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Ellen Desmet

This chapter discusses methodological approaches developed in order to study human rights law integration and fragmentation from a users’ perspective. To study human rights norms in an integrated way, three methodologies are presented and compared: relational and inclusive case law analysis, rewriting (quasi-)judicial decisions from an integrated perspective on human rights norms, and analysing interactions between different branches of human rights law and general human rights law. In order to arrive at an inclusive approach to rights holders, two methodologies are put forward, namely relational and inclusive case law analysis, and a case-based approach to human rights violations. Thereinafter, the chapter analyses some methodological refinements made in the study of users’ perspectives. The study of human rights law as an integrated whole from a users’ perspective seems characterised by three common features: cross-thinking (understood as thinking across established boundaries both within human rights law and between disciplines), a focus on impact and effectiveness, and an inclination towards collaborative research. Finally, the relevance of adopting an integrated approach and/or a users’ perspective beyond human rights law is argued for and illustrated.

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Saïla Ouald-Chaib

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Edited by Eva Brems and Saïla Ouald-Chaib

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Edited by Mary Crock and Lenni B. Benson

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Mary Crock and Lenni B. Benson

In this introductory chapter we identify themes that will be carried throughout the book. We begin in section 2 with a discussion of the human rights challenges presented by children on the move, posing questions that our contributors will address as they build on the themes we identify. This is followed by an examination of obstacles that have been created to recognizing child migrants as rights bearers. After setting out in section 4 a brief outline of the book’s structure, the chapter concludes with some comments on global initiatives that have been made to address the challenges associated with mass migration, on the one hand, and of forced movement of refugees, on the other. We will argue that the uncertainty and risks facing the world in the new millennium certainly constitute problems – but they also offer opportunities for positive change. Four foundational principles inform our discussion of how states should respond to children on the move. The first is that childhood is unique in that the status of being a child is transitory and (absent disabilities) the capacities of children evolve as children age. Second, it follows that children require special protection and assistance, most particularly in their younger and adolescent years, if they are to develop and thrive. The third point is that procedural accommodations should be made for children in recognition of the physical and cognitive stages of their development. The fourth and final principle both flows from and unites the three that precede it. It is that the treatment of child migrants matters because it has long-term consequences – both for the children themselves and for their host communities.

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Edited by Mary Crock and Lenni B. Benson

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Cordelia Christiane Bähr, Ursula Brunner, Kristin Casper and Sandra H Lustig

As older women are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, a group of senior women in Switzerland founded the association KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz (Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland) in order to fight for ambitious climate action by legally challenging the Swiss government's inadequate climate policies and mitigation measures. The KlimaSeniorinnen filed a legal request with the authorities, claiming that the Swiss authorities are failing to fulfil their duty to protect them as required by the Swiss Constitution and by the European Convention on Human Rights. This article provides a detailed analysis of the KlimaSeniorinnen case within the context of climate litigation worldwide. It argues that the case's human rights arguments, which are grounded in climate science, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Paris Agreement, environmental principles and international law, are generally transferable to almost any country. Therefore, vulnerable individuals and groups can learn from the KlimaSeniorinnen litigation that there are strong legal grounds to bring human-rights-based climate lawsuits against governments and thus governments should expect more litigation if their climate actions or omissions contravene international law and violate constitutional principles.

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Edited by Evadne Grant

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Irene Watson

Colonialism has challenged Aboriginal obligations and relationships to the natural world. This article describes the efforts of First Nations on the continent now known as Australia to maintain their authority and existences in the face of neoliberalism and colonialism, which the British initially inflicted and under which we still survive. The colonial policies of Australia denied our existence and at the same time attempted to demolish our languages and cultures, and to assimilate the consequences. This article asks the questions: what underpins state claims to the title to Aboriginal lands? Does Australia renounce terra nullius and the racist principles and beliefs which make up such a doctrine? And finally does Australia acknowledge and support all ‘Peoples’ as having an inherent right to self-determination, and as a component of such a right, that all ‘Peoples’ have a right to collectively care for their country and to benefit from a relationship to the land which sustains future generations of all Peoples? The possibility of a future for all life forms on earth lies in the responses states might deliver to these questions.

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Robin Wilson