Events Calendar
Nov 13
18:30 - 19:30
Justice Without Ethics: A Twentieth Century Innovation
Royal Institute of Philosophy Public Lecture
Baroness Onora O'Neill

For centuries discussions of justice and ethics were seen as linked domains of duty in European thought and culture. In the twentieth century they were seen as diverging in marked, interesting and unsettling ways. There is now widespread acceptance that justice is a matter of respect for objectively justified human right, but that other ethical standards lack wider justification and reflect either individual choice or shared standards.

Does this view promote inadequate accounts of both justice and other ethical standards?

Baroness Onora O'Neill combines writing on political philosophy and ethics with a range of public activities. Originally from Northern Ireland, Onora has worked mainly in Britain and the US holding positions of Principal of Newnham College and Honorary Professor of Philosophy both at the University of Cambridge. She was President of the British Academy from 2005-9, chaired the Nuffield Foundation from 1998-2010, and has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2000 (Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve). She chaired the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission from 2012-16 and is currently on the boards of the Medical Research Council and the Banking Standards Review. 

She lectures and writes on justice and ethics, with recent publications also addressing questions about accountability and trust, justice and borders, the future of universities, the quality of legislation and the ethics of communication.


Lecture Theatre 2,
Grimond Building,
University of Kent,
United Kingdom


Open to all,

Contact: Dr Alexandra Couto


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