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Right to housing in Spain: What have the Romans ever done for us?

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Should we say thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands? I must admit we were not sure how to start the report Evicted Rights: Right to Housing and Mortgage Evictions in Spain, published by Amnesty International – Spain on 23 June 2015 (see here in Spanish). According to judicial statistics, there have been nearly […]

The Greek tragedy proves that Europe does not believe in economic and social rights as a matter of justice

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Early this morning, the President of the EU Council has announced that a deal had been reached. After one referendum and a collection of ultimatums, Grexit is out of the question, for now. The details of the agreement remain unspecified as I write these lines. The Guardian reports that, this last intense weekend, the German […]

What the celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta tells us about Britain’s idea of human rights

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Yesterday, 15 June, Britain celebrated the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. The text proclaimed some of what we now call “human rights”, related to fair trial and the rule of law. It was meant to be a peace treaty between English barons and a particularly bully monarch, King John. Magna Carta did not really apply […]

Retro, not sexy

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Not long ago, I presented a paper at a conference, an experience many of the writers and readers of the blogs hosted in this site have probably had at some point. In my presentation, I defended the main argument of my thesis: that Western European states promote international human rights law insofar as it fits […]

“The Interview” and the sanctity of private business in public international law… since the 16th century

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By now it is well known that Sony was cyber attacked some weeks ago allegedly as a reaction to “The Interview”, a satirical film that depicts the assassination of Kim Jong-Un. I haven’t seen the film and I don’t know anybody who has seen it, but Barbara Demick, a North Korea specialist writing in New […]

Order versus Justice in the selection of the next UN Secretary General

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The battle to replace Ban Ki-moon has begun. A recent article by Colum Lynch (@columlynch) in Foreign Policy speaks about the race, the likely competitors and the interests at play. The author explains how the most powerful countries tend to prefer contestants from nations with little weight in international politics. He also talks about the […]

Who holds the responsibility to protect? And who is to be protected?

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Lucke Glanville argues in his recent Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect (2014) that this responsibility dates back from the 16th and 17th centuries. However, a good number of scholars believe that the first “humanitarian intervention” took place in Bulgaria in 1876, when Ottoman troops attacked villages killing thousands of civilians. Outraged, the British public […]

When could I start considering the possibility of anti-homeless spikes?

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These spikes were installed in the entrance of a luxury block of flats in South London. Somebody took the picture and sparked a rapid reaction on social media. Both the local Council and the Mayor of London urged the owners to remove them as soon as possible. I don’t know if they are still there. […]

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