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Lecture Series
February 28, 2023

Philip Alston, Leading Scholar and Practitioner of International Human Rights Law, Delivers Frank Greene Lecture

On February 9, St. Francis College (SFC) welcomed Philip Alston, the John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, to campus. He was invited to give this year’s Dr. Frank Greene Honors Lecture.

Philip Alston

Titled “The Criminalization of Human Rights,” Alston’s lecture addressed the global shift in recent years from a broad concept of what human rights are to a much narrower notion. He argued that by focusing almost exclusively on prosecuting individuals who commit atrocities, societies fail to grapple with the larger complexities and underpinnings of human rights violations as well as the systems that give rise to them. The lecture in its entirety can be viewed here.

Born and educated in Australia, with a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, Alston is an international law scholar and human rights practitioner. He has taught at various institutions around the world, including the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Harvard Law School, Australian National University and the European University Institute. Now a professor at New York University School of Law, Alston was the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights from 2014 to 2020, having previously held a range of senior U.N. appointments, including, from 2004 to 2010, special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

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