INCORE - Information Only incore-info at incore.ulst.ac.uk
Fri Jun 3 14:29:35 IST 2011

Please find attached invitation from Directors of INCORE and
Transitional Justice Institute:

Invitation to 2011 International Summer School Lecture
Bob Collins, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern
'Perspectives on Equality in a Changing Society'
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 at 6.30 p.m., Great Hall, Magee campus
Refreshments will be served from 6.00 p.m.

Acceptance to je.farren at ulster.ac.uk

'Perspectives on Equality in a Changing Society'

It is a truism to say that we live in changing times. It was ever thus.
But there is no denying the pace of change in contemporary life. Thus,
the Northern Ireland in which equality legislation began to be
introduced in the 1970s is a very different place from that in which we
now live. The equality legislation has also changed but the underlying
principles and objectives are not greatly different.

That prompts some consideration of whether the changed environment
requires a comparably changed legislative framework and of whether the
realities of some of the change in our society have adequately been
internalised. It may also raise, in a very particular way, the issue of
whether fair employment legislation is any longer required.

It also prompts some reflection on how the concept of equality may be
subject to change. Oftentimes a contested notion, the very word can mean
quite different things - a set of principles; a personal commitment; a
political programme; a legal context. What is the dimension that needs
to attract the attention of public discourse? And how can and should the
need for equality relate to the need for good relations between all who
live in this place?

As is so often the case, what is not said may have greater resonance
than what is proclaimed. Some of what the law does not cover - poverty,
socio-economic circumstances - will have a profound impact on the
efficacy of what the law seeks to achieve. Educational under-attainment
will diminish real equality of opportunity.

These are issues that have relevance for most countries. For Northern
Ireland, a society where the past is a companion on the journey into the
future and where coming to terms with difference is a skill yet to be
mastered, they have a particular acuteness.

Janet Farren
University of Ulster
Tel. 028-71675575
Fax. 028-71675510
Email. je.farren at ulster.ac.uk

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