Since the Second World War, international human rights have been codified into treaties that are nearly universally ratified. Regional courts and other international institutions have emerged to interpret and attempt to enforce these treaties. Despite these structures and laws, widely recognized civil and political human rights continue to be violated throughout the world, and social, cultural and economic rights remain unenforced. As an alternative, political mobilization has taken precedence as the tool to defend and enhance fundamental rights throughout the world, calling into question the efficacy of the human rights regime as an avenue for development. In The Fist and Gavel, the IDC 2017 will compare and contrast political mobilization and legal tactics as means to development with a focus on how local students may engage in these levels to defend the human right to development abroad.


Sarah Weinberger, Justice and Corporate Accountability Project

Cory Wanless - Lawyer, Klippensteins Barristers and Solicitors

Philippe Tremblay - Senior Legal Advisor, Lawyers without Borders Canada

Fanta Diaby - Program Associate, Journalists for Human Rights