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Prominent human rights activist to speak at Weyrauch Distinguished Lecture tomorrow

Published: October 10th, 2011

Category: Events, News

One of Pakistan’s leading human rights activists and former special representative of the United Nations secretary general on human rights defenders will speak on “The Role of Human Rights Defenders in Protecting Children’s Rights.”

Hina Jilani, advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, speaks at the sixth annual Center on Children and Families Weyrauch Distinguished Lecture in Family Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. The lecture is tomorrow at noon in the Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom, HOL 180. It is free and open to the public.

Jilani’s work in the area of children’s rights has included working for legal aid, proposing and drafting reformative legislation, and creating and implementing programs that protect the human rights of disadvantaged groups. She is responsible for establishing the first all-women’s law firm in Pakistan in 1981. According to the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Jilani has been under 24-hour-a-day surveillance by Pakistan since 1996 because of her activism in women, children and human rights movements.

Jilani held the position of special representative of the United Nations secretary general on human rights defenders from 2000 to 2008.

In 2006, Jilani was appointed to the UN’s fact-finding commission on Darfur, Sudan, and in 2009, was appointed to the UN’s fact-finding commission on the Gaza conflict. She is also affiliated with the Carter Center and the UN Conference on Women. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Editor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement by The Lawyer Awards in London.

The Center on Children and Families Weyrauch Distinguished Lecture in Family Law was made possible by an endowment supported by Frank G. Finkbeiner (JD 72) and T.W. Ackert (JD 72).

Walter Weyrauch, who passed away in 2008, was a distinguished professor of law at UF Law. Originally from Germany, Weyrauch joined the UF Law faculty in 1957 as associate professor. He became professor in 1960, was Clarence J. TeSelle Professor 1989-1994, and became Stephen C. O’Connell Chair in 1994 and distinguished professor in 1998. He was named an honorary professor of law at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Germany, and was visiting faculty at the University of California, Berkeley; Rutgers University School of Law and University of Frankfurt.

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