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UN Special Rapporteurs to Discuss Drone Killings, Cultural Rights at Yale Law School

Two United Nations Special Rapporteurs will visit Yale Law School this month to discuss drone killings and cultural rights.

The first talk will take place on Monday, October 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm in Room 122 with UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns, who will be speaking about lethal autonomous robots.

The second talk will be held on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 12 pm in Room 127 with UN Special Rapporteur Farida Shaheed, who will be speaking about cultural rights.

The talks are presented by the Yale Law School Information Society Project’s Foreign Affairs in the Internet Age Initiative (FAIA), a group that formed last spring after Professors Jack Balkin, David Grewal, Oona Hathaway, and Amy Kapczynski began meeting to discuss the intersection of foreign affairs law and cyberlaw.

With significant student interest surrounding the group, FAIA quickly took shape and began to plan several events to explore these areas of law in more depth. Earlier this fall, the group hosted a fall panel on NSA Surveillance and Foreign Affairs. The UN Rapporteur talks are aimed to help students apply international human rights law to questions raised by new technologies.

“Increasingly, issues covered by the ISP have been at the center of international law discussions, with ramifications for both international lawmaking and the substantive issue areas,” said Margot Kaminski, Executive Director of Yale ISP.

“The interest in these questions across several different areas of human rights law shows how important and timely the FAIA initiative is,” added Kaminski. “We are truly lucky to be able to engage Yale Law students in discussions with the international experts charged with examining these emerging human rights problems at the UN.”

Heyns is a renowned scholar who holds several teaching positions at the University of Pretoria, American University, and several other institutions. He is published widely in the field of international human rights law. His talk will specifically focus on the ethical and legal questions raised by a move towards greater autonomy in weapons systems.

Shaheed is a globally respected sociologist and rights advocate based on Pakistan. She will discuss the scope, source and contemporary deployment of cultural rights, and the relationship between cultural rights and intellectual property (IP) law and women's rights.

The UN Special Rapporteur talks are made possible with funding from the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund at Yale.