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Guyora Binder, visiting Kaplan lecturer, to present the case for self-determination of peoples

STANFORD -- Do minorities have a right to secede from multinational states and form independent nations?

This issue has gained new urgency with the breakup of the Soviet empire and the rise in the Balkans and elsewhere of separatist passions.

Legal philosopher Guyora Binder will analyze arguments in support of group autonomy in a lecture at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, in room 290 of Stanford Law School.

Titled "The Case for Self-Determination," his presentation is the school's second Leah Kaplan Lecture in Human Rights.

Binder is a 1980 graduate of Yale Law School and a member of the law faculty of the State University of New York- Buffalo.

His exploration of the principle of state autonomy in treaty law, Treaty Conflict and Political Contradiction (Praeger, 1988), was praised by the American Journal of International Law as "an immensely erudite . . . effort to rethink the framework of analysis used by international lawyers. . . . His central thesis about history, liberalism and nationalism should be read and debated."

Binder's essays on such human rights issues as slavery, war crimes and participatory democracy show that demands for liberation often express a quest for group identity.

Binder is spending the 1991-92 academic year at Stanford as the law school's Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights.

Kaplan, donor of the lectureship, is Stanford University's ombudsperson and director of the Stanford Help Center.

A psychiatric social worker by training, Kaplan has demonstrated her concern for human rights by, among other things, initiating rape prevention programs at Stanford and creating campus guidelines for dealing with charges of sexual harassment.

The first Leah Kaplan Lecture at Stanford Law School was presented on April 25, 1990, with Frank I. Michelman of Harvard as the inaugural Kaplan Visiting Professor.


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