An Introduction to International Human Rights Law


This book is designed to provide an overview of the development and substance of international human rights law, and what is meant concretely by human rights guarantees, such as civil and political rights, and economic and social rights. It highlights the rights of women, globalization and human rights education. The book also explores domestic, regional and international endeavors to protect human rights. The history and role of human rights NGOs coupled with an analysis of diverse international mechanisms are succinctly woven into the text, which well reflects the scholarship and erudition of the authors. This lucidly written and timely volume will be of great help to anyone seeking to understand this area of law, be they students, lawyers, scholars, government officials, staff of international and non-international organizations, human rights activists or lay readers.

Originally published in hardcover.
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EUR €124.00USD $154.00

Biographical Note

Azizur Rahman Chowdhury is Professor in the Department of Law, Dhaka University. He has published many research articles. He has authored and co-edited a number of works on human rights, humanitarian law, commercial law and constitutional law.

Md. Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan teaches law in the Department of Law, ASA University Bangladesh. During his higher studies in Belgium he gained experience in legal practice with the lawyers of European countries. He is co-editor of International Humanitarian Law – An Anthology (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2009).

Review Quotes

"The book is highly informative and thought-provocative."
Professor Dr Tareq M R Chowdhury, August 2011.

"The collection under review is a welcome addition to the already massive body of literature on the protection of human rights under international law. The essays provide a useful introduction to the main issues of that arise in this area of international law. The collection also offers a fascinating African perspective on the promotion and protection of human rights under international law. The chapters of globalisation, NGOs and human rights education, in particular, are illuminating and include useful bibliographic references that provide an excellent basis for further research."
Anthony E Cassimatis, LAWASIA Journal, 2011, pp. 135-142.

Table of contents

List of Contributors
Introduction Progressive Nuances in International Human Rights Paradigm

1. The Historical Development of International Human Rights, Michelo Hansungule
1. Introduction
2. Some Historical Perspectives on Human Rights
3. Universal Rights
4. The European View
5. Human Rights as Moral Ideas in Diverse Societies, Religions, and Cultures
6. Africa
7. Middle East (Islamic World)
8. Asia
9. Post-War Developments
10. Conclusion

2. Civil and Political Rights, Joshua Castellino
1. Introduction
2. The Covenant
3. The Rights Package
4. Future Challenges

3. An Introduction to Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Overcoming the Constraints of Categorization through Implementation, Vinodh Jaichand
1. Introduction
2. Historical Development
3. Similarities and Differences in Content of ICCPR and ICESCR
4. The Norms and Enforcement
5. On Justiciability: An Example of the Protection of ESC Rights in a Region
6. On Justiciability: Domestic Enforcement
7. Conclusion

4. Women’s Rights in International Law, Mmatsie Mooki, Rita Ozoemana, Michelo Hansungule
1. Introduction
2. Recognition of Women’s Rights: United Nations Charter and the International Bill of Rights
3. Women’s Rights in other United Nations Convention
4. Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women
5. United Nations Groundbreaking Conferences
6. Violence Against Women
7. Conclusion

5. Globalization and Human Rights, Heli Askola
1. Introduction
2. Globalization
3. Economic Globalization and Human Rights
4. Political, Social and Cultural Globalization and Human Rights
5. Conclusion

6. Role of the UN in the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Elvira Domínguez-Redondo
1. Introduction
2. From Codification to Efficiency: The Different Phases of the Human Rights Discourse within the United Nations
3. Normative Development of the UN System of Protection and Promotion of Human Rights
4. “Charter-based” and “Treaty-based” Monitoring Mechanisms: Public Special Procedure and the Work of the Committees

7. Attributes of Successful Human Rights on-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) – Sixty Years After the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, George E. Edwards
1. Introduction
2. NGOs & Human Rights NGOs
3. Ten Characteristics of Successful Human Rights NGOs
4. NGO Self-Regulation Via Codes of Conduct and Ethics
5. Conclusion

8. Do States have an Obligation under International Law to Provide Human Rights Education?, Paula Gerber
1. Introduction
2. Human Rights Education (HRE) in International Law
3. Obstacles to the Realization of HRE
4. Conclusion

9. Application of International Standards of Human Rights Law at Domestic Level, Joshua Castellino
1. Introduction
2. The Codification of International Human Rights Standards as Law
3. Domestic Implementation of Rights: The ‘Engine Room’ of Universal Instruments of Human Rights
4. Conclusion

10. Role of Regional Human Rights Instruments in the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, Azizur Rahman Chowdhury, V. Seshaiah Shasthri, Md. Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan
1. Introduction
2. European Human Rights Treaties and Their Implementation
3. The Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, 1969
4. The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 1981
5. Concluding Remarks



Teachers, students, lawyers, judges, scholars, government officials, staff of international and non-international organizations, human rights activists and common readers.


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