Humanity at Sea

I recently spoke at this event at the Columbia Global Center in Paris:

Humanity at Sea Maritime Migration and the Foundations of International Law, 1945-2015

Below the fold, a video of the event. At some point I’ll post the text of what I said.

photo Roni Horn

Photo: Roni Horn

February 8, 2017

This lecture will attempt to connect the dots between the current “refugee crisis” and several of its relevant historical precedents: actions of Jewish migrants to Palestine after WWII, Vietnamese ‘boatpeople’, Haitian refugees seeking to reach Florida, and Middle Eastern migrants and refugees bound to Australia. Through its engagement with history, the talk will outline a novel theory of human rights modelled around an encounter between individuals in which one of the parties is at great risk.


Karen Akoka, Assistant Professor in Political Science, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre

Delphine Dogot, Ph.D. Candidate, Sciences Po Law School

Ben Gidley, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London

Lecture organized by Jean-Philippe Dedieu, historian and sociologist, professor in the Columbia MA in History and Literature

Itamar Mann is a senior lecturer at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law, Israel, where he primarily teaches international law. His research focuses on human rights, refugee and migration law, international criminal law, national security, and legal and political theory. He is the author of Humanity at Sea: Maritime Migration and the Foundations of International Law (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

He also provides legal advice on issues related to his areas of research. He has previously worked as a consultant for Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Justice Initiative on issues related to refugee law in Europe. He has also briefly practiced human rights and criminal defense law. He is a member of the legal action committee at Global Legal Action Network (GLAN).

Before moving to Haifa, Itamar Mann was the National Security Law Fellow at Georgetown Law Center for three years. He holds an LLB from Tel Aviv University, and LLM and JSD degrees from Yale Law School.

See also on


(I’m at 1:14)




About bengidley

Senior Lecturer at the School of Social Science, History and Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London. View all posts by bengidley

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