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M. Joel Voss

Abstract

There is general agreement that families are considered an important building block of society. However, in international fora, there is significant disagreement about what constitutes family. This article discusses the development of the Protection of the Family initiative at the UN’s primary human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council. This article uses Protection of the Family resolutions at the Council to build upon theories of norm contestation in international relations and international law. Elite-level interviews and participant observation of Council meetings on the four Protection of the Family resolutions adopted at the Council show that both advocates and opponents of Protection of the Family argue that their positions adhere to universal rights and prior law while their opponents are revisionist. In addition, the article illustrates a series of new strategies adopted by advocates of Protection of the Family that may be used in other resolutions to advance human rights agendas.

Jayeel Cornelio and Robbin Charles M. Dagle

Abstract

This article spells out the ways in which religious freedom has been deployed against proponents of same-sex marriage and gender equality in the Philippines. While the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and allies have appealed to religious freedom to gain equal rights under the law, conservative Christian entities have fought back by invoking the same notion. They have appropriated religious freedom, which has historically been interpreted by the courts in favour of individual liberties, to defend majoritarian values surrounding sexuality. This article describes this move as the weaponisation of religious freedom in defence of the dominant religion and an assumed majority of Filipinos whose moral sensibilities are purportedly under attack. Towards the end, the article relates this weaponisation to the experience of the Catholic Church in the contemporary public sphere and the militant character of Christianity that continues to view the Philippines as a Christian nation.

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Lyu Ning and Wang Xigen

Abstract

Coordinated regional development is a protracted, complex and arduous process. Its route choice relying on the legalization of its process and the authorization of its development patterns. Therefore, the realization of a regional development right requires a strong guarantee of the legal system. The construction of this legal system first needs clarification of some basic principles in order to provide guidance for making relevant laws. These include four main principles: interest balancing principle, the principle of social justice, the principle of double standards, and the power active principle.

China’s Theoretical Innovation and Practical Contribution to the Right to Development

In Commemoration of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development

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Wang Xigen

Abstract

The power of discourse over the right to development is the basis for value consensus and practical effect of the right to development. Over the three decades since the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development, China has developed an innovative discourse system for the right to development and the practices for this right, and contributed a series of original concepts, new propositions and new ideas to this right, which may be generally summarized as ten major aspects: in terms of orientation, the right to development is taken as a primary fundamental human right; in terms of nature, the right to development is an essential requirement of socialism; in terms of strategy, the right to development is implemented by the strategy that “development is the primary task”, “development is the top priority”; in terms of content, the right to development is integrated into the comprehensive process of construction of economy, politics, culture, society and ecological conservation; in terms of concept, people’s equal rights to participation and development have been proposed by the Chinese government; in terms of principle, people-centered orientation of development is the core principle to guide the practice of the right to development; in terms of steps, the right to development has been put into the context of the “Chinese dream” for the great revitalization of the Chinese nation; in terms of focus, the right to development can be implemented by distributive justice especially a fair social security and wealth distribution system; in terms of methodology, the rule of law is a compulsory measure to promote the right to development; in terms of ideas, we should guide the right to development by an innovative, coordinated, environmentally friendly, open and sharing outlook on development.

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Zhu Liyu

Abstract

As a global jurisprudential movement rooted in the US policy circle and legal academia, there is growing evidence that law and development in the 21st century is beginning to transform from a “movement” to a “field”. The main purpose of this chapter is to elaborate on four sub-fields of today’s law and development. As an applied field, aid-funded law and development policy is a by-product of the Western rule of law promotional industry and aims at exporting rule of law assistance programs to recipient countries. As a scholarly field, the intellectual styles of the law and development movement consist of mixed characteristics of policy action, scholarly autonomy, theoretical construction and scientific inquiry. As an academic field, interdisciplinary-based law and development studies encompass a wide range of subtopics relating to the issues of economic, political and social development from both macro and micro perspectives. As a scientific field, fact-based law and development research involves the legal indicators movement, the rule of law assessment movement and the diffusion of legal knowledge. The key purpose of this chapter is to appeal to law and development scholars in the Global South to join hands and make efforts to explore context-sensitive local legal knowledge, by first concentrating on the new right to development under the policy support of UN post-2015 Development Agenda.

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Tom Zwart

Abstract

As the first successful joint action undertaken by the Global South at the international level in the area of human rights, the Declaration on the Right to Development can serve as a source of inspiration for drafting a Comprehensive Southern Vision on Human Rights. The drafters will have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (udhr) to fall back on. The udhr is a “people’s charter” aimed at applying human rights in people-to-people relations. As a combination of different world views, it is meant to appeal to people from different backgrounds. It includes multiple human rights approaches, including community-oriented ones, and calls for relying on the local political, social and cultural context. It allows rights to be implemented through formal as well as social institutions, and puts duties on a par with rights. The following elements could be included in the document: the need to rely on culture, customary law, and morality; the need to respect subsidiarity and non-interference; the importance of collective rights; the recognition that the right to subsistence and development are paramount rights; the acknowledgement that rights and duties complement each other; and the acceptance that human rights need to be implemented within their local political, social and cultural context.

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Sumudu Atapattu and Shyami Puvimanasinghe

Abstract

This chapter surveys salient aspects of the practical implementation of sustainable development. It provides some guidance from the ground up, through lessons from South Asia, in particular, public interest litigation in cases concerning economic development, environmental protection and social development, including human rights. The chapter traces the evolution of the concept of sustainable development, culminating in the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (sdgs), and its intrinsic links with international environmental law including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Against the backdrop of the larger picture of public international law, the chapter provides practical illustrations of case law from South Asia (especially India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, with a particular focus on Sri Lanka) wherein judiciaries also engaged in defining sustainable development, giving it practical meaning and tools to achieve it on the ground. The chapter points to examples of a vibrant body of jurisprudence catalyzed by public interest litigation in cases combining human rights, environmental and developmental issues. These could provide good practices in the pursuit of the sdgs, and of sustainable development more generally. The chapter analyzes lawsuits moved by civil society action combined with strategies of innovation by the legal profession, and a certain degree of judicial activism, which could help bring about progressive development in the integration of human rights, environmental and development issues on the ground.

Implementation of the Right to Development by Optimizing wto Regulations

From the Perspective of the Doha Development Agenda

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Wang Bei

Abstract

Human rights and development have become two significant topics in today’s world. The 2001 Doha Ministerial Conference recognized the crucial role of special and differential treatment provided for promoting the development of developing countries, especially least-developed countries. The provisions related to special and differential treatment scattered in wto agreements, however, are not without shortcomings that can severely impede the achievement of equal development as well as economic rights. The three defects—lack of precision, effectiveness and operability—have been identified in paragraph 44 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration. This chapter will evaluate the current regulations related to special and differential treatment in the wto from these three perspectives via empirical and value analysis methods. Apparently, amending the current provisions is the most direct way to address the problems. Even though it is very difficult to meet the consensus requirement stipulated in Article X of the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization considering the present international relationship, the method of amendment should not be neglected and given up on. While efforts are made to reach consensus toward amendment, some alternative approaches can be utilized in the short term. Both the Dispute Settlement Body and arbitrators should consider the interests and difficulties of less-developed countries when giving authoritative interpretation of the provisions guided by Article 3.2 of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes. Moreover, improving the Monitoring Mechanism set forth during the Bali Ministerial Conference will alleviate the problem regarding poor implementation. All solutions to the problems above should be based on the theoretical consensus about the asymmetrical justice between developed and less-developed countries.