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  • Author: Rein Müllerson
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Although the sub-title of the book indicates that the authors are not going to deal with all the legal issues arising in the context of a 'privatization' of warfare, the book, and not only the first chapter by Eugenio Cusumano on the policy prospects of regulating private military and security companies (PMSCs), throws its net wider than the title suggests. And rightly so. The privatization of warfare is a consequence and an element of the post-Cold War triumph of capitalism, and especially its neo-liberal advocates' tendency to privatize and deregulate all and everything. It is not by chance that PMSCs have mushroomed in the heartland of neoliberalism – the USA – faithfully followed by its Anglo-Saxon brethren on this side of the Atlantic. As the book specifies, in 2009 there were approximately 119,706 Department of Defense contractors in Iraq, compared with about 134,571 uniformed personnel. The authors accept the privatization of various functions of the state, including its 'monopoly of violence', to be almost inevitable. Nevertheless, they call for stronger and tighter regulation of the status and functions of PMSCs and control over their activities. They also show that though often new norms may be needed, in many cases existing laws, and their stricter and sometimes more creative application, may serve the purpose. The book concludes that 'many private military and security companies are operating in a “gray zone”, which is not defined at all, or at the very least not clearly defined, by international legal norms'.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Federico Lenzerini
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Intangible cultural heritage (ICH), made up of all immaterial manifestations of culture, represents the variety of living heritage of humanity as well as the most important vehicle of cultural diversity. The main 'constitutive factors' of ICH are represented by the 'self-identification' of this heritage as an essential element of the cultural identity of its creators and bearers; by its constant recreation in response to the historical and social evolution of the communities and groups concerned; by its connection with the cultural identity of these communities and groups; by its authenticity; and by its indissoluble relationship with human rights. The international community has recently become conscious that ICH needs and deserves international safeguarding, triggering a legal process which culminated with the adoption in 2003 of the UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. This Convention correctly highlights the main elements of ICH and is based on the right philosophical rationale, but its operational part – structured on the model provided by the 1972 World Heritage Convention – appears to be inadequate to ensure appropriate safeguarding of the specificities of intangible heritage. This article argues that to correct such inadequacy, international safeguarding of ICH must rely on the concomitant application, even though in an indirect manner, of international human rights law, for the reason that ICH represents a component of cultural human rights and an essential prerequisite to ensure the actual realization and enjoyment of individual and collective rights of its creators and bearers.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Culture
  • Author: Karen Engle
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article traces the development of the international human rights and international indigenous rights movements, with a particular eye towards their points of convergence and divergence and the extent to which each has influenced the other. Focusing on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it argues that the document, while apparently pushing the envelope in its articulation of self-determination and collective rights, also represents the continued power and persistence of an international human rights paradigm that eschews strong forms of indigenous self-determination and privileges individual civil and political rights. In this sense, it signifies the continued limitation of human rights, especially in terms of the recognition of collective rights, in a post-Cold War era in which a particular form of human rights has become the lingua franca of both state and non-state actors.
  • Topic: Cold War, Human Rights, United Nations
  • 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: Sandesh Sivakumaran
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The regulation of internal armed conflict by international law has come a long way in a very short space of time. Until the early 1990s, there were a minimum of international law rules applicable to internal armed conflict. Today, the situation has changed almost beyond recognition with a healthy body of international law applicable to internal armed conflict. This change has taken place in three principal ways – through analogy to the law of international armed conflict, through resort to international human rights law, and through the use of international criminal law. Each of these approaches stressed its similarity to internal armed conflict or to international humanitarian law. They proved immensely important, filling in what was a more or less blank canvas. However, there are limits to how far they can take us. Today, the canvas is no longer blank and a step back is needed in order to assess the existing state of affairs. Focusing not on the similarities between international and internal armed conflicts or between the various bodies of international law, but on their differences, will allow us to ascertain what further work is in order. It will allow us to identify gaps in regulation and refine relevant rules. It will also force us to re-think our approach to particular issues. Only in this way will we be able to develop the international law of internal armed conflict further.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Law
  • Author: Sandesh Sivakumaran
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: I am grateful to Professor Gabriella Blum for her thoughtful response to my article. Blum's response invites further consideration of three principal issues. She notes my use of the terminology of 'internal' as opposed to 'non-international' armed conflict and its juxtaposition with 'international' armed conflict and queries whether my 'methodological approach as well as specific suggestions would remain equally compelling in other types of non-international armed conflicts'. The choice of terminology was deliberate. I find the descriptor 'non-international' to be somewhat misleading as it unhelpfully defines the category by what it is not. It suggests that there is but one armed conflict and, if it is not international in character, by default it is non-international. However, in practice, an internal/non-international armed conflict is identified in a rather different manner. For example, in order for an internal/non-international armed conflict to exist, the violence must reach a certain level of intensity; yet, for an international armed conflict to exist one dominant view is that there is no such requirement. The category of internal/non-international armed conflict is thus in no way a default category which serves to catch those conflicts which are excluded from the international category. Yet this is what is suggested through the use of the terminology of 'non-international' armed conflict. What the terminology of 'internal' may suggest is that it is limited to those conflicts which are fought entirely within the territorial boundaries of a state. However, even this may be true only up to a certain point. For example, an internal armed conflict with a certain overspill, such as onto the high seas or into the territory of a third state, is still characterized as an internal …
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: Sri Lanka
  • Author: Constantin von der Groeben
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Aida Torres Pérez' Conflicts of Rights in the European Union. A Theory of Supranational Adjudication 1 is a comprehensive monograph dealing with one of the most striking normative challenges in the European Union (EU): the relationship between the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and Member State courts in adjudicating fundamental rights. Torres Pérez presents the existing spheres of fundamental rights protection in the EU and provides a thorough analysis of the conflicts that emerge where these different spheres overlap. Her volume covers a number of different approaches and provides suggestions on how to deal with these conflicts and eventually proposes a normative model for ECJ adjudication through judicial dialogue based on comparative constitutional reasoning. The book is well structured in three parts. The first part gives a brief but thorough overview of the different systems of fundamental rights protection open to EU citizens. The author describes these different systems as the multilevel protection of rights in Europe and distinguishes between human rights protection through national constitutions (constitutional rights), through the ECJ (EU fundamental rights) and through the European Convention on Human Rights (convention rights). She outlines the conflicts that arise when these different systems of fundamental rights protection overlap. In general, such conflicts may arise when different rights are considered to be fundamental (at 10) and where community members disagree regarding fundamental rights interpretation (at 11), especially concerning sensitive issues like abortion or affirmative action (at 16). A potential for conflict exists whenever states act within a field of application of EU law which includes two types of situations: (i) state acts implementing EU law, and (ii) state acts derogating from the EU basic freedoms of movement (at 16). An example of a rights conflict between German courts and the ECJ is the 'banana saga', where the courts disagreed on …
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jeremy Waldron
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The applicability of the ideal we call 'the Rule of Law' (ROL) in international law (IL) is complicated by (1) the fact that there is no overarching world government from whom we need protection (of the sort that the ROL traditionally offers) and it is also complicated by (2) the fact that IL affects states, in the first instance, rather than individuals (for whose sake we usually insist on ROL requirements). The article uses both these ideas as points of entry into a consideration of the applicability of the ROL in IL. It suggests that the 'true' subjects of IL are really human individuals (billions of them) and it queries whether the protections that they need are really best secured by giving national sovereigns the benefit of ROL requirements in IL. For example, a national sovereign's insistence that IL norms should not be enforced unless they are clear and determinate may mean that individuals have fewer protections against human rights violations. More radically, it may be appropriate to think of national sovereigns more as 'officials' or 'agencies' of the IL system than as its subjects. On this account, we should consider the analogous situation of officials and agencies in a municipal legal system: are officials and agencies in need of, or entitled to, the same ROL protections as private individuals? If not, then maybe it is inappropriate to think that sovereign states are entitled to the same ROL protections at the international level as individuals are entitled to at the municipal level.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights
  • Author: Solomon T. Ebobrah
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: According to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, the main function of the Court is to complement the protective mandate of the already existing African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. Thus, complementarity was introduced into the framework of the African human rights system. Since then, the concept of complementarity has also been brought into play in the Protocol to the Statute of the proposed African Court of Justice and Human Rights. Although the interim rules of procedure of the Court and of the Commission have sought to give meaning to the concept of complementarity, there is still very little understanding of how it will pan out in the system. Questions abound as to the exact implication it would have on the existing mechanisms of the Commission. Almost nothing has been said or written on its impact on the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Against this background, this article argues that complementarity in the African human rights system can be applied positively by adopting a normative approach that allows for the prescription of what the system's supervisory institutions should do and how they should relate to each other in their work. The article argues further that the justifications for the introduction of judicial organs can also be employed to prescribe complementary functions for each supervisory institution. It concludes that applying complementarity positively would require encouraging each institution to focus on its strengths with a view to strengthening the overall effectiveness of the system.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Stefano Piedimonte Bodini
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: On the basis of real examples of anti-piracy operations conducted in the Indian Ocean by European navies, the article examines the legal implications of such military actions and their judicial medium- and long-term consequences in the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights. The only existing authority directly addressing maritime piracy, although from the sole perspective of state jurisdiction, is the recent Grand Chamber judgment in Medvedyev and Others v. France. The Court's approach and conclusions in Medvedyev will be analysed in section 2. Section 3 will explore other important issues likely to be raised under the Convention by anti-piracy operations. Section 4 will consider the question of state responsibility, i.e., jurisdiction and attribution, in the context of anti-piracy operations carried out on the high seas or on the territory of third states.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe