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Unformatted text preview: FYING THE DOMINATION OF FOREIGN PEOPLE Deborah M. Weissman, Associate Professor of Law, University of North Carolina, Spring 2004. COLUMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW, 35 Colum. Human Rights L. Rev. 259, p. 290. American legal principles were presented as "immutable laws of justice and humanity," to be maintained for the sake of "liberty and happiness, however much they may conflict with [the] customs ... [and] laws" in the territories where they were applied. n171 Legal systems were introduced for the stated purpose of improving indigenous systems described as ineffective and corrupt. n172 However, efforts to develop legal norms inherent in the human rights project where such systems were absent or corrupt were compromised by the purposes for which they were employed: justification of domination of foreign people. The willingness to subvert constitutional structures, the limitations on citizenship status, restrictions on suffrage, discrimination against women, and interference with indigenous legal systems fail to uphold the rule of law and the human rights values the law claims to protect. In the process, appeals to human rights norms lose currency and the system of law that these claims purport to deliver is discredited. RIGHTS MODELING TEARS NATIONS APART, CAUSING CONFLICT John A Gentry, retired Army officer, researcher and writer on defense and security issues, 2004. HUMAN RIGHTS: OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS, p. 52. The proliferation of human rights is a boon for rights-oriented bureaucracies and trial lawyers, but it damages the social fabric that turns groups of people into communities and communities into a nation. Because the only asset any government ultimately has is its legitimacy, the cost of a government's inability to satisfy rights-based demands is overwhelming. That cost rises further when governments, and the political parties that seek to control them, favor some rights over competing claims to please political backers or to curry favor with voters. HUMAN RIGHTS DETRACT FROM POLITICAL DIALOGUE AND COMPROMISE John A Gentry, retired Army officer, researcher and writer on defense and security issues, 2004. HUMAN RIGHTS: OPPOSING...
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