 2010: The Challenge of Balancing Peace and Justice
- 2009: Rule of Law in the Context of Military Interventions
- 2008: The Future of Human Rights
- 2007: Constitutional Checks and Balances in the Post-9/11 Era: Revitalizing Congress's Role
- 2006: War, Terror, and Human Rights: Setting the Agenda