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With a Particular Emphasis on Developing Countries' Measures for Food Production and Distribution
A concise analysis of the relationship between patent rights and human rights is given in this book, focusing on the right to food. The UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights identified ‘apparent conflicts’ or ‘actual or potential conflicts’ between human rights and intellectual property rights. The TRIPS Agreement under the WTO Agreement and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights constitute the central treaties in the analysis. The book finds that the right to food and related human rights of the Covenant give important guidance when implementing intellectual property legislation and science policy in general. Moreover, the book does not find that the two treaties actually conflict. There are, however, concerns regarding the national implementation of the treaties.

Abstract

Social human rights are not held to belong to the category of jus cogens norms. At the same time these human rights protect vital matters, such as the right to adequate food, which obviously has a relationship to the right to life. On the other hand, the annexes to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement, which are binding on all WTO member States, has implied a shift from the old General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) to the WTO, from pure contractual treaties to more standard-setting treaties. The article seeks to analyse if the obligations erga omnes and the concept of 'multilateral obligations' are applicable to distinguish between human rights treaties on the one hand and WTO agreements on the other. The background of the analysis is also the work of the International Law Commission (ILC) Study Group on fragmentation of international law, finalised in 2006. The article finds that there is still uncertainty regarding the exact meaning of the term 'multilateral obligations'. Hence, other concepts such as 'absolute obligations' might be preferred in order to characterise human rights treaties, and hence implicitly acknowledge that treaties that protect vital matters may prevail over other treaties, based on the interests which are to be protected.

In: Nordic Journal of International Law

Abstract

The article reviews the food sovereignty concept, comparing it with the legally recognised human right to food. It is found that there are certain elements of Article 11(2) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which have not been properly emphasised in the context of food trade and new technologies in food production. The article argues in favour of strengthening the right to food approach when faced with these challenges. While acknowledging the mobilising potential that the concept food sovereignty has among civil society actors, it is nevertheless argued that the right to food is both more precise, has stronger support among states, and is on a much higher level with regard to legally binding obligations compared to the food sovereignty concept.

In: Nordic Journal of International Law

The article investigates the civic republicanism non-domination approach to freedom, which encompasses power asymmetries. This freedom approach differs from the neo-liberal freedom approach which is essentially about non-interference. Recent jurisprudence from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (iacthr) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights is analysed. It is found that the non-domination approach is a relevant approach in order to bridge the many gaps (participation/representation, accountability and protection) vulnerable communities depending upon harvesting of natural resources are struggling with. It is found that the free, prior and informed consent (fpic) requirement is not formally recognized in only one state’s legislation, the Philippines, specification of the less demanding free, prior and informed consultation is interpreted by the iacthr in a manner which is essentially corresponding to the fpic requirement.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

The growing interest in the role of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in promoting social development is welcome, but the article nevertheless questions the value of the broad term FBOs. The categorizations of FBOs do not bring adequate clarity. Four justifications for keeping the FBO term are analyzed: (i) highlighting the importance of religion and the size of FBOs; (ii) identifying characteristics of FBOs, specifically extensive networks and stronger local presence; (iii) surveillance of FBOs as potentially divisive actors; and (iv) necessary to map donations. Four justifications for scrapping the FBO term are also analyzed: (i) the term FBO might give connotations to religiously extremist movements – or to Western worldviews; (ii) the emphasis on the “devotedness” inherent in FBOs might directly and indirectly promote behavioral economics; (iii) both religion and FBOs might become “essentialized”; and (iv) research of FBOs is characterized by a lack of rigorous methodological, investigative approach.

In: Mission Studies