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Symposium: Revisiting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Symposium / Colloque

*Revisiting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights*

a symposium sponsored by Canadian Jacques Maritain Association
un colloque international co-parainé par l'association canadienne Jacques Maritain
in association with the Canadian Philosophical Association 
en collaboration avec l'Association canadienne de philosophie

June 6-7 juin, 2018

Locale /Conference Venue: 
Université du Québec à Montréal
Montréal, Québec


Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) enumerates some 29 rights and freedoms that were to serve as “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.” The product of the work of scholars from twenty countries from around the world, and inspired by the writings of figures such as Jacques Maritain, this Declaration has had a profound influence, not only on the practice and respect of human rights in general, but on international law, on national liberation movements, on regional and domestic legal systems, on how we conceive of respect for persons, and on the practice of many fields of study, to name but a few areas.


But are all the rights and freedoms of the UDHR relevant today, on its 70th anniversary? Some scholars argue that the content and meaning of many of these rights are tied to the cultures of western nations; that the UDHR has been used by some countries to continue a policy of neo-colonialism; and that some of these rights and freedoms cannot be sustained in an ecologically fragile and increasingly pluralistic world.


This conference aims to revisit the UDHR and to ask questions such as: have any of these rights become problematic today and, if so, which ones, and why? are all the rights enumerated necessary or required to preserve respect for the human person? are there additional rights or freedoms that would warrant inclusion in the UDHR today?

The CJMA welcomes proposals from individuals who are interested in presenting a paper at its 2018 spring conference. 

 We invite papers, in English or French, relating to the conference theme. 

Those who wish to present a paper should send a one-page abstract or proposal to: 

Dr William Sweet
Department of Philosophy 
St Francis Xavier University
2329 Notre Dame Avenue
Antigonish, NS  B2G 2W5  Canada
tel: 1-902-867-2341; fax 1-902-867-3243

Deadline for submission of proposals: March 25, 2018 

 Papers should not exceed 35 minutes reading time.