Today, March 31: A Talk on Professional Ethics and Human Rights

“Toward a Unified Theory of Professional Ethics and Human Rights”

 March 31, 2011
12:00 pm- 1:00 pm
Lewis 202

Please join us tomorrow for a talk by Jonathan Marks, human rights lawyer and fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

Headshot of Marks

Marks, Associate Professor of Bioethics, Humanities and Law at Penn State University, has worked for years on the issue of complicity of professionals (in particular, doctors, psychologists and lawyers) in torture and detainee abuse in the war on terror.  In this talk, he will discuss his paper on the topic, the first to advance a general unified theory of professional ethics and human rights.

Although relevant to scholars in both fields, it has practical implications for a much broader audience.  In essence, the article offers a novel conception of what it means to be a professional—not just in the paradigm cases of lawyer and doctor, but in penumbral professions too.

Marks’ account ties professional ethical norms directly to international human rights law and practice, and it helps reframe challenging questions of so-called “dual loyalties.”  The account has important practical implications—including the need for more (and better) human rights training for professionals, and institutional reforms to facilitate their role as human rights guardians.