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  • Author or Editor: Gaetano Pentassuglia x
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Set against previous stages of minority protection under international law, this book discusses the role of courts and court-like bodies – particularly in the Americas, Africa and Europe – in articulating and accommodating the interests and needs of ethno-cultural minority groups as part of the human rights discourse. Conceptually, it exposes different moments of intervention by such bodies involving the recognition of group existence or identity, the adjustment of human rights norms to accommodate the group’s perspectives, the establishment of processes designed to address the complexities resulting from competing claims, and the expansion of procedural avenues within litigation. The result is a fresh comparative – practical and theoretical – perspective on international jurisprudence as an emerging distinctive component in the complex history of the field.

Abstract

The identity of groups of an ethno-cultural variety has long fallen within the remit of international human rights law. In this context, discussions have been largely concerned with the legal status of groups and/or the nature of the legal right(s) in question. While acknowledging the importance of these dimensions, in this article I seek to provide an alternative account by discussing the continuities and discontinuities in articulating the very concept of group identity. I first examine the potential, limitations and eventual hybridity of human rights practice across the spectrum of minority/indigenous identities. Then, I critique a range of instabilities in human rights discourse relating to the idea of group identities, their personal scope and the role of international law. I argue that such instabilities do not merely mirror the ambivalent outlook of the relationship between human rights and group identities; they raise the broader question of whether there is a relatively more coherent way to capture the legitimacy of group claims. I conclude by pointing to the outer limits of identity claims, the understated interplay of sovereignty and inter-group diversity, and the need to unpack the reasons why certain groups merit protection in the way they do.

In: Populism, Memory and Minority Rights

In this article I explore the interface between theoretical accounts of the field, the overlapping dimensions of international legal categories in framing ethnocultural claims, as well as the impact of international legal practice, particularly human rights jurisprudence, on addressing those claims both on their own merits and within the wider context of human rights law. By doing so, I seek to provide a perspective on ethnocultural diversity in human rights discourse that is less concerned with issues of group status and right-holding and more interested in capturing complex overarching dimensions surrounding the field. I argue that looking at the nature and structure of claims is as important as discussing how to maximise protection for tightly construed classes of groups – universally and in the Arctic region. In this context, I also argue for a hybrid understanding of group protection that puts strains on rigid conceptual dichotomies between the individual and the group in human rights law.

In: The Yearbook of Polar Law Online

Large sectors of the Kurdish movement in Turkey have progressively come to discuss, develop and/or endorse models of so-called “democratic autonomy”. While there are several works in the field detailing and critiquing Turkey’s policies vis-à-vis the Kurds, the international legal dimension of the Kurdish democratic autonomy proposal in its own right has received far less attention to date. The present article seeks to fill this gap by reflecting upon the internal coherence and consistency of the democratic autonomy argument in light of international law standards and practice, with particular reference to internal self-determination in Turkey. I argue that any future settlement of the Kurdish question will require not only Turkey’s compliance with its own human rights obligations, but also the Kurdish movement’s ability to negotiate the accommodation of its aspirations in ways that are consistent with international human rights law.

Open Access
In: Nordic Journal of International Law
In: Ethno-Cultural Diversity and Human Rights
In: Ethno-Cultural Diversity and Human Rights
In: Ethno-Cultural Diversity and Human Rights
In: Ethno-Cultural Diversity and Human Rights