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Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

The UK government cannot reconcile austerity measures with human rights

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Authors: Jamie Burton, Alice Donald and Koldo Casla This article was published in Open Global Rights (Open Democracy) A UN Committee of independent experts recently issued a harshly worded report on the extent to which public authorities have been complying with international law on socio-economic rights. The Committee monitors states compliance with the International Covenant on […]

Open letter from a Eurocitizen living in London: Brits, vote for #Brexit.

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This post was published first in Open Democracy. I have lived in England for nearly five years, mostly in London, but for personal reasons I have also become familiar with other parts of the country as well. I have always felt welcome here – for which I am grateful. I like England very much. I […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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