The paper examines the connection between online security and the protection of civil rights from a legal viewpoint, that is, considering the different types of rights and interests that are at stake in national and international law and whether, and to what extent, they concern matters of balancing. Over the past years, the purpose of several laws, and legislative drafts such as ACTA, has been to impose “zero-sum games”. In light of current statutes, such as HADOPI in (...) France, or Digital Economy Act in UK, the paper intends to illustrate how more satisfactory solutions are feasible in the field of online security, such as the new “Police and Criminal Justice Data Protection Directive” that the European Commission presented in January 2012. At least in Western legal systems, it should be clear that either civil rights prevail over security (no balancing), or such balance has to satisfactorily protect individual rights (proportionality). (shrink)
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) is America's strongest environmental law. Its citizen-suit provisionany personawards implicit intrinsic value, de facto standing, and operational legalrights (sensu Christopher D. Stone) to listed species. Accordingly, some cases had gone forward in the federal courts in the name of various listed species between 1979 (Palila v. Hawaii Dept. of Land & Natural Resources) and 2004 (Cetacean Community v. Bush), when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that animals could not (...) sue in their own name. Because the Supreme Court has interpreted its habitat destruction as the of a listed species, some have argued that enforcement of the ESA's critical-habitat-protection provision is a of private property without just compensation, contrary to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. The courts have not agreed. The ESA citizen-suit provision appears to waive federal-court standing requirements devolved from Article III of the U.S. Constitution, creating much confusion and mutually contradictory rulings. A series of cases (culminating with Bennett v. Spear) reconciles the ESA's citizen-suit provision with the particularized and concrete standing requirements devolved from Article III. (shrink)
This paper outlines the current common law principles that protect people’s interests in their bodies, excised body parts and tissue without conferring the rights of full legal ownership. It does not include the recent statutory amendments in jurisdictions such as New South Wales and the United Kingdom. It argues that at common law, people do not own their own bodies or excised bodily material. People can authorise the removal of their bodily material and its use, either during life (...) or after their death, for medical or scientific purposes. Researchers who acquire human bodies, body parts or tissue pursuant to such an authority have a right to possess and use them according to the authorisation they have been given, but their rights fall short of full ownership because they are limited in the way that they can use the material. The legalrights of researchers who develop intellectual property and biological products from excised human tissue can be adequately protected by existing common law principles without the need for a new legal principle that people own body parts and tissue removed from their bodies. (shrink)
In recent years, the most widespread doctrine about the conflicts between fundamental (usually constitutional) legalrights could be summarized in the following three main theses: (1) The elements in conflict are legal principles, as opposed to legal rules; (2) Those conflicts are not consequences of the existence of inconsistencies or antinomies between the norms involved, but rather depend on the empirical circumstances of the case. In other words, the norms are logically consistent and the conflicts are (...) not determinable a priori or in abstracto , but only in concreto ; and (3) The classical criteria for solving conflicts between norms, such as lex superior , lex posterior and lex specialis , are not suitable to solve conflicts among fundamental legalrights. Indeed, they require a specific method known as ‘weighing and balancing’. Although all three theses could be (and indeed have been) regarded as problematic, in this paper I address mainly the second one. I try to show that there is room for a tertium genus between antinomies (deontic inconsistencies) and conflicts caused by strict empirical circumstances that I call ‘contextual antinomies’. There are situations in which the norms involved are not inconsistent but the conflict arises for logical reasons. My thesis is that many conflicts between fundamental legalrights fall in this category. I offer, in an appendix, a proposal of formalization of this kind of conflict and the elements involved in it. (shrink)
A Northern Ireland politician declared not long ago that the British people had a right not to believe the IRA’s latest statement on disarmament. Therefore, he said, the British government had no right to allow the IRA further representation at the talks. Rights assertions like these are quite common in everyday talk, even if pronouncements linking epistemic and legalrights are less so.
This book deals with one of the most important issues of philosophy of law and constitutional thought: how to understand clashes of fundamental rights, such as the conflict between free speech and privacy. The main argument of this book is that much can be learned about the nature of fundamental legalrights by examining them through the lens of conflicts among such rights, and criticizing the views of scholars and jurists who have discussed both fundamental (...) class='Hi'>legalrights and the nature of conflicts among them. -/- Theories of rights are necessarily abstract, aiming at providing the best possible answers to pressing social problems. Yet such theories must also respond to the real and changing dilemmas of the day.Taking up the problem of conflicting rights, Zucca seeks a theory of rights that can guide us to a richer, more responsive approach to rights discourse. -/- The idea of constitutional rights is one of the most powerful tools to advance justice in the Western tradition. But as this book demonstrates, even the most ambitious theory of rights cannot satisfactorily address questions of conflicting rights. How, for instance, can we fully secure privacy when it clashes with free speech? To what extent can our societies assist people in dying without compromising the protection of life? Exploring the limitations of the rights discourse in these areas, Zucca questions the role of law in settling ethical dilemmas helping to clarify thinking about the limitations of rights discourse. (shrink)
How can there be rights in law? We learn from moral philosophy that rights protect persons in a special way because they have peremptory force. But how can this aspect of practical reason be captured by the law? For many leading legal philosophers the legal order is constructed on the foundations of factual sources and with materials provided by technical argument. For this 'legal positivist' school of jurisprudence, the law endorses rights by some official (...) act suitably communicated. But how can any such legal enactment recreate the proper force of rights? Rights take their meaning and importance from moral reflection, which only expresses itself in practical reasoning. This puzzle about rights invites a reconsideration of the nature and methods of legal doctrine and of jurisprudence itself. LegalRights argues that the theory of law and legal concepts is a project of moral and political philosophy, the best account of which is to be found in the social contract tradition. It outlines an argument according to which legalrights can be justified before equal citizens under the constraints of public reason. The place of rights in law is explained by the unique position of law as an essential component of the civil condition and a necessary condition for freedom.
Legal philosophers divide over whether it is possible to analyze legal concepts without engaging in normative argument. The influential analysis of legalrights advanced by Jules Coleman and Jody Kraus some years ago serves as a useful case study to consider this issue because even some legal philosophers who are generally skeptical of the neutrality claims of conceptual analysts have concluded that Coleman and Kraus's analysis manages to maintain such neutrality. But that analysis does depend (...) in subtle but important ways on normative claims. Their argument assumes not only a positivist concept of law, but also that it counts in favor of an analysis of legalrights that it increases the number of options available to legal decisionmakers. Thus, whether Coleman and Kraus's analysis is right in the end depends on whether those normative assumptions are justified. If even their analysis, which makes the thinnest of conceptual claims, depends on normative premises, that fact serves as strong evidence of the difficulty of analyzing legal concepts while remaining agnostic on moral and political questions. (shrink)
The US federal research regulations prohibit informed consent, whether written or oral, from including provisions in which human subjects waive or appear to waive legalrights. We argue that policies that prevent human subjects from waiving legalrights in research can be ethically justified under the rationale of group, soft paternalism. These policies protect competent adults from making adverse decisions about health and legal matters that they may not understand fully. However, this rationale is less (...) defensible if there is a comprehensive compensation for injury programme available in which subjects are asked to waive some legalrights in order to participate in the programme. In this situation, subjects should be allowed to waive some legalrights to obtain the benefits of the programme. (shrink)
Within Western European countries the number of women and girls already genitally mutilated or at risk, is rising due to increasing rates of migration of Africans. The article compares legislative and ethical practices within the medical profession concerning female genital mutilation (FGM) in these countries. There are considerable differences in the number of affected women and in legislation and guidelines. For example, in France, Great Britain and Austria FGM is included in the criminal code as elements of crime, whereas in (...) Germany and Switzerland FGM is brought to trial as bodily injury. So far trials only in France and Switzerland in connection with FGM resulted in convictions. France and Great Britain as former Colonial countries serve as an example of countries with a comparably great number of African immigrants. These countries have the best possibilities to intervene preventatively, due to legislation and detailed medical guidelines. For instance, an obligation exists in France to inform administrative and medical authorities if FGM is suspected. FGM so far is not explicitly part of the curriculum for medical training in any of the examined countries. (shrink)
“Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected.” What is the status of this proposition? Is human dignity inviolable? Statements on human dignity are closely intertwined with philosophical, anthropological and legal issues – and with the obligations, possibilities and limits of philosophy. Why a plea for human dignity? There are two reasons at least: (i) human dignity is violated, (ii) there are heated debates on exactly what “human dignity“ means. Accordingly, the elements of a normative theory of (...) the state and legalrights are discussed in order to explain what rights and the state should be and can be. After an exposition of the plurality of competing definitions and a short archeology of the concept of human dignity, the author defends the following thesis: Only the conceptualization of human dignity as a principle, concept and norm of positive law allows an appropriate understanding of what should be protected by the guarantee of dignity: i.e. the freedom and equality of everyone who is a human being. (shrink)
History and theory -- Descriptions and constructions -- The practical argument -- Rights in law -- Obligation and permission -- Legal relations -- The right to property -- Freedom through law -- Rights in legal deliberation.
U.K. regulation of sexual identity within a marriage context has traditionally been linked to biological sex. In response to the European Court of Human Rights decisions in Goodwin and I.,2 and in order to address the question of whether a transsexual person can be treated as a “real” member of their adoptive sex, the U.K. has recently passed the Gender Recognition Act 2004. While the Act appears to signal a move away from biology and towards a conception of sexual (...) identity based on gender rather than sex, questions of sexual identity remain rooted in medico-legal assessments of the individual transsexual body/mind. In contrast, because transsexual people in some parts of Canada have been able to marry in their post-operative sex since 1990, contemporary debates on the sexual identity of transsexual people in British Columbia and Ontario do not focus on the validity of marriage, and more frequently centre upon the provision of goods and services, in human rights contexts where sex is said to matter. Currently in Canada this is prompting questions of what it means to be a woman in society, how the law should interpret sex and gender, and how, if at all, the parameters of sexual identity should be established in law. This article seeks to compare recent U.K. legal conceptualisations of transsexuality with Canadian law in this area. As human rights discourse begins to grow in the U.K., the question remains as to whether or not gender will become an adequate substitute for sex. (shrink)
Tom Campbell is well known for his distinctive contributions to legal and political philosophy over three decades. In emphasising the moral and political importance of taking a positivist approach to law and rights, he has challenged current academic orthodoxies and made a powerful case for regaining and retaining democratic control over the content and development of human rights. This collection of his essays reaches back to his pioneering work on socialist rights in the 1980s and forward (...) from his seminal book, The Legal Theory of Ethical Positivism (1996). An introductory essay provides an historical overview of Professor Campbell's work and argues for the continuing importance of 'democratic positivism' at a time when it is again becoming clear that courts are ineffective protectors of human rights. (shrink)
At the UN, important projects laying down transnational corporations' (TNCs) human rights responsibilities have been launched without ever clarifying the relevant theoretical foundations. One of the consequences is that the human rights principles in projects like the 2000 UN Global Compact and the 2003 Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights can be understood in different ways, which should not cause surprise given that their authors come from diverse (...) backgrounds, including economics and public policy. An examination of these projects and the views of their authors reveals that, although they are superficially linked to international human rights law, they go well beyond it and attempt to deal with corporate social responsibility issues in ways that elude neat classification as fitting neatly in either legal or non-legal categories. Too little attention has been paid to how in the course of developing these projects the legal and ethical dimensions have become entwined and how lines have gotten blurred. Meanwhile, there has been recognition that these UN projects have emerged simply as ad hoc responses to practical concerns about the sustainability of globalization. The lack of any foundational theory or normative framework should be addressed; it is time to bring together specialists from different fields concerned with the human rights responsibilities of corporations to see if it is possible to define a coherent overarching theory for these UN projects. (shrink)
This article aims to analyze the legal regulation of performers’ rights in Lithuania. Analysis is divided in two parts: the first part analyses performers’ economic rights by comparing them to the authors’ economic rights and the legal regulation of performers’ rights in foreign countries; the second part of article focuses on the different content of performers’ economic rights due to the mean of fixation of performance (unfixed performance, performance fixed to the phonogram, audiovisual (...) fixation of performance). Analysis of the Lithuanian legal regulation on performers’ economic right has shown that although Copyright Law of Lithuania in general complies with international and EU acts governing performers’ rights, four main fields of legal regulation need to be revised. Firstly, Copyright Law should provide that when concluding an agreement concerning an audiovisual fixation of his performance with a producer of audiovisual work the performer transfers his exclusive rights to the producer, the performer shall retain an unwaivable right to receive an equitable remuneration for every transferred exclusive right. Secondly, the legal definition of phonogram published for the commercial purposes should be provided in the Law on Copyright of Lithuania. (shrink)
In March 1993, in preparation for the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights, representatives from the states of Asia gathered in Bangkok to formulate their position on this emotive issue. The result of their discussions was the Bangkok declaration. They accepted the concept of universal standards in human rights, but declared that these standards could not overridet he unique Asian regional and cultural differences, the requirements of economic development, nor the privileges of sovereignty. : The difficult and (...) powerful dichotomies raised in Bangkok, and their particular relevance to China, are explored in the ten essays contained in this book. The underlying political, cultural, philosophical, legal and economic issues which cut across the human rights spectrum are also considered. The writiers themselves are Chinese and Hong Kong scholars, or leading political figures who are involved in the current human rights debate. The ultimate goal of the book is not to resolve the issues raised in Bangkok, but to expose some contours of discussion in a way that is fresh and accessible. (shrink)
Regulatory approach to the right to abortion in Europe is diverse and basically related to the issue of when the right to life begins and how this question is reflected in national legislation. Such an approach and diversity is tolerated by the European Court of Human Rights, but only if some specific standards and criteria formulated in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights are reflected in national legislation. Research of the Lithuanian legal acts conducted (...) in the light of the jurisprudence of the Court shows that they are not in accordance with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and the solutions are therefore suggested. The aim of the article is to systematically analyse the Lithuanian legal acts regulating issues of abortion and to identify the existing problems and provide suggestions as to how to solve those problems with the help of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights in abortion cases. Analysis of the Lithuanian legal acts reveals that the existing legal regulation and practice is confusing and ambiguous. Abortion questions are regulated in Lithuania by means of secondary legislation, namely by order of the Health Minister which is more than 15 years old, and the classification of diseases dangerous to woman’s health and life is based on international classification that is invalid. The order is not in reconciled with the Lithuanian criminal law. Some other ambiguities and problems are identified in the article. Abortion on a woman’s request in Lithuania is possible by the end of the 12 week of pregnancy and during the entire pregnancy, if it causes danger to woman’s health and life. The Lithuanian legislator requires that both conditions – danger to woman’s health and life – are met in order to terminate pregnancy what is unnecessary and sometimes even confusing. The author suggests providing two separate bases for abortion – danger to woman’s life or health. Foetus problems – if a foetus is irreversibly damaged or suffering from an incurable life-threatening disease, it is not a separate basis for abortion in Lithuania, however those abnormalities of the foetus are related to the health and life of a pregnant woman. In the opinion of the author, looking into the practice of the other EU countries, it is better to provide a separate ground for abortion because of abnormalities of the foetus. The basic problem in Lithuania that is similar in Poland and in Ireland is that there is no clear procedure in case a pregnant woman is not satisfied with the decision of the medical commission regarding the question of her abortion or if the opinion of members of the commission is diverse – no time guidance or appeal institution is provided. (shrink)
The article deals with the question how transnational corporations can bear direct responsibility for human rights abuses they commit by analysing the deficiencies of the current international legal background with respect to human rights and transnational corporations, and the solutions offered by national and regional legal tools. By establishing that current international law is incapable of reducing or compensating for governance gaps, the case law analysis shows that the litigation system under the Alien Tort Claims Act (...) in the United States and ATCA-like litigation possibility in the European Union present a feasible alternative to international law in the field of human rights protection when abuses are committed by transnational corporations. (shrink)
The deteriorating situation of migrant workers’ health rights protection was once again highlighted in the case of Tseng Hei-tao. This case explicitly and implicitly showed that four conundrums—the Employment Restriction Conundrum, the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Legal Conundrum, the Morality Conundrum and the Identity Conundrum—are barriers to migrant workers’ right protection. The health rights of migrant workers could be safeguarded by abolishing the outdated household registration system designed in the planned economy era, improving the rule of (...) law, and strengthening administrative supervisions. This would fundamentally remove these barriers and thus contribute to migrant workers’ health rights protection. (shrink)
The importance of the right to education reaches far beyond education itself. The right to education is recognized, promoted and protected at all levels— from local to global. The concept of each human right constitutes a dual perception—human rights are personified and there are particular duty-bearers, most often the states, which have certain obligations to preserve and protect those rights. This article summarizes governmental obligations, foreseen in international and regional legal human rights’ instruments, corresponding to the (...) right to education in its entirety. The conceptual framework for the content and scope of the right to education is established by different human rights institutions and judicial bodies and implicates the concept of quantitative and qualitative measures, expressed by four guidelines—availability, accessibility, acceptability, adaptability. (shrink)
This article delineates some of the main issues that are debated by philosophers of law. It explores the connections between legal philosophy and other areas of philosophy, while also seeking to specify the distinctiveness of many of the concerns that have preoccupied philosophers of law. It illustrates its abstract points with examples focused on the separability of law and morality, the nature of the rule of law, the nature of rights, justifications for the imposition of punishment, and the (...) identification of basic legal entitlements. (shrink)
No entendimento de Habermas, "direito", na expressão "direitos humanos", é um conceito jurídico, donde direitos humanos, para ele, serem direitos jurídicos, normas legais declaradas em atos de fundações do Estado ou anunciadas em convenções do direito internacional e/ou constituições estatais. Ao conceber assim os direitos e tematizar os direitos humanos numa abordagem tríplice (focando-os entre moral, direito e política), ele fornece diferentes definições teóricas dos direitos humanos. O texto apresenta uma exposição sistemática dessas definições e focaliza os diferentes problemas que (...) motivaram Habermas a alterar e ampliar suas concepções de direitos humanos. In the understanding of Habermas, "right" in the phrase "human rights" is a legal concept, where human rights are legalrights, i.e., legal norms declared in acts of foundations of the State or announced conventions of international law and/or State constitutions. By conceiving of rights in this way and by treating human rights in a threefold approach (placing them between morals, law and politics), he presents different theoretical definitions of human rights. This paper presents a systematic exposition of these definitions, and focuses on the different problems that motivated Habermas to change and expand his conceptions of human rights. (shrink)
Nicholas Vrousalis has aimed to recast an old objection to the will theory of rights by focusing on Hillel Steiner’s version of that theory. He has argued that Will Theory must either be insensitive to the (values of the) lives of the unempowerable, or be incomplete, because it has no argumentative resources within its conceptual apparatus to ascribe or justify restrictions on the amount of discretion exercised by legal officials. I show that both charges are problematic. They rely (...) on some of Steiner’s inferences which are simply unjustified because they are based on misinterpretations of the logic of Hohfeld’s terminology. The problem for Vrousalis is that his critique takes for granted some of these flawed arguments. The critique is also misdirected to the extent that it assumes that the problems with Steiner’s theory affect Will Theory in general. (shrink)
The relationship between legal pluralism and international human rights law is a complex and multi-faceted one. To fully appreciate the nature of this relationship, one has to desegregate the various forms of legal pluralism and analyse whether in their existence or operation they are compatible with international human rights law. This article undertakes such an exercise drawing on the jurisprudence of global and regional human rights bodies. In doing so, it goes beyond a mechanical audit (...) of legal pluralism in the light of specific human rights and explores more foundational issues such as the nature and extent of a State’s human rights obligations when legal pluralism exists within its borders, the possibility of waiving human rights and questions of cultural relativism which hover over any discussion of legal pluralism. What emerges from this analysis is that a tentative conceptual framework exists to regulate the relationship between legal pluralism and international human rights law. It is one that not only requires the State to render legal pluralism compatible with human rights but also stipulates the process by which this should be done. Effectively implemented, it can achieve this objective and harness the pull of religious and customary law to ensure the more effective protection of human rights. (shrink)
This article attempts to explain why Uruguayan judges have lagged behind judges in Chile and Argentina in the prosecution of the military for human rights violations committed during the dictatorship period in the 1970s and 1980s. By tracing judicial human rights activity in Uruguay from the transition to democratic rule in 1985 until the end of 2002, I argue that Uruguayan judges have been actively restricted by an aggressive anti-human rights policy expressed through a national amnesty law (...) and explicit executive interference in judicial matters. Structural changes to the judiciary might have aided Uruguayan judges to overcome these barriers. Instead, failure to reform the judiciary has prolonged its conservative nature and made judges slow in responding to international legal development in the human rights field. (shrink)
This article explores the traditional basis of modern human rights doctrines and exposes some of the systemic shortcomings. It then posits that a number of these problems are advanced via integrating some developments in the philosophy of science and substantive scientific research into legal philosophy. This article argues that supervening holism grounded in quantum mechanics provides an alternative basis to human rights by positing an ontological construct that is congruous with many of the wisdom traditions practiced around (...) the world. Such a foundation exposes a rational imperative for universal human rights and hence appeals to legal pragmatists. (shrink)
The volume brings together a collection of original papers on some of the main tenets of Joseph Raz's legal and political philosophy: Legal positivism and the nature of law, practical reason, authority, the value of equality, incommensurability, harm, group rights, and multiculturalism.
As the National Information Infra- structure develops new avenues for information products and services will open. Creating, identifying and protecting the information market space is a critical component to the success of information product and service developments. As a result, the producers of those products and service seek to protect their proprietary interest in the underlying information. However, these actions have broader consequences: Attempts to extend legal protection to basic facts and other public domain information demonstrate that the public (...) information space is slowly being reduced. Reviewing several information controversies as case studies is fruitful. Not only for assessing current trends in information disputes (warfare) but can form the basis for establishing several predictors useful in determining when future information ownership controversies may develop and result in the loss of public information space. One set of predictors helps define the information controversy and is descriptive. The second set of predictors characterizes the marketplace environment. It provides further nuance to the economic factors that force information owners to seek legal remedy. Identifying instances where both models suggest a change in information rights or ownership is most likely to result in the critical loss of access to public information space. (shrink)
Many global health issues, almost by definition, do not recognize state borders and therefore require bi-lateral, or more often multi-lateral international solutions. These latter solutions are articulated in international instruments (declarations, conventions, treaties, constitutions of international bodies, etc). However, the gap between formal adoption of such instruments by signatory states and substantive implementation of the articulated solutions can be very wide. This paper surveys a selection of international legal instruments, including those where the sought after positive outcomes have been (...) achieved, and those that have been ineffective, with little or no real progress being made. The paper looks for commonalities, both in the nature of the problems and the forms of the international legal instruments, to seek answers as to why some instruments ultimately succeeded where others failed. It also provides some guidance to law/ treaty makers to help ensure that they frame future instruments in such a way as to maximize the probability that those instruments will have a substantive positive impact on global health and health rights. (shrink)
To subject the international human rights movement to a purely theoretical critique cannot help but suggest a certain mean-spiritedness. After all, no one knows better than those in the front lines of human rights work exactly what, in terms of lives lost and atrocities suffered, the movement has been unable to achieve. The religious workers of the Salvadoran Archdiocese, the legal aid lawyers of Paraguay who affirm conscience over prudence, the founders of the Moscow chapter of Amnesty (...) International, the prisoners in South Africa charged with treason for denouncing apartheid — they and their co-workers hardly need reminding by arm-chair academics that the tools of the human rights movement are laughably weak and that their best efforts save only a selection of individuals in a near-endless stream of victims. (shrink)
If a company’s share price rises when it sacks workers, or when it makes money from polluting the environment, it would seem that the accounting is not being done correctly. Real costs are not being paid. People’s ethical claims, which in a smaller-scale case would be legally enforceable, are not being measured in such circumstances. This results from a mismatch between the applied ethics tradition and the practice of the accounting profession. Applied ethics has mostly avoided quantification of rights, (...) while accounting practice has embraced quantification, but has been excessively conservative about what may be counted. The two traditions can be combined, by using some of the ideas economists have devised to quantify difficult-to-measure costs and benefits in environmental accounting. (shrink)
Legal protections and remedies for sex workers are important mechanisms for redressing discrimination. This paper proposes a strategic approach at Queensland and national levels using industrial and anti-discrimination laws and institutions to effect change in legal processes and regimes and increase uptake of individual remedies. It provides a strategic approach that could be considered by other organisations advocating with, and for, members of other marginalised groups to effect systemic change.
The absence of a regional system of human rights protection for Asia, and the ambivalence of some Asian states towards existing human rights regimes often results in a lack of awareness of the plight of minorities in these states. The existing human rights literature on Asia tends to focus on the debate of cultural relativism. On the other hand, minority rights literature largely ignores Asia. This book tackles this lacuna by undertaking an analysis of the minority (...)rightslegal regimes in India, China, Malaysia and Singapore, while also locating this discussion in the context of a wider debate on human rights in Asia. -/- India and China, the world's most populous states, face similar problems vis-à-vis minorities, yet tackle these using starkly different techniques. Malaysia and Singapore, vocal in their articulation of 'Asian Values', have taken opposing stances over minority rights. Malaysia has sought to establish Malay hegemony using minority rights tools in favour of the majority, while Singapore deliberately adopted a doctrine of meritocracy, nonetheless emphasising ethnic fault-lines within its population. Together the four states reflect not only the complex layers of culture and identity within Asian states, but also the vastly different political systems and contrasting conceptions of the role of law in the continent. -/- Through its examination of minority rights theory and its application in specific cases, this book provides a useful comparative model for the assessment of other states within Asia, thereby taking an important first step towards understanding the situation of minorities within the entire continent. (shrink)
Proportionality is one of the most important adjudicatory tools, in human rights decision-making, primarily employed to balance rights and interests. Despite this there is very little feminist analysis of its use by the courts. This article discusses the doctrine of proportionality and considers its amenability to feminist legal methods. It relies on theories of deliberative democracy to argue that the proportionality test can be applied in a manner that facilitates a more “interactive universalism”, allows for greater participation (...) in decision-making and enables the courts to be more attentive to the disadvantaged. The commonalities between proportionality and feminist theory are examined, and its contribution to developing and reconstituting a more relational and contextual concept of rights is explored. (shrink)
Abstract: Human rights developed in response to specific violations of human dignity, and can therefore be conceived as specifications of human dignity, their moral source. This internal relationship explains the moral content and moreover the distinguishing feature of human rights: they are designed for an effective implementation of the core moral values of an egalitarian universalism in terms of coercive law. This essay is an attempt to explain this moral-legal Janus face of human rights through the (...) mediating role of the concept of human dignity. This concept is due to a remarkable generalization of the particularistic meanings of those "dignities" that once were attached to specific honorific functions and memberships. In spite of its abstract meaning, "human dignity" still retains from its particularistic precursor concepts the connotation of depending on the social recognition of a status—in this case, the status of democratic citizenship. Only membership in a constitutional political community can protect, by granting equal rights, the equal human dignity of everybody. (shrink)
David Luban is one of the world's leading scholars of legal ethics. In this collection of his most significant papers from the past twenty-five years, he ranges over such topics as the moral psychology of organisational evil, the strengths and weaknesses of the adversary system, and jurisprudence from the lawyer's point of view. His discussion combines philosophical argument, legal analysis and many cases drawn from actual law practice, and he defends a theory of legal ethics that focuses (...) on lawyers' role in enhancing human dignity and human rights. In addition to an analytical introduction, the volume includes two major previously unpublished papers, including a detailed critique of the US government lawyers who produced the notorious 'torture memos'. It will be of interest to a wide range of readers in both philosophy and law. (shrink)
. Although the courts have ruled that companies are legal persons, they have not yet made clear the extent to which political free speech for corporations is limited by the strictures legitimately placed upon corporate commercial speech. I explore the question of whether or not companies can properly be said to have the right to civil free speech or whether corporate speech is always de facto commercial speech not subject to the same sorts of legal protections as is (...) the right to civil free speech. In the absence of clearly defined legal precedent, I emphasize moral reasons for determining the appropriate limits of corporate civil free speech. Appealing to arguments typically used to justify individual rights to civil free speech, I examine the extent to which this sort of justification may or may not be legitimately extended to corporations. I conclude that corporate rights to civil free speech must be restricted because granting rights of free speech to institutions may, in practice, undermine the moral rationale and practical feasibility of guaranteeing rights of civil free speech to individuals. Furthermore, I argue that granting corporations full rights to civil free speech will undercut attempts to develop good moral character in corporate institutions by undermining the efforts of watchdog organizations. (shrink)
The present paper aims at addressing a crucial legal conflict in the information society: i.e., the conflict between security and civil rights, which calls for a “fine and ethical balance”. Our purpose is to understand, from the legal theory viewpoint, how a fine ethical balance can be conceived and what the conditions for this balance to be possible are. This requires us to enter in a four-stage examination, by asking: (1) What types of conflict may be dealt (...) with by means of balancing? (2) What is meant by balancing? Is it a metaphor that hides and dissimulates discretionary powers and subjective decisions or a rational instrument that helps us cope with conflicts between fundamental values and interests? (3) What models of balancing are available to us? Are these models irreducible to each other? What can provide us with a common understanding of different models of balancing? (4) How can the crucial issues of rational controllability, predictability, and homogeneity of legal decisions be dealt with? Our paper will try to answer those questions by trying to reconstruct the act of balancing in terms of a rational legal reasoning, which relies upon information. In fact, every judicial decision contains some information that is delivered to the legal system: that information may serve as the basis for future evaluations, decisions, and actions, and thus influence the way we recognize and hence we protect our values, interests, and rights. In this perspective, our examination will attempt to understand those questions in informational terms. This informational treatment can provide us with a more universalistic understanding of those issues and offer us a novel way to conceptually deal with them. To this aim, we will avail yourself of Luciano Floridi’s philosophy of information: notably, we believe his constructionist conception of epistemology is crucial, based on the Maker’s Knowledge approach and his solution of the upgrading problem (i.e., from information to knowledge) in terms of a network theory of account. The informational approach will help us having a better understanding of the balance between competing interests. (shrink)
As dominant liberal conceptions of the relationship between rights and freedom maintain, freedom is a property of the individual human subject and rights are a mechanism for protecting that freedom—whether it be the freedom to speak, to associate, to practise a certain religion or cultural way of life, and so forth. Rights according to these kinds of accounts are protective of a certain zone of permitted or valorised conduct and they function either as, for example, a ‘side-constraint’ (...) on the actions of others or as a ‘trump’ over governmental or community goals. In such accounts, of course, the emphasis is placed upon the forms of power against which rights protect the individual, whether that be the trespasses of others or the overweening attentions of the state. Such accounts famously do not themselves take much account of the multiple ways in which rights also function as forms of power, often delimiting the courses of action that a putative rights-holder can take and affecting the manner of its exercise, indeed often in the very name of freedom itself. Of course, there is a sizeable critical literature which does address itself to these kinds of question, most notably from the radical traditions of Marxism and critical legal theory, which see rights in terms of the relations of production, consumption and exploitation that they establish between legal subjects. For various reasons, Foucault has not figured as prominently in critical discussions of rights. Here I do not propose to enter into debates surrounding Foucault’s engagement with, or failure to engage with, law as an object of study, nor with the emergent literature on Foucault’s deployments of rights, indeed even of human rights. Rather, what I want to do in this paper is to articulate and defend the view that through a reading of Foucault’s work, both on rights and on power relations more broadly, we can discern an understanding of the political ambivalence of rights. For Foucault (and for some of the post-Foucaultian scholars whose work I shall address, below), rights are both political tools for the contestation and alteration of mechanisms of power and simultaneously mechanisms of inscription, both disciplinary and governmental, which work to conduct those who rely upon them. Far from being an unproblematic tool for the protection of the subject’s freedom, rights emerge in this account as conflicted and ambivalent mechanisms. In the first part of this paper I develop a Foucaultian account of rights along these lines and then hope to illustrate it by reference to several examples, from the constitution of gender and cultural identity via rights to the figure of the refugee, whilst in the final part of the paper I make a return to the idea of freedom in Foucault’s work and link the view of rights developed herein to a certain conception of freedom in his work. (shrink)
Recent discussions among lawyers, philosophers, policy researchers and athletes have focused on the potential threat to privacy posed by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) whereabouts requirements. These requirements demand, among other things, that all elite athletes file their whereabouts information for the subsequent quarter on a quarterly basis and comprise data for one hour of each day when the athlete will be available and accessible for no advance notice testing at a specified location of their choosing. Failure to file one’s (...) whereabouts, or the non-availability for testing at said location on three occasions within any 18-month period constitutes an anti-doping rule violation that is equivalent to testing positive to a banned substance, and may lead to a suspension of the athlete for a time period of between one and two years. We critically explore the extent to which WADA’s whereabouts requirements are in tension with existing legislation on privacy, with respect to UK athletes, who are simultaneously protected by UK domestic and EU law. Both UK domestic and EU law are subject to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) Article 8, which establishes a right to “respect for private and family life, home and correspondence”. We critically discuss the centrality of the whereabouts requirements in relation to WADA’s aims, and the adoption and implementation of its whereabouts rules. We conclude that as WADA’s whereabouts requirements appear to be in breach of an elite athlete’s rights under European workers’ rights, health & safety and data protection law they are also, therefore, in conflict with Article 8 of the ECHR and the UK Human Rights Act 1998. We call for specific amendments that cater for the exceptional case of elite sports labour if the WADA requirements are to be considered legitimate. (shrink)