World Urban Forum (Abu Dhabi, 8-13 February 2020): Achieving Spatial Equity through Human Rights and Rule of Law

I am attending the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi where, in my capacity as joint global coordinator of IRGLUS, I organised a networking event entitled “Achieving Spatial Equity through Human Rights and Rule of Law”, in partnership with the UN Habitat Urban Legislation Unit. The event took the form of a panel discussion followed by input from the audience. Apart from myself, the speakers were prof Marta Lora-Tamayo Valve (UNED Madrid); judge Zione Ntaba (Malawi High Court), mr. Ali Imran (UCLG Asia-Pacific) and mr. Robert-Lewis Lettington (UN Habitat). The discussion identified different fields of law impacted by different scales of inequality as they converge in cities, and focused on the difficulties of proactively embedding human rights within appropriate laws rather than to merely use rights defensively. We also spoke about the language, interpretation and implementation of the law; illegality versus extra-legality; relativism versus pluralism; the law-making powers of local government and much more.

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