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Author: Bhimraj M


The reconceptualisation of caste discrimination as racial discrimination through the term ‘descent’ in Article 1 of icerd enabled the international community to take cognisance of caste discrimination, which it had ignored for a long time. However, the government of India, opposing such reconceptualisation, maintains that ‘descent’ in icerd refers only to race and not caste, contrary to the position of UN human rights bodies. Hence, whether ‘descent’ includes ‘caste’ is an important hermeneutical question addressed in this article. Based on the distinction between interpretation and application of a treaty, this article argues that India has accepted the application of icerd to caste discrimination through its conduct and it cannot deny it now according to the principle of estoppel. This article then demonstrates the dynamic interpretation of ‘descent’, justifying it through the consensus analysis methodology of the ECtHR. Moreover, it is found that ‘descent’ was associated with ‘caste’ in British India.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights


The Rohingya community in Myanmar has been the subject of persecution and violent attacks that have forced them to flee the country and to take refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh several times in history. The latest wave of conflict-led displacement in August 2017 forced nearly a million Rohingya ethnic minorities to take refuge in Bangladesh. However, this time, a small number of Hindu Rohingya refugees also arrived in the refugee camps of Bangladesh. As they are small in number and considered insignificant by the international community, the attention on them has long been minimal. This study constitutes an exploratory research endeavour using qualitative research methodologies. It aims to reveal the main reasons behind their exodus, migration journey and refugee life in Bangladesh.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Section 235 of the Constitution of South Africa contains a promise of potential self-determination of language and cultural communities. An essential question arising from this promise is how an individual’s freedom of association interacts with the ability of a community to determine its membership. This article reflects on this question with reference to standards developed in international law and practices in the constitutional law of selected case studies. Whereas international law sets a universal standard of free association, states have developed practices whereby the individual’s right to free association is recognised, but where there are also some measures allowed to ensure that an individual is indeed accepted by and part of the community. Any conflicts that arise are, generally speaking, subject to a form of judicial review.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Author: Mohit Gupta

The Convention on Biological Diversity (cbd) was adopted in 1992. This Convention had three major objectives: conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its component, and access and benefit sharing of biological resources arising out of their utilisation. The Nagoya Protocol to the cbd was adopted in 2010 for the fulfilment of the third objective of the cbd, access and benefit sharing. Article 7 of the Nagoya Protocol imposes an obligation on states parties to ensure that “prior and informed consent or approval or involvement” of the indigenous and local communities is taken before their knowledge is accessed. The present study first analyses the contents of Article 7 of the Nagoya Protocol. It will throw light on the meaning of the phrase “prior and informed consent or approval and involvement” as used in Article 7. It then highlights the implementation of Article 7 by two states parties, namely, India and Bhutan.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

There are worrying signs of rising intolerance towards Muslim immigrants in the majority of European societies. We use data from the 2014/2015 wave of European Social Survey to analyse negative attitudes toward Muslim immigrants in France, Norway, Poland and the Czech Republic. Results of the analyses reveal that both levels and determinants of the anti-Muslim attitudes vary greatly. The levels are highest in Czech Republic and Poland, the two countries that have a very low Muslim population. Nevertheless, contact with immigrants reduces hostility toward Muslims also in these two countries. We find that theoretical approaches commonly used in studies of anti-immigrant attitudes are better suited to explain negative attitudes in Western European than in Eastern European countries. We argue that future research on hostility toward immigrants in Europe should focus more on Eastern European countries, as attitudes toward immigrants in several of these are worryingly negative.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Practical and Theoretical Challenges to 21st Century Federalism
Beyond Autonomy forces us to rethink the meaning of autonomy as a central organising pillar of federalism. Can federations exist beyond the autonomy realm designed to promote territorial self-governance and direct representation among various levels of government? How do governments of federal systems interact over the design and implementation of policy in highly topical areas such as security, where the optimal distribution of authority is blurred? Which mechanisms promote the compromise necessary in many of today’s democratic federal systems? How do newly emerging federations in Africa and Asia design federal institutions in order to decrease conflict while promoting national solidarity? How can federal systems protect the rights of non-territorial minorities such as many indigenous peoples?
Volume Editors: Terressa A. Benz and Graham Cassano
This volume places the Flint, Michigan, water contamination disaster in the context of a broader crisis of neoliberal governance in the United States. Authors from a range of disciplines (including sociology, criminal justice, anthropology, history, communications, and jurisprudence) examine the failures in Flint, but with an emphasis upon comparison, calling attention to similar trajectories for cities like Detroit and Pontiac, in Michigan, and Stockton, in California. While the studies collected here emphasize policy failures, class conflict, and racial oppression, they also attend to the resistance undertaken by Flint residents, Michiganders, and U.S. activists, as they fought for environmental and social justice.

Contributors include: Terressa A. Benz, Jon Carroll, Graham Cassano, Daniel J. Clark, Katrinell M. Davis, Michael Doan, David Fasenfest, A.E. Garrison, Peter J. Hammer, Ami Harbin, Shea Howell, Jacob Lederman, Raoul S. Lievanos, Benjamin J. Pauli, and Julie Sze.
This is the first book, written in English, that includes the most significant opinions of Judge Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque (European Court of Human Rights). Judge Pinto de Albuquerque was the Vice-president of Section IV and President of the Committee on the Rules of the Court. As Full Professor at the Faculty of Law of the Catholic University of Lisbon, he has published, inter alia, fifteen books in different languages and more than fifty journal articles.

Since his appointment as a Judge in Strasbourg, Professor Pinto de Albuquerque has authored more than 150 opinions that have significantly contributed to the development of international human rights law. The Judge’s decisions are regularly cited by academic scholars and practitioners in human rights law, public international law, criminal law, migration law, and refugee law.
Author: Richard Potz
Series Editor: Jørgen S. Nielsen
This volume of Annotated Legal Documents on Islam in Europe covers Austria and consists of an annotated collection of legal documents affecting the status of Islam and Muslims. The legal texts are published in the original German language while the annotations and supporting material are in English. By legal documents are meant the texts of legislation, including relevant secondary legislation, as well as significant court decisions. Each legal text is preceded by an introduction describing the historical, political and legal circumstances of its adoption, plus a short paragraph summarising its content. The focus of the collection is on the religious dimensions of being Muslim in Europe, i.e. on individuals' access to practise their religious obligations and on the ability to organise and manifest their religious life.