The Paradox of Slavery: A Fundamental Human Right which is rarely Tried in Court

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Speaker: Jean Allain (Queen’s University, Belfast)
Location: Osgoode, IKB 4034
Time: 12:30 -2:20pm

This seminar considered the evolution of the law related to contemporary slavery, setting out the dynamics which were at play over the last hundred years that all but exclude the trying of cases for slavery in courts of law.

Prof. Allain considered the manner in which international courts in the early years of the 21 st Century led the way in trying cases, but also in struggling to set out a coherent reading of what it means to be a slave in societies where the legal ownership of another is no longer possible. The seminar then considered the approach which has taken hold to give new life to the law of slavery through a coherent reading of the established international definition of slavery; an approach which is both internally consistent, while mirroring the lived experience of those caught up in modern slavery.