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  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: I think it is difficult to contest that the most important state player in world affairs over the last one hundred years – and consistently so over this period – has been the United States of America. World War I – into which, to borrow from Christopher Clark's justly celebrated book, we 'sleepwalked' – marks a useful starting point. It is not only the fairly important role America played in bringing WWI to an end that signals the beginning of this era, but also the no less important role it played in shaping the aftermath. Wilson's 14 points were considered at the time 'idealistic' by some of the yet-to-be 'Old Powers'. But by dismantling the Ottoman Empire through the principle of self-determination (not at that time a universal legally binding norm) it was an early swallow to the demise, a mere generation later, of all other colonial empires and the truly decisive reshaping of the balance of power in the post-WWII world. The US played an equally cardinal role in ideating and realizing the United Nations Organization and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – two lynchpins of our current world order.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Gaza
  • Author: Gaetano Pentassuglia
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: As expert analysis concentrates on indigenous rights instruments, particularly the long fought for 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a body of jurisprudence over indigenous land and resources parallels specialized standard-setting under general human rights treaties. The aim of the present article is to provide a practical and comparative perspective on indigenous land rights based on the process of jurisprudential articulation under such treaties, principally in the Inter-American and African contexts. While specialized standards inevitably generate a view of such rights (and, indeed, indigenous rights more generally) as a set of entitlements separate from general human rights, judicial and quasi-judicial practice as it exists or is being developed within regional and global human rights systems is effectively shaping up their content and meaning. I argue that indigenous land rights jurisprudence reflects a distinctive type of human rights discourse, which is an indispensable point of reference to vest indigenous land issues with greater legal significance. From a practical standpoint, focussing on human rights judicial and quasi-judicial action to expand existing treaty-based regimes and promote constructive partnerships with national courts, though not a panacea to all the intricacies of indigenous rights, does appear to offer a more realistic alternative to advocacy strategies primarily based on universally binding principles (at least at this stage) or the disengagement of domestic systems from international (human rights) law.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, America
  • Author: Lucas Lixinski
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The article examines the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in several areas of adjudication which initially did not fall under the instrument, such as environmental rights, international humanitarian law, and investors' rights. In all these areas, the Court has used instruments 'foreign' to the Inter-American system as a means to expand the content of rights in the American Convention. As a result, the umbrella of protection of this instrument, and the reach of the Court, is far greater than originally envisaged. After analysing the specific provision on interpretation of the American Convention on Human Rights as compared to the equivalent mechanisms in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the article analyses several case studies of expansionism in the case law of the Court, asking throughout the analysis the question whether this helps the unity or the fragmentation of international law. The article argues that this exercise in expansionism, albeit imperfect, eventually contributes to the unity of international law. In this sense, this expansionism happens within controlled boundaries, and the use of external instruments is more of a validation of findings the Court could make based solely on the Inter-American instruments, rarely creating new rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: America, Vienna
  • Author: Gerald L. Neuman
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has elaborated a significant body of human rights jurisprudence through interpretation of regional human rights conventions and the adaptation of European and global precedents and global soft law. The Inter-American Court has also aspired to influence outside its region by offering innovative interpretations of human rights and by identifying norms as jus cogens. The Court's methodology in recent years has appeared to give insufficient consideration to the consent of the regional community of states as a factor in the evolutive interpretation of a human rights treaty. The article illustrates and criticizes that trend, and contends that greater attention to indicia of regional consent could improve the acceptance and effectiveness of the inter-American human rights system.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Just like the Supreme Court's decision in Medellin (see EJIL Editorial to Volume 19:2) some months ago, the ECJ's decision in Kadi is destined to become a landmark in the annals of international law. Whereas Medellin was generally excoriated as the low water mark of American constitutional and judicial insularity, gruesomely resulting in the actual execution of the principals, Kadi was mostly hailed as an example of the more progressive and open attitude of the ECJ, with the proof of the pudding in the eating – overturning the Council Regulations which gave effect to the measures adopted against the defendants pursuant to the Security Council Resolutions, and doing so on the grounds that they violate fundamental human rights and protections applicable within the legal order of the EU. There, the gallows; chez nous, liberty. Happy Ending.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America