Edited by Paul Nihoul and Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel
Agustín Ruiz Robledo
This article analyses the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) doctrine on the right to free elections established in Article 3 of Protocol 1. What was initially a state obligation to hold elections eventually evolved into a genuine subjective right. The article aims to spell out the precise content of the right to free elections in Europe as stipulated by the ECtHR.
In recent years the question of the lawfulness of economic activities in occupied territories has emerged as a matter of significant debate in international law. A number of non-governmental organizations and scholars maintain that international law prohibits economic relations with occupying states and this extends to territories under their control. Still, the legal framework governing the lawfulness of such relations remains unclear. In light of this, the present contribution aims to explore the lawfulness, under international law, of economic dealings by third party private actors in territories under prolonged occupation. It is argued that, since corporations are not direct holders of international law obligations, the duties of non-recognition and non-assistance do not extend to their activities. Similarly, it is shown that the development of a law of individual criminal responsibility in international law has not yet been accompanied by a regime of corporate criminal responsibility, thereby affirming the absence of any formal international normative dimension of transnational corporate activity. In the light of the inadequacy of traditional legal instruments to regulate corporate activity in occupied territories, the article finally turns to one of the main soft-law instruments governing such activity, namely the 2011 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The article provides some concrete examples of how the UNGPs have been successful in dissuading companies from carrying out economic activities in the occupied Palestinian territories and in the occupied Western Sahara. The main argument advanced here is that, in the absence of a hard regulatory framework governing corporate activities, soft-law instruments, such as the UNGPs, show great potential in bringing about a change of corporate conduct towards occupied territories. More fundamentally, this practice will hopefully lead to the adoption of a hard instrument on the topic.
Edited by Richard Clements, Ya Lan Chang, Kaara Martinez and Patrick Simon Perillo
Tania Penovic and Ronli Sifris
International civil society has played a key role in shaping the international consensus which has facilitated the normative expansion of international law to accommodate abuses experienced by women. We examine this process of ‘feminisation’ with reference to the extent to which international law has accommodated women's lived experiences of violence and their struggle to secure the means to control their own fertility through access to reproductive health services, including abortion. While the movement to recognise violence against women as a human rights issue has garnered substantial support, the efforts of women's groups to advance consensus around reproductive rights, and particularly the right of safe access to abortion, have been highly contested. Conservative religious actors have mobilised to obstruct consensus at the international level and taken direct action at the local level to impede access to abortions. This direct action will be examined through a case study drawing on empirical research conducted in Australia. We will examine the activities of anti-abortion protest groups, their impact on the rights of others and the effectiveness of legislation put in place to restrict these activities within the radius of designated geographic zones. The consistency of these legislative regimes with international norms is evaluated within the framework of feminisation of international law.