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)
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.
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)
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.
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)
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)
This essay maintains that the question in its title is really three sets of questions: a conceptual inquiry, a moral/political inquiry, and an empirical inquiry. After devoting some attention to the relevant conceptual issues, the essay ponders in detail the moral/political issues. It suggests some answers to the germane moral/political questions, and it takes pains to distinguish those questions from other lines of inquiry with which they might be confused. Although only animals and dead people are mentioned in the title, (...) the essay also considers whether infants, comatose people, lunatics, future generations, groups, trees, and natural phenomena such as rivers should be classified as potential holders of legalrights. (shrink)
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)
“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)
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)
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is America's strongest environmental law. Its citizen-suit provision—permitting “any person” whomsoever to sue on behalf of a threatened or endangered species—awards implicit intrinsic value, de facto standing, and operational legalrights to listed species. Accordingly, some cases had gone forward in the federal courts in the name of various listed species between 1979 and 2004, 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 “taking” of a listed species, some have argued that enforcement of the ESA's critical-habitat-protection provision is a “regulatory taking” 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 reconciles the ESA's citizen-suit provision with the particularized and concrete “injury-in-fact” standing requirements devolved from Article III. (shrink)
Various proponents of animal rights—for example, H. J. McCloskey— maintain that while brute animals cannot have; moral rights they can have legalrights. Indeed, McCloskey himself goes so far as to maintain that even inanimate objects are able to have legalrights. 1 And why should not inanimate objects be able to? After f all, for there to be a legal right is anything more required than that whatever agency is empowered to issue (...)legalrights simply legislate or proclaim that so-and-so has that legal right? (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.
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)
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)
Exploring the peculiar nature of future generations and concluding that types of future people is the most promising object on which to project our concern for future generations the article poses two main questions: “Can future people have rights?” and, if so, “Do they in fact have any rights?” The article first explains why the non-existence of future people raises doubts whether future generations can have rights. Within the philosophical literature, the leading approach explaining how future people (...) can, nevertheless, have rights argues that they have rights as tokens of types of people. After presenting this account of the rights of future people and couching it in a jurisprudential context, this Article points out a possible deficiency in the approach’s metaphysical underpinnings. Assuming that future people can have rights the article goes on to explain that there is reason to doubt whether any such rights actually exist, which derive from the doubt whether future people will be harmed by most actions and choices in their prenatal past. According to what has come to be known as the “nonidentity argument,” actions and choices that are necessary parts of the causal chain leading up to the existence of a person cannot harm that person - had the act or choice not occurred that person would have never existed, and one is better off existing than not. Under the two prevalent theories of rights, the Will Theory and the Interest Theory, the nonidentity argument seemingly entails that future people have no rights. After exploring how this is the case, the conception of harm underlying the nonidentity argument is analyzed. Two types of interests future people may have in prenatal identity-determinative events (constitutive interests and threshold interests) are explored as possible sources of certain rights future people may have - the nonidentity argument notwithstanding. The article then elaborates and assesses the merits of these approaches. (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)
Since Xi Jinping has taken office in 2012, China’s political repression has only but intensified so that the regime is definitively turning away from the 1990s legal reforms and the many expectations that followed in terms of rule of law and other rights fostering. In replacing these recent developments in a larger perspective including that of a “socialist harmonious society”, which had already shaded a particular light on Chinese reforms, this article proposes to envisage contemporary Chinese legal (...) culture in an evolutionary and theoretical framework. In doing so, it stresses the tensions between a language of rights now fully integrated by the Chinese citizens and the politics of law used, in a last legal ditch struggle, by the Chinese Communist Party as a tool for social stability in disciplining the people by all means including by the threat of its very legal creations. It then concludes in reflecting upon the legal culture emerging out of this great divide between the people and the State. (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)
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.
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)
This book examines alternative philosophical conceptions of legal interpretation as a way of making sense of international human rights as they bear on government and multinational business activities. Today the dominant philosophies of law pertaining to rights interpretation are positivism, realism, and law-as-integrity.
The 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, and develops a framework for adjudication.
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)
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)