Intl-Human-Rights-Alston-Fall06 - PART A INTRODUCTORY...

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Unformatted text preview: PART A: INTRODUCTORY NOTIONS AND BACKGROUND TO INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MOVEMENT 1. HUMAN RIGHTS CONCEPTS AND DISCOURSE A. G LOBAL S NAPSHOTS In seeking to describe HR problems, most newspaper articles stress the broad political, social, economic or military context. As in responses to many of today's deepest and gravest human rights problems, they do not draw on the work of courts 3 general characteristics to HR law: 1. Law Attempt to incorporate many disciplines (philosophy, morality, ethics etc.) that previously had no place in law Attempt to create a legal framework that began with Universal Declaration Recognizing that HR were more than just ethical considerations 2. Institutions Creation of institutional arrangements capable of defining, applying, promoting and monitoring HR norms HR norms were very vague and open-ended 3. Accountability Domestic o idea that governments will be accountable to their own citizens, and that they will have to set up accountability mechanisms for redress (courts are principle but not only means for ensuring accountability) International o additional dimension is international accountability = some forms of international accountability that are above national sovereignty and decision-making (but won’t necessarily be authoritative) . very soft accountability Actors Processes Outcomes Traditionalists- States- International Orgs- NGOs- Treaties- Customs- International Courts- State Responsibility- Binding Outcomes = Hard Law (i.e. SC Resolutions, Court decisions)- Sanctions Human Rights Model- Media - Public Opinion- Individuals- Corporations- Rebel Groups- International HR Bodies (creating jurisprudence)- Regional HR Bodies- Soft Law (non-binding outcomes = resolutions, concluding observations etc.) . no legal weight but in practice have impact on outcomes Process in identifying human rights issues: Identification & understanding of problem. Reach normative formulation of problem, design rules & principles to address issue Establishment of institutional arrangement – give weight to norm, develop way to assess implementation Ongoing formulation of jurisprudence Universality of HR? How can all countries be bound in the exact same way to all HR? cultural critique of HR has been very strong in recent years, but wasn’t really an issue until about 30 years ago when HR established more of a presence Development and Expansion of HR HR law is a new phenomenon = aggressive expansionism of HR in recent years HR law had very little power 30 years ago but this has radically changed 4 factors help us understand the expansion of HR 1. Sectors- UN Charter main pillars are in terms of security (military), development (markets) and HR (morals)- HR used to be isolated but in last 20 years it has reached out in an almost imperialistic way (i.e. human rights approach to development/human security) 2. Normative- HR used to be distinguished as different from International Humanitarian Law...
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2008 for the course LAW ALL taught by Professor Multiple during the Fall '06 term at NYU.

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Intl-Human-Rights-Alston-Fall06 - PART A INTRODUCTORY...

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