HRIC Visiting Seminar- What comes first, Democracy or Human Rights?

14 November 2017, 6.00 PM - 14 November 2017, 7.00 PM

Jonathan Cooper

Moot Room, 8-10 Berkley Square

The Human Rights Implementation Centre welcomes Jonathan Cooper, a visiting fellow, as a guest speaker to deliver a talk ‘What comes first, Democracy or Human Rights? Can you have one without the other? Can the protection of human rights undermine democracy? Do democracies need human rights?’

If you are fascinated by the state of democracy across the globe, this talk is for you. This interactive discussion will reflect on the pressing questions of the 21st Century. What do we expect from a democracy? What’s the point of democracy if a democratic society does not secure human rights? Is the UK’s democracy no longer fit for purpose? If the UK’s democracy needs recalibrating, will a more democratic UK be more human rights compliant?

Are referendums the way forward? What’s the added value of Parliament if we can vote on issues directly. Shouldn’t we determine our future and not those we elect. Is it time for a genuinely radical rethink about the governance of Britain?

Jonathan is an international human rights law practitioner. As a barrister in private practice, he has worked with the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the UK Ministry of Justice, the UK Home Office and the Director of Service Prosecutions. He has taken cases to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of applicants on issues ranging from prisoners' rights to child abduction. He has also litigated before the UN Human Rights Committee and advised on bringing cases before the Women’s Committee (CEDAW) at the UN.

Jonathan has also advised the Turkish military, Sudanese government officials and lawyers in Syria, Cameroon, Gambia, Albania and Lithuania. In 2007, Jonathan was awarded an OBE for services to human rights.

Book now

This event is free, but please book via the eventbrite page

Cancellation policy

It would be greatly appreciated by the HRIC and our guests if you could inform us at least a day before, if you are unable to attend this event.  

Contact information

If you have any queries relating to this event, please contact Suzanne Mills (HRIC administrator) T: 0117 39 40055 or E:

Edit this page