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The chapter argues that a commitment to human rights necessarily entails basic environmental protection duties as a matter of political morality. This is because egregious forms of environmental harm critically undermine the fundamental values that underpin human rights, chiefly human dignity and autonomy. Human rights must therefore contain a sub-category of protections which we can conceptualise as environmental human rights. The human interests that environmental human rights protect are the environmental conditions necessary for the preservation and flourishing of human life, namely clean water, food, air, and soil within a functioning ecosystem that includes diverse species of plants and wildlife. Those who challenge these rights as vague overlook the significant room for agreement in the pursuit of a comprehensive and universal notion of a ‘sound’ environment. Meanwhile, converns over potential conflicts with other rights are overstated, because balancing of competing interests is a pervasive and well-established feature of human rights law and contemporary environmental regulations are already being challenged on the basis of competing rights, for instance to property.
The chapter addresses the complex relationships between law and identity as a jurisprudential problem and as a constitutional concern. It examines several conceptual aspects of identity right claims without taking a stance in the identarian–dignitarian moral and political debate. It sheds light on a neglected facet of identity right claims: the feasibility of the notion of identity as a foundation for constitutional rights. The conceptual feasibility of identity right claims is independent of and unconcerned with the validity and accuracy of moral ideologies. The chapter discusses whether identity right claims are conceptually defensible on the basis of constitutional reasoning. It argues that the notion of identity not only is definitionally vague, but also is a metamorphic concept that suffers from unsteadiness.
This chapter builds upon three streams of experience by its author: (a) one related to his six-year term as the first UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism (2005-2011), namely the identification of the absence of a proper international definition of terrorism as an important source of human rights abuses, (b) his observation of actual court practice and media coverage where definitional-conceptual elements of terrorism, in particular as to its aims, appear to be ignored despite being one of the cornerstones on which those legal definitions were built, and (c) his academic work pointing out that the instrumentalization of the human person, in breach of Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative, comes through as a characteristic both of acts of terrorism and of human rights violations committed by States in the name of countering terrorism.
On the basis of reflecting on these experiences, and departing from his own best practice definition built on Security Council Resolution 1566 (2004) and included in his last report to the UN Human Rights Council, the author now proposes the removal of any subjective aim element from international definitions of terrorism, and its replacement with the objective element of the act amounting to the instrumentalization of human beings, typically victims of terrorism.
The notion of meaningful human control (MHC) has gathered overwhelming consensus and interest in the autonomous weapons systems (AWS) debate. By shifting the focus of this debate to MHC, one sidesteps recalcitrant definitional issues about the autonomy of weapons systems and profitably moves the normative discussion forward. Some delegations participating in discussions at the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems meetings endorsed the notion of MHC with the proviso that one size of human control does not fit all weapons systems and uses thereof. Building on this broad suggestion, we propose a “differentiated”—but also “principled” and “prudential”—framework for MHC over weapons systems. The need for a differentiated approach—namely, an approach acknowledging that the extent of normatively required human control depends on the kind of weapons systems used and contexts of their use—is supported by highlighting major drawbacks of proposed uniform solutions. Within the wide space of differentiated MHC profiles, distinctive ethical and legal reasons are offered for principled solutions that invariably assign to humans the following control roles: (1) “fail-safe actor,” contributing to preventing the weapon's action from resulting in indiscriminate attacks in breach of international humanitarian law; (2) “accountability attractor,” securing legal conditions for international criminal law (ICL) responsibility ascriptions; and (3) “moral agency enactor,” ensuring that decisions affecting the life, physical integrity, and property of people involved in armed conflicts be exclusively taken by moral agents, thereby alleviating the human dignity concerns associated with the autonomous performance of targeting decisions. And the prudential character of our framework is expressed by means of a rule, imposing by default the more stringent levels of human control on weapons targeting. The default rule is motivated by epistemic uncertainties about the behaviors of AWS. Designated exceptions to this rule are admitted only in the framework of an international agreement among states, which expresses the shared conviction that lower levels of human control suffice to preserve the fail-safe actor, accountability attractor, and moral agency enactor requirements on those explicitly listed exceptions. Finally, we maintain that this framework affords an appropriate normative basis for both national arms review policies and binding international regulations on human control of weapons systems.
Kant interpreters have contrasting views on what Kant takes to be the basis for human dignity. Several commentators have argued that human dignity can be traced back to some feature of human beings. Others contend that humans in themselves lack dignity, but dignity can be attributed to them because the moral law demands respect for humanity. I argue, alternatively, that human dignity in Kant’s system can be seen to be grounded in the reciprocal relationship between the dignity of the moral law and the dignity inherent in the human constitution. The latter includes the dignity of personhood, construed as rational inner purposiveness, and the dignity of giving oneself the law and striving to follow it.
The Hungarian constitutional democracy was born in 1989; the Constitutional Court commenced operation in 1990. László Sólyom, the first president of the Court, is thus considered a founder and developer of Hungarian constitutionalism. This chapter summarises Sólyom’s views on the characteristics of the 1989 constitutional transformation and the status of the Constitutional Court. It then examines his leading judgments and dissenting opinions, offering an explanation of his views on the judiciary, constitutional interpretation, and fundamental rights. Finally, it shows how Sólyom changed his point of view on key constitutional issues when serving as the head of state during the last years of the Republic of Hungary. The chapter rejects the popular view that Sólyom, as a liberal thinker and judge, consolidated the liberal democracy in Hungary. It also rejects the opposite claim that Sólyom’s judicial activism led to backsliding from liberal democracy. Instead, the chapter argues that, although his merits as leader of the first Hungarian Constitutional Court should be fully recognised, Sólyom’s legacy involves many paradoxical elements, for which it offers an explanation.
Predictive interventions and practices are becoming a defining feature of medicine. The author points out that according to the inner logic and external supporters (i.e., state, industry, and media) of modern medicine, participating in healthcare increasingly means participating in knowing, sharing, and using of predictive information. At the same time, the author addresses the issue that predictive information may also have problematic side effects like overdiagnosis, health-related anxiety, and worry as well as impacts on personal life plans. The question is raised: Should we resort to stigmatization if doing so would increase participation in predictive interventions, and thereby save healthcare costs and reduce morbidity and premature death? The paper concludes that even if such a strategy cannot be ruled out in some forms and contexts, we ought to be very cautious about the dangers of shame and stigmatization.
This article explains why regulating autonomy in weapons systems, entailing the codification of a legally binding obligation to retain meaningful human control over the use of force, is such a challenging task within the framework of the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. It is difficult because it requires new diplomatic language, and because the military value of weapon autonomy is hard to forego in the current arms control winter. The article argues that regulation is nevertheless imperative, because the strategic as well as ethical risks outweigh the military benefits of unshackled weapon autonomy. To this end, it offers some thoughts on how the implementation of regulation can be expedited.
The Government of Japan has an obligation to enact anti-hate speech laws based on Article 20 ICCPR (prohibiting the advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred) and Article 4(c) ICERD (preventing public authorities or public institutions, national or local, from promoting or inciting racial discrimination), although it has reserved Article 4(a) and (b) ICERD. If we interpret the Constitution of Japan in conformity with international human rights treaties, article 13, in conjunction with article 21, of the Constitution guarantees freedom from infringements of human dignity resulting from hate speech, incitement with clear and present danger, and intimidation or threat of illegal violence. Criminal penalties are already permitted in these cases. It is, however, also important to provide in law for administrative measures to prevent hate speech and to regulate against ethnic harassment in workplaces and universities. This chapter analyses hate speech regulations in countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, Canada and the United States, and discusses the challenges and prospects of regulations in Japan.
The chapter focuses on the processes of political differentiation as triggered by the refugee crisis of 2015. It maps them on an empirical level by studying the reactions of major political actors in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, the chapter abstracts a general theory of political differentiation, i.e. political 'othering'. It shows how the degree of differentiation can be approximated to a strong anti-liberal position mirroring the dichotomy between friend and foe. Outcomes of the differentiation processes are confronted with selected principles of modern constitutionalism, i.e. the principles of human dignity and democratic governance, that are endangered by the persistence of an extreme degree of hostile group differentiation.
Psychology, which has branched out of philosophy and has deep roots in biology, is experiencing a sea change in behavioral analysis that is backed by our new understanding of the multifactorial influences of genes and their interaction with the environment, through the agency of genomewide association studies (GWAS) and emerging neurotechnologies. Two specific demands and challenges relating to this development in the human rights domain are first, to reconceptualize the principles of existing human rights frameworks in light of developments in genomics and neuroscience and second, to create new human rights standards given the novel prescriptions highlighted by contemporary scientific investigations. Advances in genomics and neuroscience compel psychologists to redefine their role in protecting the human rights of patients through their ethical codes as well as human rights norms while addressing new challenges. Against this backdrop, this chapter is an attempt to explain underlying transformations in the field of human genomics and neuroscience and analyze their impact on psychology and human rights. Specifically, it covers the changing paradigm of psychology, implications of human genomics for psychology, the interface of psychology and human rights, and the impact of genomics and neurosciences on this interface.
This chapter traces the genealogy of the notion of “human dignity” in modern French law. My goal is to explain how and why dignity has come to be associated with national belonging and public order, as evidenced, for example, by the 2010 law banning “face coverings” in public spaces or by the recent pleas to revive “national indignity” after the attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. I argue that that the definition of dignity circulating in French law since the 1990s is primarily a corporatist one. Rather than promoting abstract individual freedom, human rights, and democratic inclusion, this understanding of dignity (theoretically much closer to that of political Catholicism and personalism than to the Kantian or liberal understanding of dignity that we see in American law) insists on the obligations that the individual has toward the community, toward the social, and, in its most recent formulations, toward France. I propose to consider human dignity in the French context not as a value intrinsic to a person but as a project of biopolitical rule.
Sixteenth-century jurist, Thomas More, developed the distinction between a Christian utopia and the political autonomy of the state. Chapter 4 recognises religion’s role in contributing to cosmopolitan ethical principles to guide political power, without becoming a justification for a political theology of the state. Section 4.1 proceeds with More’s emphasis of a common humanism that brought accommodation between temporal and spiritual sovereignty. Section 4.2 ascertains in what manner the Second Vatican Council recognised that not alone freedom but the search for the truth is central to political democracy and an open public sphere. Catholic theorists recognise a prisca theologia or a semblance of the natural law, and thereby advance in what way the expression of the political form the state takes as a basis for a common cosmopolitan humanism. Section 4.3 details Maritain’s proposed model of Church and state, and delineates Maritain’s theory of secular democratic faith, as a bridging of Catholicism with liberal democracy and human rights. This chapter concludes by enquiring if a secular democratic faith in democracy and human rights is possible today.
With people living longer, palliative care may be required for lengthier periods of time. This puts demands on healthcare organizations to provide optimal palliative care. Maintaining dignity is central for any person's health and quality of life, but especially for a person with palliative care needs. Dignity-conserving care needs to be evaluated to increase knowledge about outcomes and how to assess these. The purpose of this integrative review was to identify outcomes studied within dignity-conserving care and how these have been operationalized.
An integrative review was conducted in 26 quantitative or mixed-method studies and study protocols. Thematic synthesis with an abductive approach was used for analysis.
Seven themes of studied outcomes were identified, as well as four cluster themes: themes related to Illness-Related Concerns, themes related to the Dignity-Conserving Repertoire, themes related to the Social Dignity Inventory, and themes regarding Overarching Dignity Issues. Most outcomes studied dealt with Illness-Related Concerns within the themes of “Performance, symptoms and emotional concerns” and “End-of-life and existential aspects”. Themes linked to the Social Dignity Inventory had the lowest number of outcomes studied. Outcomes regarding overarching dignity issues such as “Dignity-related distress” and “Quality of life” were common. However, the results lacked concrete communication outcomes.
Significance of results
The results will underpin future research in which dignity-conserving care is implemented and evaluated, and contribute to the provision of evidence-based palliative care. A greater focus on outcomes within cluster themes related to the Dignity-Conserving Repertoire and the Social Dignity Inventory is needed, as is more focus on communication outcomes.
Andreas Werkmeister develops a combined meso preventive theory of international punishment. The underlying perspective of his theory is the legitimacy vis-a-vis the individual and the concept of human dignity is the foundational core. As a result, he highlights the limiting principles of punishment inherent to any punishment theory irrespective of its main purpose. After discussing problems with retribution and expressivism, he argues that a combination of different preventive theories provides for a suitable model for the justification of international punishment. Werkmeister differentiates between macro-, meso- and micro-levels, and makes an argument for targeted meso prevention. This way, the offender is punished to deter others, but is addressed as member of a case-specific transnational group. This way, Werkmeister develops a new form of prevention between special and general prevention.
Chapter 5 discusses the work of two important neo-idealist theorists, Pavel Novgorodtsev and Bogdan Kistiakovskii, who stand out for their concern with the ongoing tensions within liberal history and theory, and their desire to place the experiences of Russia’s liberal movement in a broader historical context. In the aftermath of 1905, Novgorodtsev wrote two book-length studies explicitly concerned with the history of liberalism, while a number of Kistiakovskii’s long articles, including ‘In Defense of Law’ (1909), demonstrate the fluidity of the concept of liberalism. In the period under consideration, these thinkers, who had been intimately involved in elaborating a legal philosophy applicable to Russia, now distanced themselves from an optimistic theory of historical change, in favour of a much more nuanced view. Their respective intellectual trajectories demonstrate the value of their attempt to learn from Western liberal history, while simultaneously illustrating some of the difficulties they had in using its lessons for Russia.
I discuss how strong evaluative meaning makes an important difference for a proper account of the nature and extent of the demands for other-regarding concern. The dominant neo-Aristotelian approach has regarded the other-regarding virtues (e.g., justice, generosity, honesty, etc.) as virtues primarily because of their role in promoting the “good functioning of our social group,” which is seen as important for achieving our own flourishing as rational social animals. I focus especially on MacIntyre’s account of other-regarding concern as rooted in social networks of giving and receiving in his book Dependent Rational Animals. What is overlooked in the dominant approach is the strong evaluative sense of human beings as being worthy of our concern for their own sake due to their inherent dignity (or sanctity) and that a normatively higher, nobler, more meaningful mode of life can be achieved through such concern. I seek to show the difference this makes for ensuring that we regard all human beings as fully amongst us, for making sense of and defending moral absolutes, and for properly responding to the demands of universal and particular concern.
Effective, accountable institutions require a common understanding of their purpose, basic values and operating principles. The 1945 UN Charter was intended to establish a rule-based international order, based on the values and principles it enshrines, which have subsequently been elaborated in numerous declarations, statements and other documents adopted by the international community. Shared, internalized values form a crucial basis for collective international action, facilitating trust among diverse stakeholders and lightening institutional enforcement burdens. They also assist in addressing global complexity and the coordination of the vast field of actors associated with the modern, decentralized global governance landscape of diverse stakeholders, including private actors. Values and principles provide a basis for the design of “hard” obligations, as well as strong, legitimate institutions and governance processes with appropriate checks and balances. Contemporary good governance standards should be implemented at the international level, including, for example, governance quality indices based on human rights norms, principles of accountability, transparency, consultation and the rule of law. Global governance must strive to be effective, good governance, embodying high standards. Finally, this chapter sketches how a substantially reformed, values-based international governance system could work (e.g., via comprehensive UN Charter reform), operationalizing the various proposals in this book.
Fundamental rights and freedoms constitute the majority of agreed articles in the draft constitution produced by the Constitutional Conciliation Commission ‘Anayasa Uzlaşma Komisyonu, AUK’. This chapter analyzes the content of these articles and seeks to explain why the AUK was able to achieve more consensus on these than on other provisions ‘e.g., principles of state organization’. It argues that constitutional borrowing, both horizontal and vertical, served as an inspiration and consensus-achiever in the discussions. The agreed draft text contains provisions that are either constitutional novelties or offer more far-reaching protection than the existing constitutional framework. We particularly emphasize the normative authority the European Convention on Human Rights enjoyed in the deliberations and the role of human dignity as a foundational constitutional norm “borrowed” primarily from the German Basic Law. The chapter concludes that the draft chapter on fundamental rights and freedoms was neither an unequivocal success story nor a complete failure. Nevertheless, the constitution-making process remains a missed opportunity for democracy in Turkey.
In the conclusions, the book editors assess the existing national and international regulatory frameworks in the light of the five foundational principles that they identified by reading international bioethics law in conjunction with international human rights standards: (i) freedom of research; (ii) benefit sharing; (iii) solidarity; (iv) respect for dignity; and (v) the obligation to respect and to protect the rights and individual freedoms of others. Their analysis reveals four issues common to most national regulatory frameworks as well as the international framework: (i) The prohibition to create embryos for research embryos cannot be reconciled with the right to science and the rights of science; (ii) limitations to scientific freedom based on vague laws are not truly limitations “determined by law”; (iii) limitations to scientific freedom based on obsolete laws are not limitations accepted in a “democratic society”; (iv) ne plus ultra prohibitions breach the right of everyone to benefit from scientific and technological progress and the principle of benefit sharing. The editors conclude by sketching an international governance framework that promotes science and technological development while being mindful and respectful of international human rights standards, as well as the different sensitivities with which citizens from different parts of the world approach the question of human germline genome modification.