POL451 - 17 March 2008 POL 451 Part 1 Question 2 If it is...

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17 March 2008 POL 451 Part 1, Question 2 If it is nearly impossible to enforce international human rights law, why bother? This is a very good question especially people who believe that government is mainly smoke and mirrors. Although it is difficult to arrest and prosecute those who may be guilty of human rights violations, it is necessary to write these laws because there is always that 1:1,000,000 chance that we (a government) actually do find a human rights violator lying in a hole somewhere in a country. At that point in time we would need some sort of a protocol to follow in order to give him/her a, “fair” trial. We need to pass international human rights laws not only for the reason above, but also because governments need to show that they do not support or condone in any way shape or form anything that would be in violation of these laws. Also this is a good way for governments to show that they, “care” and that they are not just a bunch of over-paid, corrupt suits that do way to little for way to much. It is also possible to see these kinds of laws as feel-good laws. The government may not be able to enforce them, but when they are passed, there is a big deal made about them so that everyone pays attention and knows that these politicians are working “hard” to pass this piece of legislation. This way, when all is said and done and the legislation is now law, all the fat cat politicians can pat themselves on the back and say, “Look at the good job we’ve done” even if they do not truly understand the full repercussions of their actions. For all the negative reasons that I can come up with about passing international human rights laws, there are actually legitimate reasons for making these sorts of laws. The main reason is that we would not have to actually have international human rights unless some sick, twisted son of a bitch had actually done something on a scale that would cause enough people to say, that’s a little extreme don’t you think? Like here is the line and you just went ice-skating past it without a second look. But in all seriousness, there wouldn’t be a need for these kinds of laws unless someone had actually done what these laws prohibit. Governments pass these kinds of laws because that sends a message to everyone that we will not stand for someone trying this kind of thing again, and if we do find you, this is what we can do to you. That is exactly why we bother with passing international human rights laws, even if they are tough/impossible to enforce.
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