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Tag Archives: human rights

After 50 years, it’s time to close the gap between different human rights

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This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. It was the moment the UN General Assembly changed the face of international human rights law. Fifty years ago, on December 16 1966, the assembly passed a single resolution containing two new treaties: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), covering rights […]

Should rights be submitted to referendum? (You won’t find the answer here)

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Earlier this year, many of us felt proud of Ireland. 62% of Irish people voted to proclaim marriage equality in the national constitution. Ireland, a country of profound Catholic roots, had become the first country to recognise at the constitutional level the right to marriage regardless of sexual orientation. It was very good news for those who believe […]

Dear fellow jurists, human rights are about politics, and that’s perfectly fine

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For decades, the global human rights community has seen human rights as a matter of law, mostly international law. Economic, social and cultural rights, however, are meant to be progressively realized making use of all available resources. The violations approach and the work on their justiciability do not address the structural factors that constrain the […]

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 […]

What human rights norms do Western European countries promote?

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William Hague and Angelina Jolie are hosting a global summit in London to put an end to sexual violence in conflict (follow #TimeToAct). In June 2013, Madrid hosted the 5th world conference on (against) death penalty. It was organised by an abolitionist group (ECPM), and sponsored by the Governments of Spain, France, Switzerland and Norway. […]

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. […]

Ruggie versus Ecuador: Will a human rights norm ever emerge regardless of Western support?

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In September 2013, a number of countries issued a joint statement in favour of an international treaty on business and human rights. The statement was drafted by Ecuador and signed also by the African Group, the Arab Group, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru. These countries believe that a legally binding […]

Rights as Democracy? A short response to Bellamy

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Last week a few members of King’s College London held the first session of our reading group on Law and Social Sciences. We discussed Richard Bellamy’s “Rights as Democracy” (2012), and we also read Isaiah Berlin’s seminal “Two Concepts of Liberty” (1958) with Skinner’s critique, “A Third Concept of Liberty” (2002). In his article, Bellamy […]

What does a 6.5% public surplus mean from the perspective of the ICESCR?

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Earlier this month, the Greek Government assumed the Presidency of the Council of the EU for this semester. In an attempt to show off the austerity efforts made by his Government, the Deputy Prime Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, said in a recent interview with Euronews: Over the past three and a half years, Greece has made […]

A normative defence of a foreign policy in line with human rights

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This article was originally published in Dialogue, issue 6, winter 2013. In the last two decades, norms and beliefs have put on weight in scholarly research in international relations. Traditional (neo)realists would still insist that international relations are only about one predetermined goal, that is, survival. Nonetheless, among those willing to accept that there is […]

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