30 April 2020


Human Rights: History, Principles, Contemporary Challenges


Matthias Kaufmann 

NOVA Law School


30 April 2020


NOVA Law School, NOVA University of Lisbon 

Campus de Campolide 18, 1099-032 Lisbon, Portugal


The work of Matthias Kaufmann has become a mandatory reference in the philosophical discussions on human rights. His reflection is a manifest for justice and for the fulfilment of the right of everyone to a dignified life. But it is also a manifest of revolt and indignation at the offences against human rights and the sufferings that result from these offences. The scientific tone should not deceive us – his writings express a passion for humanity and a pungent desire to reduce its burdens by doing justice. Interdisciplinary in its approach, cosmopolitan in its references and its scope, Matthias Kaufmann raises his voice wherever he perceives a violation of human rights. With the vigour of those who participate in a struggle, he goes through the whole history of the concept and all contemporary debates on the subject in order to affirm the absolute superiority of human rights over any other criterion of justice or political justification. Matthias Kaufmann, cultivating the debate with the great thinkers, reveals that the defence of human rights is the synthesis of all the values ​​of justice that have been searched for centuries. He thus wishes to remind all of us that human rights are the supreme goal to which all efforts of our thoughts and actions must converge. His work is an invitation to fight alongside him in defence of human rights.


This workshop will be dedicated to discussing these issues with, beginning with one of his most recent manuscripts: "How right is the basis of law?" in The Quest for Rights. Ideal and Normative Dimensions (edited by Massimo La Torre, Leone Niglia, Mart Susi). Cheltenham, UK, Northhampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing 2019, 109-123.


​The working language of the workshop is English. 

This activity is financed by public funds through the FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P. (Foundation for Science and Technology, Public Institution, Portugal) within the project Cosmopolitanism: Justice, Democracy and Citizenship without Borders  - PTDC/FER-FIL/30686/2017

This event endorses and promotes the UN Sustainable Development Goals by raising awareness and reflexivity and by advancing a vision of a just world. Particularly the following goals are envisaged: Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere; Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries; Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts;  Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels;  Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Organization and contact /

Organizing Committee:

Soraya Nour Sckell

Cosmopolitanism: Justice, Democracy and Citizenship without Borders

FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P, Portugal






NOVA Law School, NOVA University of Lisbon

Campus de Campolide 18

1099-032 Lisboa, Portugal

Tel.: + 351 21 384 74 00 

Fax: + 351 21 384 74 70


Centre of Philosophy

Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon 

Alameda da Universidade

1600-214  Lisboa, Portugal

Tel.: + 351 21 792 00 91 

Fax: + 351 21 792 00 91 


LOGO -  COSMOPOLITANISM_versoes-logo_log

Thanks! Message sent.