Most of humanity shares two searing memories: the collapse of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001; and a hooded man standing on a box with wires dangling from his outstretched hands. These images capture the painful truth that both sides in the so-called ‘war on terror’ have violated fundamental rules. But while non-state actors can violate internationallaw, only states are able to change the law, making their breaches of greater potential consequence. In this chapter, I consider how the recent actions of the United States
Advocates and opponents of humanitarian
From the 1860s onwards, internationallaw
became an academic discipline in its own right in Europe and the Americas, taught
separately from philosophy, natural law or civil law, and came to be written by
professional academics or theoretically inclined diplomats. 1 Until then what existed was the droit public de
l’Europe or ‘external public law’. Britain in particular
CERD’s contribution to the
development of the rights
of indigenous peoples under
The rights of indigenous peoples under international human rights law
have greatly evolved in the last two decades, notably with the adoption
of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
(UNDRIP) in 2007 which came to light after more than twenty years of
negotiations.1 In terms of international legal standards, there are two
main approaches to the rights of indigenous peoples, one stemming
This book is an attempt at a comprehensive presentation of the history of humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century, the heyday of this controversial doctrine. It starts with a brief presentation of the present situation and debate. The theoretical first part of the book starts with the genealogy of the idea, namely the quest for the progenitors of the idea in the sixteenth and seventeenth century which is a matter of controversy. Next the nineteenth century ‘civilization-barbarity’ dichotomy is covered and its bearing on humanitarian intervention, with its concomitant Eurocentric/Orientalist gaze towards the Ottomans and other states, concluding with the reaction of the Ottomans (as well as the Chinese and Japanese). Then the pivotal international law dimension is scrutinized, with the arguments of advocates and opponents of humanitarian intervention from the 1830s until the 1930s. The theoretical part of the book concludes with nineteenth century international political theory and intervention (Kant, Hegel, Cobden, Mazzini and especially J.S. Mill). In the practical second part of the book four cases studies of humanitarian intervention are examined in considerable detail: the Greek case (1821-1831), the Lebanon/Syria case (1860-61), the Balkan crisis and Bulgarian case (1875-78) in two chapters, and the U.S. intervention in Cuba (1895-98). Each cases study concludes with its bearing on the evolution of international norms and rules of conduct in instances of humanitarian plights. The concluding chapter identifies the main characteristics of intervention on humanitarian grounds during this period and today’s criticism and counter-criticism.
This book is a full-length study of the rights of indigenous peoples in international law, focusing in particular on instruments of human rights. The primary reference point is contemporary law, though the book also examines the history of indigenous peoples through the lens of historical legal discourses. The work critically assesses the politics of definition and analyses contested definitions and descriptions of indigenous groups. Most of the chapters are devoted to detailed examination of existing and emerging human rights texts at global and regional levels. Among the instruments considered in the book are the International Covenants on Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, and the ILO Conventions on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.
Nineteenth-century international law imbibed the racist virus. The twentieth century attempted to find an escape through fundamental, principled restatements of the equality and dignity of human beings and the worth of the cultures of humanity in all their subtlety and variety. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) was preceded by the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1963, and converted its premises into legally binding standards. The ICERD carried the hopes and aspirations of many in the international community for an international order of mutual respect and harmony among nations and peoples. This book tracks the debates that have shaped Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination's (CERD) policies and practices on disaggregated data over its first forty-five years. The UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerance (WCAR) created an opportunity for the family of nations to engage in a global dialogue. The rights of indigenous peoples under international human rights law have greatly evolved with the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007. CERD's serious attention to the continuing role played by anti-Romani sentiment - anti-Gypsyism - in shaping the societies is required. The central concern of General Recommendation 35 (2013) of the CERD was to figure out and set out how the 'resources' of the ICERD can be optimally 'mobilised' for the purpose of combating racist hate speech.
'Terror' is a diffuse notion that takes no account of local particularities and 'war on terror' is a contradiction in terms. This book is based on the lectures that were given on the subject in Oxford in 2006. Amnesty has described 'war on terror' as a war on human rights. It is also a contest of narratives: stories that the protagonists tell about themselves, about their enemies, and about what is happening now. The book considers how the recent actions of the United States have stressed and stretched two areas of international law: the right of self-defence, and the rules of international humanitarian law. State terrorism, with a bit of careful spin, can be reclassified as counter-terrorism, in other words as inherently good in the same way that terrorism is inherently bad. The book engages with the politico-conceptual difficulties of distinguishing between war and terrorism. The interface and tensions between the human rights tradition and the Islamic tradition, particularly Islamic law, is discussed. The intensification of Western repression against Islamic thinkers or activists has at times been coupled with policies that seemed designed to change the religious trajectory of society. The sexualization of torture is only one way in which the 'war on terror' has delineated who is (and who is not) human. Religion, human rights, and trauma narratives are three other mechanisms for rationalizing suffering. The book also discusses the subject of censuring reckless killing of innocent civilians by the issue of fatwas by Muslim teachers.
Racism and sectarianism makes an important contribution to the discussion on the 'crisis of anti-racism' in the United Kingdom. Anti-racist theory and practice has been in crisis for more than a quarter of a century. The power of official anti-racism comes from its endorsement and institutionalisation by states in domestic and international law and in institutional practice. The book first explores whether sectarianism is racism, examining three different arguments in favour of treating racism and sectarianism as distinct phenomena. Exploring what is racism, the book examines through the prism of Race Relations theory and practice, because they constitute the dominant approach to tackling racism in the UK. The focus is on the conception of racism that underpins Race Relations policy and theory. The book agrees that the radical grassroots anti-racist movements of the 1960s and 1970s were important and that the relationship between racism and anti-racism is not straightforward. It considers the internationalisation of the Race Relations approach through the UN, and the incorporation of Race Relations into domestic UK policy. Further, the book challenges the idea that Race Relations theory is unproblematic. Anti-racisms as they actually existed in the process of historical change and development are examined. Human consciousness plays a crucial role in this process. Finally, the book explores the limitations of a Race Relations approach to harassment through a critical examination of the most recent innovation in official anti-racism, hate crime policy, which formally came into operation in Northern Ireland in September 2004.
In the aftermath of conflict and gross human rights violations, victims have a right to
know what happened to their loved ones. Such a right is compromised if mass graves are not
adequately protected to preserve evidence, facilitate identification and repatriation of
the dead and enable a full and effective investigation to be conducted. Despite guidelines
for investigations of the missing, and legal obligations under international law, it is
not expressly clear how these mass graves are best legally protected and by whom. This
article asks why, to date, there are no unified mass-grave protection guidelines that
could serve as a model for states, authorities or international bodies when faced with
gross human rights violations or armed conflicts resulting in mass graves. The paper
suggests a practical agenda for working towards a more comprehensive set of legal
guidelines to protect mass graves.
The border is one of the most urgent issues of our times. We tend to think of a
border as a static line, but recent bordering techniques have broken away from
the map, as governments have developed legal tools to limit the rights of
migrants before and after they enter a country’s territory. The consequent
detachment of state power from any fixed geographical marker has created a new
paradigm: the shifting border, an adjustable legal construct untethered in
space. This transformation upsets our assumptions about waning sovereignty,
while also revealing the limits of the populist push toward
border-fortification. At the same time, it presents a tremendous opportunity to
rethink states’ responsibilities to migrants. This book proposes a new,
functional approach to human mobility and access to membership in a world where
borders, like people, have the capacity to move.