International Human Rights Law and Diplomacy
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International Human Rights Law and Diplomacy

Kriangsak Kittichaisaree

This incisive book provides an unparalleled insight into the ways in which international human rights law functions in a real world context across cultural, religious and geopolitical divides. Written by a professor, former ambassador and international judge, the book demonstrates how power, diplomacy, tactics and processes operate within the human rights system from the perspective of a non-Western insider with more than three decades’ experience in the field.
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Chapter 7: Universalization of internationa lhuman rights norms: reassessment

Kriangsak Kittichaisaree

Abstract

One popular suggestion to reconcile different human rights perspectives is to apply the doctrine of margin of appreciation utilized by the European Court of Human Rights. A more realistic and feasible solution is to accept that religious relativism in human rights may be justifiable only where the act inimical to human rights is not a mere tradition or custom not prescribed by the actor’s religion. For example, female genital mutilation and child marriage can be terminated without violating any religious norm. Blasphemy of Islam and apostasy must also be considered in the light of the latest developments. Whenever a government invokes human rights relativism, it must prove how its non-compliance is determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and general welfare in a democratic society.

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