Centre College will host Marko Bosnjak, a judge of the European Court of Human Rights, for a convocation that will explore the opportunities and challenges facing Europe today. The event will take place in Young Hall on Tuesday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m.
In his address, Bosnjak, who represents Slovenia on the court, will explain how Europe’s 49-state division—states that vary considerably in size, population, in economic and political systems, and in ethnic and political diversity—has not only presented general changes in lifestyle and values affecting all modern societies in the last century but also the fall of its empires and a considerable decrease in economic, political and military importance in the global arena. Additionally, Europe is subject to outside challenges due to migrations from the underdeveloped world as well as to economic and political pressure exerted from those nations that have gained power on the account of Europe’s decline.
Over the centuries, as Bosnjak will point out, Europeans experimented with two main options for dealing with their diversity: domination and cooperation. In recent decades, they have attempted cooperation as the main method for governing. His lecture will argue first that Europe needs an idea that would be universal and stable enough to overcome the continent’s diversities and transitions, and that, secondly, such an idea could be the concept of human rights and fundamental freedoms based on inherent human dignity of each individual.
Bosnjak notes that an idea of equal protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms across Europe can serve as a source of stability and fruitful cooperation between nations. His talk will assert that it is crucial that European States develop and sustain a framework that they will guarantee human rights to everyone on their territory and under their effective control. The body that enforces these conventions is the European Court of Human Rights.
However, according to Bosnjak, the Court doesn’t function in an ideal world. Sometimes, member states refuse to follow its judgments. Based on this, his convocation lecture will explore how the Court can continue to be the beacon for the unifying power of human rights in Europe today. Ultimately, he argues that Europe’s commitment to human rights will depend on how key players and individual people conceive coexistence in Europe.
IF YOU GO
“Human Rights as an Inspiration for Coexistence in Europe”
Marko Bosnjak, a judge of the European Court of Human Rights
Tuesday, April 9 at 7:30 p. m. • Young Hall 113
by Amy Clark Wise
April 8, 2019