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Abstract

This article examines the origins and contemporary materialisation of the provisions designating a definitional role to the Islamic religion and a supreme role to the Sharia within the constitutional frameworks of Arab nation states. In doing so, the article will examine the historical emergence of Islamic law as well as the historical formation of modern Arab nation states, prior to examining the continued modern manifestations of the Islamic religion and Islamic law within Arab constitutions and the relationship of such constitutional provisions to international law. This paper will show the way in which a decentralised Sharia adopted in autonomous territories was transformed into a centralised constitutional system through the emergence of a nation-state system in the Arab world. Within this context, and considering the role of European influence in the introduction of constitutional documents, the presence of Islamic religion and Sharia was retained within the centralised constitutional documents of the ‘new’ Arab nation states as a form of retaining Arab identity. In the context of common affronts to Islamic doctrines and the rapidly-changing landscape of the Arab world, the article also briefly addresses modern manifestations of Islamic law in constitutions and asserts that such constitutions do not affront nor contradict the role of international law within Arab states. Accordingly, this article will (1) firstly, examine the historical background of the emergence of Islam and Arab State formation, exploring the historical and theoretical bases of Islam in Arab constitutions as being inextricably linked to Arab identity; (2) secondly, address the way in which the Islamic religion and Islamic law are embodied in the modern constitutions of Arab states; and, (3) thirdly, inquire as to the relationship between such constitutional provisions and the role of international law within the constitutional legal systems of Arab states. 


In: The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
Author: Nazir Afzal

Abstract

Unless we are able to significantly increase the capacity and capability of wider civic society to tackle extremism, the effectiveness of current strategies will be limited. There is an important role for government in supporting and developing projects within the civic space, but it is a partner that brings baggage that is not always helpful. Currently the lack of expertise and experience in wider civic society is not being exploited through a lack of clarity of role and understanding of the nature of this problem. In particular Muslim civic organizations lack capacity and capability to make the necessary impact. The tools and techniques of extremists are well developed and well resourced. Com­munity led work can develop programmes which can utilize some of these tools, but will need to draw substantial funding from outside of government over a sustained period of time, if it is to be successful.


In: The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
In: Shielding Humanity
In: Mass Atrocities, Risk and Resilience
In: First Do No Harm: Medical Ethics in International Humanitarian Law
Author: Eunwon Yi

Abstract

Over the past two decades, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has started to take action to promote human rights. This shows that the DPRK authorities have accepted the idea of human rights, at least in principle. In addition, the DPRK government, which has ratified several human rights conventions, including two International Covenants, argues that it continues efforts to ensure the enjoyment of human rights. More recently, a distinctive change has also been shown in the field of human rights, especially through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). In this review, despite downsides to the human rights situation in the DPRK, the government actively involved itself in the discussions on the DPRK’s human rights issues. The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK, Marzuki Darusman, welcomed the proactive approach to the UPR process by the government in his report to the General Assembly. However, this language also suggests that the government has started to make a diplomatic row over human rights. Therefore, there are not only positive but also negative aspects to its human rights performance. Furthermore, an important point to remember is that the situation of human rights in the DPRK is such that not all human rights are fully guaranteed as claimed by the government. Bearing in mind that the regime is committing serious human rights violations, this paper aims to identify the DPRK’s international human rights policies and to clarify problems encountered in the UN human rights mechanisms by focusing especially on the second UPR of the DPRK.


In: The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
In: First Do No Harm: Medical Ethics in International Humanitarian Law
In: Shielding Humanity

Abstract

The article aims at analyzing the ongoing process of incorporating international law into the Palestinian law. The research stems from the effects of the atypical nature of the process, since there aren’t explicit references in the Palestinian statutes of automatic permanent or ad hoc adaptation mechanisms, nor to the standing of international standards as domestic laws. In recent years, Palestinian law evolved significantly and seemed to be functional in the perspective of establishing a legally constituted state. A key role in this process has been played by the United Nations that recognized Palestine as an observer non-member state. This political measure positively influenced the controversial recognition of Palestine as a state, while in 2014 enhanced the Palestinian authorities’ willingness to ratify fifty-five international conventions related to the protection of human rights and international humanitarian law. In order to finalize the ratification process, Palestinian authorities have encouraged the interplay between international law and domestic law. This strengthened all institutions working in the justice-related field as well as provided Palestinians with the right to enjoy their fundamental rights. In addition, a recent evolution that occurred in the Palestinian constitutional tradition, the establishment of the first Supreme Constitutional Court in Palestine, drew the need to adapt the internal legislation – above all the rules regulating the treatment of detainees – to the international conventions ratified. Nevertheless, the analysis converges on the controversial effects of the relationship between domestic and international law because of the sui generis constitutional tradition in Palestine, where the role of Con­stitution shall be performed by the Basic Law. However, Basic Law doesn’t provide for adaptation mechanisms, while the Ministry of Justice, the Council of Ministers and the President’s Office, which are respectively a technical and two political bodies, play the legislative function instead of the Parliament itself.


In: The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
In: Shielding Humanity