Human Rights Quarterly

Human Rights Quarterly
Volume 25, Number 3, August 2003


Contents

Articles

    Addis, Adeno.
  • Economic Sanctions and the Problem of Evil
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    Subject Headings:
    • Economic sanctions -- Moral and ethical aspects.
    • Security, International.
    Abstract:
      As economic sanctions have proliferated, their use has come under intense challenge. Critics differ on why they are uneasy about economic sanctions, but they are united on one crucial point: they assume that the sole justification for sanctions is behavior modification of the target regime. This article disputes that assumption and argues that sanctions are also processes through which the sanctioning community (agent) defines its identity through the act of dissociating itself from the target regime, the "troublesome or evil other." Critics as well as supporters of sanctions have often not understood this fact and consequently their analyses have been highly incomplete and very misleading.
    Du Plessis, Max.
  • Historical Injustice and International Law: An Exploratory Discussion of Reparation for Slavery
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    Subject Headings:
    • Slavery.
    • Compensation (Law)
    • International law -- Moral and ethical aspects.
    • Human rights -- Moral and ethical aspects.
    Abstract:
      This article considers the issue of reparation for slavery and the claim for reparation advanced by African states against the West. The paper begins by briefly outlining the principles relating to State responsibility and reparation in international law, and gives an overview of the recognised forms of legal reparation that exist. The paper then provides some exploratory discussion on the issue of reparation for slavery. It is exploratory in the sense that this is a matter which has received scant attention in recent international law literature. As regards the current call for reparation, the author identifies the weaknesses of legal claims within the existing international law paradigm of State responsibility. As an alternative, the paper considers ways in which political strategies might be employed to achieve reparation. In particular, the author aims to align calls for reparation for slavery with existing claims to development by African states, as a means by which a moral global economy can be achieved. In this regard, the author considers the feasibility of the different forms of reparation, insofar as they are able to underpin and advance the idea of a moral global economy. The paper also briefly examines the issue of reparation for colonialism and considers how the insights as regards reparation for slavery might be useful in relation to reparation claims for colonialism.
    Jordan, Pamela A.
  • Does Membership Have Its Privileges?: Entrance into the Council of Europe and Compliance with Human Rights Norms
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    Subject Headings:
    • Council of Europe -- Membership.
    • Human rights -- Latvia.
    • Human rights -- Croatia.
    • Human rights -- Russia (Federation)
    Abstract:
      This article examines the role of the Council of Europe in promoting human rights in twenty-one former Soviet bloc countries. Using three cases, the author argues that constructivist approaches best inform the process of norm diffusion in countries of high compliance (Latvia), while neoliberal and neorealist approaches better explain why norm diffusion is less successful in medium (Croatia) and low-compliance (Russia) countries. She concludes that the Council decided it is more effective to persuade new entrants to conform to European human rights standards as members than to wait years until they have reached a high level of compliance before rewarding them with membership.
    Davis, Martha F., 1957-
    Powell, Roslyn.
  • The International Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Catalyst for Innovative Child Care Policies
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    Subject Headings:
    • Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
    • Child care services -- Law and legislation.
    • Children's rights.
    Abstract:
      Childcare has long been a priority issue for women's rights advocates in the United States, yet the United States continues to compare unfavorably to other industrialized nations that extend childcare services and other supports to assist families with young children. Provisions of the Children's Rights Convention, as well as language in CEDAW and the ICCPR, suggest that childcare should be viewed through a human rights framework rather than the more limited framework of domestic law. This article focuses on the Children's Rights Convention, analyzing the Convention's impact on childcare in ratifying countries. In particular, the article analyzes childcare policies of Australia, Finland, France and Sweden, while also reviewing exchanges between the Committee on the Rights of the Child and less industrialized countries. The authors conclude that framing childcare as a human rights concern might shift the internal politics of the issue by energizing advocates as well as enlisting new sources of pressure to combat this aspect of the US policy of exceptionalism.
    Berger, Maurits.
  • Apostasy and Public Policy in Contemporary Egypt: An Evaluation of Recent Cases from Egypt's Highest Courts
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    Subject Headings:
    • Abu Zayd, Nasr -- Trials, litigation, etc.
    • Apostasy (Islamic law) -- Egypt.
    • Public policy (Islamic law) -- Egypt.
    • Human rights -- Egypt.
    Abstract:
      Apostasy, the abandonment of Islam, can be subdivided into the act of apostasy, and its legal consequences. In Egyptian case law of the past fifty years, only the latter plays a role. The act of apostasy hardly needs to be scrutinized by the courts since it is almost never related to religious conviction, but to legal issues like marriage or inheritance. This was different, however, in the 1996 ruling of the Court of Cassation against the Egyptian Muslim scholar Nasr Abu Zayd: here, the behavior of the accused was the central issue. Still, it will be argued, based on the legal notion of public policy that plays a central role in the issue of apostasy, that the court's ruling was consistent with Egyptian jurisprudence in this matter.
    Bailliet, Cecilia.
  • The Tampa Case and its Impact on Burden Sharing at Sea
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    Subject Headings:
    • Tampa (Ship)
    • Asylum, Right of.
    • Refugees -- Government policy -- Norway.
    • Refugees -- Government policy -- Australia.
    Abstract:
      This article reviews the Tampa case in order to highlight the lack of clear standards for rescue at sea of asylum seekers. In response to current initiatives to assess the gaps and inconsistencies within the applicable legal framework, the author recommends the elaboration of a burden sharing mechanism based on a protection continuum addressing the following phases: rescue, non-refoulement, disembarkation, and resettlement.
    Cardenas, Sonia.
  • Transgovernmental Activism: Canada's Role in Promoting National Human Rights Commissions
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    Subject Headings:
    • Canadian Human Rights Commission.
    Abstract:
      National human rights commissions have proliferated around the world in recent years. These commissions are government agencies, which are designed to implement international human rights norms domestically. The rise of these institutions, however, cannot be understood without considering the international context. In particular, existing national commissions like those of Canada have worked actively to create and strengthen human rights commissions abroad. I refer to this process as one of transgovernmental activism. This article explores the contours of this activism, focusing specifically on the role played by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. In so doing, I trace the complex partnerships and institutional linkages that the Commission is forging both inside and outside Canada. I then examine four major forms of technical assistance that the Commission is providing to other national human rights commissions: training, consultation, exchanges, and networking. I conclude the article by drawing lessons from the Canadian experience and identifying emerging challenges. Above all, I find that improvements need to be made in three key areas: foreign government commitment, resource shortages, and an evaluation deficit. Once human rights commissions are created, international actors need to cooperate to assure that these institutions are in fact effective.
    Krishnan, Jayanth.
  • The Rights of the New Untouchables: A Constitutional Analysis of HIV Jurisprudence in India
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    Subject Headings:
    • HIV-positive persons-- Legal status, laws, etc. -- India.
    • Human rights -- India.
    Abstract:
      It is believed that India will soon have the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases of any country. Some reports project that 37 million people will be infected within the next two decades. Sadly, few studies have examined the legal claims of those who suffer with this disease in this, the world's largest democracy. In this article, I systematically examine how the courts in India have responded to rights-based claims brought by people who have HIV. The conventional wisdom is that the Indian judiciary frequently protects the rights of the poor, the under-represented, and the ill. But my findings reveal that, at least for people with HIV, the courts have not extended to this group full constitutional protection. The implications of this conclusion force us to revisit whether the courts in India best safeguard the rights of others who are disadvantaged.

Book Reviews

    Betsalel, Kenneth Aron.
  • The Guilt of Nations: Restitution and Negotiating Historical Injustices (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Barkan, Elazar. Guilt of nations: restitution and negotiating historical injustices.
    • Political ethics.
    Malloy, S. Elizabeth Wilborn.
  • International Bioethics: West Learns from East
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    Subject Headings:
    • Coward, Harold G., ed. Cross-cultural dialogue on health care ethics.
    • Ratanakul, Pinit, 1940-, ed.
    • Medical ethics.
    Malloy, S. Elizabeth Wilborn.
  • De-Institutionalizing the Mentally Disabled: The Canadian Solution
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    Subject Headings:
    • Pedlar, Alison, 1945- Textured life: empowerment and adults with developmental disabilities.
    • Developmentally disabled -- Canada.



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