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Armed groups have played a predominant role in the violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed in conflict settings. The increase in the number of non-international armed conflicts during the past decades has emphasised the need to address the multiple legal challenges posed by the actions of armed groups. In particular, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the framework of responsibility for armed groups in international law. While much has been written regarding their international (primary) obligations, the possibility of developing a responsibility framework for armed groups under international law has been underexplored. Consequently, the aim of this book is to examine how the principles of international responsibility could be developed and adjusted to account for armed groups as collective entities. This general aim has been divided into three specific objectives. First, the book analyses the concept of responsibility in international law and assesses the legal and practical reasons in favour of developing such a regime for armed groups. Second, it examines the viability of establishing a responsibility regime for armed groups based on rules of attribution. Third, it explores the possible legal consequences of responsibility applicable to armed groups, with a particular focus on the obligation to provide reparations to victims. In doing so, this book will argue that certain non-traditional sources of international law could be used to interpret and adapt international law to the current conditions of contemporary armed conflict.
This book offers a human rights perspective of the phenomenon of marital captivity within Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim communities in both secular and non-secular States. Marital captivity is a complex social phenomenon that, predominantly, affects women. It involves a situation wherein the dissolution of a religious and/or legal marriage is obscured for religious reasons, consequently forcing the spouse(s) to remain in the marriage against their will. It involves multiple stakeholders (i.e. the trapped spouse, the opposing or recalcitrant spouse, the religious communities and one or more States). Within situations of marital captivity, all involved stakeholders have rights and interests which are often in conflict with one another. Unfortunately, holistic and effective solutions to end existing situations of marital captivity and prevent new situations from arising have yet to be developed. The human rights discourse advanced in this book shows that a human rights centred approach is imperative for the process of finding effective solutions to end marital captivity. Applying the human rights legal framework enables to objectively consider, balance and resolve the conflicting rights and interests inherent within situations of marital captivity. It also reveals how a select number of human rights and principles are affected within situations of marital captivity and offers an overview of States' positive obligations to protect and ensure these rights. The implied human rights obligations are discussed within the context of marital captivity so as to identify and formulate specific States' obligations to address marital captivity. This enables the author to produce guidelines for legal and non-legal measures that States should consider adopting in their efforts to combat marital captivity and to comply with their human rights obligations.
Towards a Sustainable Human Right to Water is a timely examination of a critical and time-sensitive subject in the field of human rights law. Aside from being a basic necessity for human survival, the United Nations identifies water as being a keystone of sustainable development and at the very heart of healthy ecosystems and socio-economic development. Thus, the book poses the critical question how the concept of sustainable development can contribute to the sustainable realisation of the human right to water for vulnerable people. It takes a three step approach in providing an answer to this fundamental question of our time. Firstly, the case is made for a broadening of the scope of vulnerability to include environmental factors and it is argued that the notion of vulnerability, as it is currently understood within the human rights discourse, is too limited. It should not only be assessed by looking at the social and economic circumstances of people or at specific groups, but also by looking at the environment that one lives in. This is certainly important for the realisation of the human right to water, which impacts the unserved or underserved to greater effect as they are directly dependent on their environment. Widening the scope of vulnerability would allow for more specific targeted measures when environmental problems are considered in connection with social vulnerability. Secondly, principles of sustainable development can be used to shape and further develop the human right to water. This would allow for the right to be realised in a sustainable manner and states could comply with both international human rights legislation and international environmental legislation. While these two fields of law have developed separately, their perspectives can nevertheless be reconciled if their different interests are balanced. Finally, an assessment framework is developed to analyze how states can implement the human right to water in a sustainable way. Bringing together the different disciplines of law, economics and public administration, it provides for basic water system knowledge which is required for a comprehensive exploration of the main challenges, and for offering recommendations specific to a national or regional context. This framework has been applied to the situation in Suriname, demonstrating the need for multi-level interventions.
Although international human rights law establishes the individual right to receive reparations, collective reparations have been considered a common response from judicial and non-judicial bodies to reparations for victims of gross violations of human rights. As such, collective reparations have been awarded within the field of international human rights law, international criminal law and transitional justice. Yet the concept, content and scope of collective reparations are rather unspecified. To date, neither the judicial nor the non-judicial bodies that have granted this kind of reparations have ever defined them.This book presents the first study on collective reparations. It aims to shed light on the legal framework, content and scope of collective reparations, and to the relationship between collective reparations and the individual right to reparations. In order to do so, the book analyses specific case law from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the International Criminal Court and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Additionally, the practices of non-judicial mechanisms were examined, specifically those of the Peruvian and Moroccan Truth Commissions and of two mass claims compensation commissions (the United Nations Compensation Commission and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission). Finally, it provides an overview of the challenges that collective reparations present to the fields of international human rights law and international criminal law, including in their implementation.
Health is indispensable for living a life of dignity. Currently, there is an almost universal commitment to the right to health (care). However, despite the growing legal recognition of this right, empirical evidence suggests that, as a whole, the implementation of the right to health (care) remains largely rhetorical at the domestic level. For example, although China ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2001, relatively little attention has been paid to the domestic implementation of the right to health (care). Violations of this right were also identified in reality. Given that China's health care reform is entering the so-called 'deep-water' zone, it is essential for the Chinese government to investigate how to guarantee everyone equal access to health care. Advancing the Right to Health Care in China analyses the role of accountability, a Western concept that has recently been introduced to China, in advancing the right to health care in light of China's unique political, legal and social background. In doing so, this book synthesises two different concepts: (1) the right to health; and (2) accountability, and integrates them into an analytical framework for 'right to health-based accountability'. It further provides a greater understanding of accountability and the various forms of accountability mechanisms that should be established by States. More specifically, it establishes a constructive accountability model that can be applied to specific health concerns in China, as well as in other countries, particularly those with non-electoral regimes. This book first systematically evaluates the status quo of the legislative and policy measures China has taken to give effect to the right to health care within its jurisdiction. It then identifies the shortcomings in China's domestic implementation of this right and seeks to address the remaining challenges through the lens of accountability. This book concludes with a set of recommendations for Chinese law- and policy-makers for implementing China's obligations under the right to health care through its draft Basic Health Law.
The International Criminal Court (the Court) in The Hague, in fulfilling its mandate to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious international crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, is neither able nor intended to investigate all situations of crisis across the world. Selectivity is unavoidable for the operation of this international organization. However, the authority of the Prosecutor of the Court to select and prioritize a situation over other situations is not unfettered. This book studies the situation selection regime at the International Criminal Court. In doing so, it first clarifies the notion of situation under the constituent instrument of the Court, the Rome Statute. In addition to this conceptualization, through describing the situation selection process and criteria, the Court's law, policies and practices in this regard are examined. Dealing with the misunderstanding of the Court's selectivity, this book reads the situation selection regime from the lens of expressivism. This theory justifies the selectivity in the Court's operation. The book is a resource for anyone who seeks more insight into the situation selection regime of the Court.
Privacy as Virtue discusses whether a rights-based approach to privacy regulation still suffices to address the challenges triggered by new data processing techniques such as Big Data and mass surveillance. A rights-based approach generally grants subjective rights to individuals to protect their personal interests. However, large-scale data processing techniques often transcend the individual and their interests. Virtue ethics is used to reflect on this problem and open up new ways of thinking. A virtuous agent not only respects the rights and interests of others, but also has a broader duty to act in the most careful, just and temperate way. This applies to citizens, to companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook and to governmental organizations that are involved with large scale data processing alike. The author develops a three-layered model for privacy regulation in the Big Data era. The first layer consists of minimum obligations that are independent of individual interests and rights. Virtuous agents have to respect the procedural pre-conditions for the exercise of power. The second layer echoes the current paradigm, the respect for individual rights and interests. While the third layer is the obligation of aspiration: a virtuous agent designs the data process in such a way that human flourishing, equality and individual freedom are promoted.
The concept of positive obligations is familiar to various legal systems which seek to protect fundamental rights. This concept means that states are required to take active measures to protect fundamental rights, such as, for example, adopting a general legal framework to regulate same-sex relationships in order to ensure protection of the right to private life. In Europe, positive obligations have, in particular, been developed in the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) from the 1970s onwards. The ECtHR has explained that positive obligations are necessary to ensure that fundamental rights are of practical value and effective for everyone.The ECtHR is not the only supranational court in Europe that protects fundamental rights. The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) also protects fundamental rights within the scope of EU law. So far, no concept of positive obligations has been developed by this Court, and the question has been asked whether such a development can indeed occur under EU law. After all, the EU is a rather special international organisation which has specific, mainly economic, interests to protect. It is also unclear whether the EU has competence to undertake regulatory action to actively protect fundamental rightsBased on the insights obtained from the development of positive obligations by the ECtHR, this volume analyses whether and how positive obligations could be incorporated into EU law. The relevant provisions laid down in the EU Treaties and the EU Charter, the case-law of the ECJ and the specificities of the EU system are studied to find out where there is scope for recognition of the concept of positive obligations under EU law, and what limitations would apply to this.
Globally, millions of people suffer health and socio-economic related problems due to the unavailability of controlled essential medicines such as morphine for pain treatment, which leaves them in disabling and sometimes degrading situations. Controlled essential medicines are medicines included in the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, and whose active substance is listed under the international drug-control treaties. Their availability and accessibility therefore fall within the remit of both human rights and international drug-control law. Even though the unavailability of controlled essential medicines is generally caused by a multifaceted and complex interplay of factors, the current international drug-control framework paradoxically hinders rather than fosters the access to medicines.Human Rights and Drug Control analyses a human rights interpretation of the international drug-control framework with an emphasis on advancing the access to controlled essential medicines in resource-constrained countries. Its approach goes beyond the more conventional legal analysis and includes an ethical analysis as well as two case studies in Uganda and Latvia. It first aims to identify a human rights foundation of drug control by examining how human rights norms would balance the underlying tension: some controlled substances have a clear, evidence-based medical benefit, yet also have the potential to be misused, which may lead to dependency disorders. This makes it evident that States should regulate this delicate equilibrium, the challenge being how they can do so legitimately in light of human rights norms.Having explored this premise in the context of human rights law and theory, this book then applies these findings to Uganda and Latvia, - two 'best practice' countries - when it comes to improving the accessibility of morphine for pain treatment. Relying on qualitative research methods, the study explores whether the human rights basis of drug-control regulation may be adequately integrated into the structures of the present international drug-control system. It specifically deals with various technical, administrative and procedural obligations relating to the import/export and retail trade of controlled medicines. The book concludes with a proposal on how a human rights approach to drug-control may be advanced, specifically highlighting the importance of reconciling international obligations with the local reality in which these obligations come into play.
Winner of the 2016 Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award Dialogue is the new buzzword for the European Convention on Human Rights (Convention) system. Judges throughout Europe have welcomed and encouraged dialogue, and references to the notion have become commonplace at conferences and in academic writing. Yet although the buzz has intensified, exactly why dialogue can be of added value is not often examined. Nor do those who rely on the notion usually explain how exactly it can be operationalised in a practical sense. This volume dissects the common-sense realisation that dialogue adds value to the Convention system, within which the State Parties, the Court, the Committee of Ministers (Committee), the Parliamentary Assembly (Assembly), and the Commissioner for Human Rights (Commissioner) interact. The question of why dialogue should occur is answered through an account of the way the system is established and how it functions, and of the developments and reform it has experienced. The second aim of the volume is to establish whether Convention dialogue does indeed live up to its potential added value. For this purpose, 26 procedures and 'procedural steps' are investigated in the light of 'indicators of dialogue'. The procedures include third-party interventions, the pilot-judgment procedure, and the Committee's Human Rights meetings. Both the procedures' dialogic potential on paper and their 'dialogicness' in practice are assessed, based in part on interviews with inter alia the Court's judges, agents representing the states before the Court, and persons monitoring the execution of the Court's judgments. This volume will be of use to those who are interested in the notion of (Convention) dialogue and its theoretical underpinnings, and those who would like to know more about Convention-related procedures, the execution of the Court's judgments, and the role that the Assembly and the Commissioner can play in the Convention system.
This study deals with the phenomenon of genocide denialism, and in particular how it operates in the context of the genocide against the Tutsi. The term genocide denialism denotes that we are not dealing with a single act or type of (genocide) denial but with a more elaborate process of denial that involves a variety of denialist and denial-like acts that are part of the process of genocide. From this study it becomes clear that the process of genocide thrives on a more elaborate denial dynamic than recognized in expert literature until now. This study consists of three parts. The first theoretical part analyses what the elements of denial and genocide entail and how they are (inter)related. The exploration results in a typology of genocide denialism. This model clarifies the different functions denial performs throughout the process of genocide. It furthermore explains how actors engage in denial and on which rhetorical devices speech acts of denial rely. The second part of the study focuses on denial in practice and it analyses how denial operates in the particular case of the genocide against the Tutsi. The analysis reveals a complex denial dynamic: not only those who perpetrated the genocide are involved in its denial, but also certain Western scholars, journalists, lawyers, etc. The latter were originally not involved in the genocide but recycle (elements of) the denial discourse of the perpetrators. The study addresses the implications of such recycling and discusses whether these actors actually have become involved in the genocidal process. This sheds light on the complex relationship between genocide and denial. The insights gained throughout the first two parts of this study have significant implications for many other actors that through their actions engage with the flow of meaning concerning the specific events in Rwanda or genocide in general. The final part of this study critically reflects on the actions of a variety of actors and their significance in terms of genocide denialism. These actors include scholars from various fields, human rights organisations, the ICTR, and the government of Rwanda. On a more fundamental level this study critically highlights how the revisionist scientific climate, in which knowledge and truth claims are constantly questioned, is favourable to genocide denialism and how the post-modern turn in academia has exacerbated this climate. Ultimately, this study reveals that the phenomenon of genocide denial involves more than perpetrators denying their genocidal crimes and the scope of actors and actions relevant in terms of genocide denialism is much broader than generally assumed.
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