International Law and Human Rights

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 5715

Special Issue Editor

Notre Dame Law School and Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
Interests: international law; international human rights and humanitarian law; international economic law and development; international dispute resolution and international arbitration; maritime security; comparative public law; ASEAN Law

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on International Law and Human Rights examines both the growing convergence and remaining divergences between international law and human rights law, which are provoked by simultaneous contemporary global crises facing humanity in 2022: the unabated consequences of the global pandemic and rising transnational health threats, the global food crises and inflation, the global energy crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, climate change and the looming ecological crises and social crises on issues of racial justice, equality, non-discrimination and reparations demands for historic injustices. How does a state-driven or largely state-based international law address these crises, adequately or inadequately? How do the claims of human rights law—which pertain to individuals and groups as subjects of international law but devoid of any enforcement powers possessed by states—respond to these crises?  Where does international law and human rights law converge to support responses to crises in the international system? When there are divergences between state-driven international law and individual or group-driven human rights law during crises, which authoritative decision-maker(s) (whether courts, tribunals, legislatures or executives or international organizations) should decide the impasse to resolve intractable geopolitical problems and their consequences for all of humanity?

In his famous 1950 book, International Law and Human Rights, Hersch Lauterpacht famously argued that it was not necessary to elaborate human rights norms and state obligations within the United Nations Charter because the core state obligation to promote human rights under Articles 1(3) and 55 in relation to 56 were sufficient, in his view, to internalize human rights within the international legal system, seeing an inimitable partnership between international law and human rights. This Special Issue carries forward and explores Lauterpacht’s thesis in the face of rampant global vulnerabilities and threats that expose the fissures within the seeming separate development trajectories of international law and human rights.

Prof. Dr. Diane Desierto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • international law
  • human rights
  • global crises
  • states
  • individuals
  • groups
  • UN Charter
  • human rights treaties
  • enforcement powers
  • adjudication

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 297 KiB  
Article
Rights-Based Approaches to Environmental Protection and Pandemic Prevention
Laws 2023, 12(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12040066 - 31 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1231
Abstract
This article reflects on the proposed pandemic treaty negotiations, the content of the recently published Zero Draft and its prospects for success in preventing future pandemics from emerging at all. It argues that, as presently conceived, the proposed instrument does little to address [...] Read more.
This article reflects on the proposed pandemic treaty negotiations, the content of the recently published Zero Draft and its prospects for success in preventing future pandemics from emerging at all. It argues that, as presently conceived, the proposed instrument does little to address environmental damage as the primary driver of zoonotic spillover, nor does it make sufficient provision for the implementation and enforcement of legal obligations. In particular, the piece suggests that human rights and rights of nature can and should feature more prominently in efforts to fully realize the One Health agenda and strengthen environmental governance with a view to mitigating the risk of future pandemics. Experience from rights-based approaches in other contexts suggests that they offer a promising conduit for achieving genuine policy reform and accountability regarding environmental degradation. Indeed, human rights and rights of nature can play an important role in mitigating ecological destruction, biodiversity loss and, in turn, preventing disease transmission from the natural world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Law and Human Rights)
23 pages, 336 KiB  
Article
Freedom of Expression and Hate Speech: Human Rights Standards and Their Application in Poland and Slovenia
Laws 2023, 12(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12040064 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 3341
Abstract
Even though hate speech is an extreme form of intolerance, which contributes to hate crime, the assessment of this particular behavior and its expressions is often problematic, because hate speech is difficult to define and even more difficult to investigate and punish. In [...] Read more.
Even though hate speech is an extreme form of intolerance, which contributes to hate crime, the assessment of this particular behavior and its expressions is often problematic, because hate speech is difficult to define and even more difficult to investigate and punish. In the present article, the authors analyze the development of human rights standards (in particular as interpreted in the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights) regarding freedom of expression and hate speech and look at their application in Poland and Slovenia through a comparative analysis of Polish and Slovenian law and practice. We noticed that challenges with fulfilling international obligations to adequately respond to and fight hate speech can be observed and that some room for improvement on the level of lawmaking, policymaking, and their effective implementation is present. The most evident challenge remains in the low rates of prosecution of hate crimes recorded by the police, which need to be addressed by both States. In Slovenia, some positive systemic and regulatory changes have recently been introduced, while in Poland there has been little progress and not all victims of hate speech are adequately protected by law. The authors suggest a focus on educating individuals about the harmful consequences of hate speech and acts, adapting legislation to appropriately punish individuals who spread hate speech, raising awareness and understanding of the rhetoric used in the public sphere, and increasing media support for the aforementioned awareness, keeping in mind that solutions on how to appropriately address or prevent hate speech are by no means simple or straightforward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Law and Human Rights)
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