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University of Utah hosts prestigious Oxford Human Rights Consortium speaker

April 13 2015 – A group of students will take an in-depth look at human rights this week at the University of Utah, as the U continues a partnership with the University of Oxford to offer intensive workshops focused on human rights issues.

The Oxford Human Rights Consortium events in Utah start Monday, April 13 at the U with a lecture delivered by Cheyney Ryan at the Hinckley Institute of Politics in room 260 of Orson Spencer Hall from 2 to 3 p.m. Ryan’s lecture will focus on “Teaching Peace in Times of War: Reflections on Violence and Non-Violence in the 21st Century.” Ryan is the director of the Oxford Consortium and works with the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, where he is engaged in a multi-year project exploring the relation of pacifism and non-violence to contemporary just war theory. His aim is to develop the pacifist alternative in ways that are sensitive to the contemporary reality and challenges of war.

On Tuesday, April 14, a panel of students will share their experiences of participating in the Oxford Human Rights Consortium earlier this spring. Students Tania Bashford of the David Eccles School of Business; Stanford Bell of the S.J. Quinney College of Law; Lisa Hawkins of the Honors College; Chris Herman of the Honors College; Nubia Pena of the S.J. Quinney College of Law; Pratik Raghu, of the Honors Program at Westminster College and Betty Stoneman, a student at Utah Valley University will speak at the Hinckley Institute in room 260 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

The annual consortium is a partnership between Oxford and several U.S. universities, including Utah, USC, Oregon and Stanford.  Students travel to Oxford for a weeklong workshop and study human rights in and after conflict, humanitarian action, conflict trends, human rights law and peacemaking with a focus on recent armed conflicts, said Deen Chatterjee, a senior advisor and professorial fellow at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, one of the organizers of the Hinckley events who also travels with students to Oxford.

“This year the specific focus was on the current events in Syria. The module is a healthy mix of seminars, working groups, and student presentations,” said Chatterjee.

The Office for Global Engagement, the S.J. Quinney College of Law, Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at the David Eccles School of Business, Honors College, and Tanner Center for Human Rights co-sponsor the event with select students from the U and other universities chosen to attend.

Utah students meet four times with Chatterjee to discuss assigned readings and research plans before the start of the consortium, which happened at Oxford earlier this spring.

The workshop was led by Oxford faculty and featured prominent guest speakers. Students stayed at Hertford College and the workshop is held in Merton College, which is one of the three oldest of 38 Oxford colleges.

U student Bell said the experience of participating in the Oxford Consortium was memorable, and added he looks forward to sharing the experience at this week’s panel.

“The Consortium was an awesome opportunity where we developed an understanding of human rights and humanitarian aid during violent conflicts, the laws surrounding the conduct of war and the peace building process,” Bell said. “We were able to apply what we learned and conduct a study of the current conflict in Syria.”

The events at Hinckley on Monday and Tuesday offer other Utahns a chance to learn about the students’ experiences as part of the Oxford Human Rights Consortium.

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