Faculty of Law Event: Problematising Children’s Rights – Insights from Israel/Palestine

Convener: Charlotte Kelly

Speaker: Dr Hedi Viterbo

In this talk, Dr Hedi Viterbo will discuss his new book, Problematizing Law, Rights, and Childhood in Israel/Palestine (CUP, 2021). The book radically challenges dominant assumptions about children’s rights and child law, both in and beyond the Israel/Palestine context. As this study reveals, Israel, rather than disregarding international legal and human rights norms concerning children, has used these norms to hone and legitimise its violence against Palestinians. Also exposed is the complicity of human rights actors in this situation, due to their problematic conceptions of childhood, their uncritical embrace of international law, their use of a mental health rhetoric, and their recurring emulation of Israel’s security discourse. The book examines how, and to what effect, both the state and its critics manufacture, shape, and weaponise the categories ‘child’ and ‘adult.’ Bridging disciplinary divides, this study analyses hundreds of previously unexamined sources, many of which are not publicly available.


Bio: Dr Hedi Viterbo is Senior Lecturer in Law at Queen Mary University of London. Previously, he was Lecturer in Law at the University of Essex, a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at SOAS, a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, and a visiting researcher at Columbia University. His research examines legal issues concerning childhood, state violence, and sexuality from an interdisciplinary and global perspective.


Online via Zoom. Please register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_iM0xdrdbTlCkdml62DSG9w