Beyond Human Rights

Payam Akhavan

Payam Akhavan


Payam Akhavan teaches international law at McGill University and has worked in and appeared at international courts in The Hague. In the 2014 Vancouver Human Rights Lecture, Payam Akhavan argues that our world needs more than laws and legal niceties: it has to be built on empathy. The Vancouver Human Rights Lecture is presented by The Laurier Institution and UBC Continuing Studies, in partnership with alumni UBC.

"What moves us to serve humanity, to achieve meaningful change, is genuine empathy; the capacity to feel the pain of others, to experience an intimate shared humanity, to accept discomfort and sacrifice in the path of a greater cause. In entering an authentic communion with others, we also discover a profound expression of our own dignity.

Payam Akhavan, from the 2014 Vancouver Human Rights Lecture, Beyond Human Rights: Building a World on Empathy.

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