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Ratna Kapur

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Nils A. Butenschøn

Presenting main academic discourses on Israel as an ‘ethnic’ state, ‘democratic’ state, and ‘Jewish’ state, Nils Butenschøn maintains that whereas the legal and institutional fabric of the State of Israel is ethnocratic in distribution of rights and resources, the state itself, just like Palestine, is still a state in the making, an unfinished state. He argues that the citizenship approach is sufficiently open in its theoretical orientation and precise enough as an analytical tool to capture the complexities of Israel as a state formation, and yet identify the distinct challenges this state poses in its relations with the various demographic groups that have claims to the territories under its current rule or control. The nature of these challenges can only be fully comprehended with a view to the extent, content, and depth of citizenship as premised by Zionism, the state ideology, and the historic conditions of the unfolding Palestine conflict.

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Edited by Nils A. Butenschøn and Roel Meijer

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Chiara Amalfitano

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Chiara Amalfitano

Chapter 1 examines the current system of fundamental rights protection in the European Union in light of Article 6 TEU, as reformed by the Lisbon Treaty. It analyses the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the general principles of EU law concerning fundamental rights, as well as the legal basis for the Union’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In particular, it investigates the assessment methods and elaboration techniques used by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to affirm the existence of general principles on the protection of fundamental rights and tackles the legal and political impasse following Opinion 2/13. Based on the premise that accession is not indispensable, it examines a few alternatives to accession capable of improving the dialogue between the ECJ and the European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR), thus securing that, even if accession does not occur, the EU and ECHR systems will continue to coexist virtuously. Keywords: Article 6 TEU; Fundamental Rights Protection in the EU; General Principles on the Protection of Fundamental Rights; Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; European Convention on Human Rights

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Edited by Ed Couzens, Tim Stephens and Saiful Karim

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Evan Hamman

The aim of this article is better to understand the relationship Japanese people have with birdlife, wetlands and environmental law. The article uses a case study of the Japanese ‘red-crowned’ crane (the tancho) and Ramsar sites in Eastern Hokkaido to examine Japan's environmental governance systems and actors and the extent to which they utilize the principle of public participation. The topic is significant because of the urgency with which wetlands and birdlife are being lost in East Asia and the impacts such loss will have on communities and national identity. The observations in this article have relevance for neighbouring Asian countries like China and Korea, both of which have their own cultural perceptions and legal protections to consider.

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Abdullah Saeed

Is there a basis for human rights in Islam? Beginning with an exploration of what rights are and how the human rights discourse developed, Abdullah Saeed explores the resources that exist within Islamic tradition that are compatible with international human rights law and that can be garnered to promote and protect human rights in Muslim-majority states. A number of rights are given specific focus, including the rights of women and children, freedom of expression and religion and jihad and the laws of war. He concludes that there is a need for Muslims to rethink problematic areas of Islamic thought that are difficult to reconcile with contemporary conceptions of human rights.

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Abdullah Saeed

Those who argue for an Islamic conception of human rights agree that it is essential for a connection to be made between international human rights law and Islamic values if human rights are to gain widespread acceptance among Muslims. This chapter outlines the most important Islamic textual sources of authority and legal tools that can be used in this endeavour.