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Religion, Human Rights and International Law

A Critical Examination of Islamic State Practices

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Edited by Javaid Rehman and Susan Breau

Freedom of religion is a subject, which has throughout human history been a source of profound disagreements and conflict. In the modern era, religious-based intolerance continues to provide lacerative and tormenting concern to the possibility of congenial human relationships. As the present study examines, religions have been relied upon to perpetuate discrimination and inequalities, and to victimise minorities to the point of forcible assimilation and genocide. The study provides an overview of the complexities inherent in the freedom of religion within international law and an analysis of the cultural-religious relativist debate in contemporary human rights law. As many of the chapters examine, Islamic State practices have been a major source of concern. In the backdrop of the events of 11 September 2001, a considerable focus of this volume is upon the Muslim world, either through the emergent State practices and existing constitutional structures within Muslim majority States or through Islamic diasporic communities resident in Europe and North-America.

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Edited by European Centre for Minority Issues and The European Academy Bozen/Bolzano

The European Yearbook of Minority Issues provides a critical and timely review of contemporary developments in minority-majority relations in Europe. It combines analysis, commentary and documentation in relation to conflict management, international legal developments and domestic legislation affecting minorities in Europe.
Part I contains scholarly articles and, in 2005/6, features two special focus sections on The Concept of the Nation.
Part II reviews the implementation of minority legislation and international standards at the universal and regional levels as well as new developments in relation to them.
Apart from providing a unique annual overview of minority issues for both scholars and practitioners in this field, the Yearbook is an indispensable reference tool for libraries, research institutes as well as governments and international organisations.

Cultural Rights in International Law

Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and beyond

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Elissavet Stamatopoulou-Robbins

Drawing from a comprehensive review of legal instruments, practice, jurisprudence and literature, and using a multidisciplinary approach, this unique book brings forth the full spectrum of cultural rights, as individual and collective human rights, and offers a compelling vision for public policy.
This book is the second volume in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Series. The Series will consist of approximately 20 volumes, each dealing with a substantive right (or group of rights) set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Each volume is authored by an expert in human rights generally and in the particular subject addressed. Without losing sight of the political context in which the implementation of human rights must occur, each book provides a comprehensive, legally-oriented analysis of the rights concerned, including an examination of the legislative history of the text of each right as adopted in 1948, the right's subsequent articulation and interpretation by international bodies and in subsequent international instruments, and a survey of state practice in defining and enforcing the right.

Does God Believe in Human Rights?

Essays on Religion and Human Rights

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Edited by Nazila Ghanea-Hercock, Alan Stephens and Ralph Walden

Where can religions find sources of legitimacy for human rights? How do, and how should, religious leaders and communities respond to human rights as defined in modern International Law? When religious precepts contradict human rights standards - for example in relation to freedom of expression or in relation to punishments - which should trump the other, and why? Can human rights and religious teachings be interpreted in a manner which brings reconciliation closer? Do the modern concept and system of human rights undermine the very vision of society that religions aim to impart? Is a reference to God in the discussion of human rights misplaced? Do human fallibilities with respect to interpretation, judicial reasoning and the understanding of human oneness and dignity provide the key to the undeniable and sometimes devastating conflicts that have arisen between, and within, religions and the human rights movement?
In this volume, academics and lawyers tackle these most difficult questions head-on, with candour and creativity, and the collection is rendered unique by the further contributions of a remarkable range of other professionals, including senior religious leaders and representatives, journalists, diplomats and civil servants, both national and international. Most notably, the contributors do not shy away from the boldest question of all - summed up in the book's title.
The thoroughly edited and revised papers which make up this collection were originally prepared for a ground-breaking conference organised by the Clemens Nathan Research Centre, the University of London Institute of Commonwealth Studies and Martinus Nijhoff/Brill.

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Peter Bartlett, Oliver Lewis and Oliver Thorold

Mental disability has come of age as a subject of concern under the European Convention on Human Rights. It was only in 1979 that the first significant decision of the ECHR was decided on the subject, and after that, cases were relatively few for many years. It is only recently that this has begun to change. This volume provides an account of where the law currently stands and speculation as to how it may develop. The initial chapters deal with substantive aspects of Convention rights (including issues of detention in institutions, conditions within institutions, medical treatment, problems associated with guardianship and others). The final two chapters move to discuss the practicalities of litigation. The book concludes with a number of appendices (primarily the primary international legal materials of relevance to mental disability rights under the ECHR, and the relevant recommendations and principles from the Council of Europe). It is hoped that this volume, in addition to shedding light on where the law currently stands, will offer practical guidance to lawyers concerning the mechanics of representing people with mental disabilities.

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Ronald Craig

This book argues that traditional complaint-based antidiscrimination laws are inherently inadequate to respond to systemic discrimination in employment. It examines the mechanisms and characteristics of systemic discrimination and the shortcomings of complaint-based laws. Yet these characteristics can also inform employers and government authorities of the kinds of preventive action that help alleviate systemic discrimination at the workplace.
In its search for a rational government policy response to systemic discrimination, the book evaluates selected legal regimes which impose proactive obligations on employers to promote equality at the workplace. Proactive regimes are regulatory in nature, rather than adjudicatory. They induce employer compliance through technical assistance, dialogue and regulatory pressure, rather than court orders. By examining the key elements of these regimes the author explains why some proactive regimes function better than others, and why proactive regimes function better than complaint-based laws in addressing systemic discrimination.

Peoples and International Law

Second Revised Edition

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James Summers

Peoples and International Law is a detailed survey of the law of self-determination with a focus on the concept of nations and peoples. It engages with different aspects of this law with particular emphasis on the drafting and implementation of international instruments. The second edition includes new coverage of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the African and Arab charters. It considers recent practice by the Human Rights Committee, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights dealing with the emerging political, economic and environmental aspects of the right. The book looks at the interaction of international law, nationalism and liberalism in theories of nationhood and self-determination, as well as, the historical development of the right and the decisions of international bodies. Lastly, it examines practice in this area, including new developments in remedial independence and international territorial administration.

Also available in hardback.

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Niaz Shah

Religion plays a pivotal role in the way women are treated around the world, socially and legally. This book discusses three Islamic human rights approaches: secular, non-compatible, reconciliatory (compatible), and proposes a contextual interpretive approach. It is argued that the current gender discriminatory statutory Islamic laws in Islamic jurisdictions, based on the decontextualised interpretation of the Koran, can be reformed through Ijtihad: independent individual reasoning. It is claimed that the original intention of the Koran was to protect the rights of women and raise their status in society, not to relegate them to subordination. This Koranic intention and spirit may be recaptured through the proposed contextual interpretation which in fact means using an Islamic (or insider) strategy to achieve gender equality in Muslim states and greater compatibility with international human rights law. It discusses the negative impact of the so-called statutory Islamic laws of Pakistan on the enjoyment of women’s human rights and robustly challenges their Koranic foundation. While supporting the international human rights regime, this book highlights the challenges to its universality: feminism and cultural relativism. To achieve universal application, genuine voices from different cultures and groups must be accommodated. It is argued that the women’s human rights regime does not cover all issues of concern to women and has a weak implementation mechanism. The book argues for effective implementation procedures to turn women’s human rights into reality.

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Edited by European Centre for Minority Issues and The European Academy Bozen/Bolzano

The European Yearbook of Minority Issues provides a critical and timely review of contemporary developments in minority-majority relations in Europe. It combines analysis, commentary and documentation in relation to conflict management, international legal developments and domestic legislation affecting minorities in Europe.
Part I contains scholarly articles and, in 2004/5, features three special focus sections on Ombudsman Institutions, The EU and Minority Protection, and The Caucasus Region.
Part II reviews the implementation of minority legislation and international standards at the universal and regional levels as well as new developments in relation to them and contains a list of international norms.
Apart from providing a unique annual overview of minority issues for both scholars and practitioners in this field, the Yearbook is an indispensable reference tool for libraries, research institutes as well as governments and international organisations.

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Natan Lerner

Religion, and beliefs related to religion, are a central factor in international life and politics. International law, and human rights law in particular, have to take into consideration the religious dimension, and have done it to some extent. A body of positive law has already been developed for the protection of freedom of religion, and from religion, by the United Nations and regional and specialized organizations.

The first edition of this book appeared six years ago, in coincidence with the 25th anniversary of the 1981 United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion of Belief. It discussed the legal meaning of religion and belief, the United Nations work in this respect, religious minorities, relevant regional and special arrangements, the issue of proselytism, religion and terrorism, religious symbols, international criminal law, and some particular cases such as the state and religious communities in Israel, and this country’s agreement with the Holy See.

This second edition of the book updates the information on relevant developments that took place in the time elapsed. and incorporates several new chapters on important issues related to religious freedoms. Such are the chapters on freedom from religion, religion and freedom of association, religion and freedom of expression (including the controversy with respect of defamation of religions), and group rights and legal pluralism. The order of the chapters has been rearranged.

It is hoped that law and political science schools, human rights associations and scholars, as well as governments and bodies active in the area of religious freedoms, will find interest in this second, revised and considerably enlarged, edition.