• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


HOW FAR IS THE IDEA OF UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS AN ILLUSION? The modern notion of human rights was born in the direct aftermath of World War II. It is indeed with the discovery of the atrocities committed by the Nazi forces that a strong "Never Again" political stream arose in the international community, culminating with the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights. Since that day, human rights have been established as a major and legitimate focus of international attention. In the half century since, hundreds of universal, regional or national agreements governing human rights issues have arisen. Yet, in the meantime, major breaches of human rights have been witnessed from South America (Chile, Argentina) to Far East Asia (North Korea, China) on what appears to be a worldwide scale. Even more frightening is the constatation that these breaches are often committed in or by states that are parties to one or more treaties on Human Rights. Such a situation could have been understood in the light of the statu quo existing during the Cold War, when the ideological division of the world was the first concern. But as stated by Farer & Gaer: In the wake of the Cold War the UN has finally become an agent for democratisation and minority protection. ...read more.


Some solutions to the problem have already been found particularly with the growing influence of some effective regional agreements (the European Convention on Human Rights for example), the growing influence of the non governmental organizations (Amnesty International, Doctors without Borders) and the already quoted trials of war criminals from Kosovo and Rwanda. Nevertheless, these examples are exceptions in a world where Human Rights are hardly enforced. US ambassador Morris Abram once described the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the idea of Human Rights as little more than an empty vessel into which vague hopes and inchoate expectations can be poured, a dangerous incitement, and even preposterous. With as much disregard but much more objectivism, the soviet delegate Andrei Vyshinsky used to say the Universal declaration was a letter to Santa Claus. Neither Nature, experience, nor probability informs these lists of entitlements, which are subjects to no constraint except those of the mind and appetite of their authors[3]. Indeed, reports routinely pinpoint the promoters of Human Rights as perpetrators of consequent violations of those rights. Yet, there is no Human Rights enforcement system apart from the great powers, decisively the USA. Being judges and parties, these powers do little to comply with the international standards of Human rights in their behaviour. ...read more.


To conclude with, one must reckon that la raison dtat (the political imperatives) is too often interfering with the possibility of enforcing Human Rights. This fact is to be regretted for those rights which have priority over other rights may have an extensive core which is inviolable even in state of emergency[5]. Nevertheless, a practical example of Human Rights enforcement is to be found in the European experience. On this model, observers are often recommending the three following way of enforcing Human Rights: Customary international law based on protection established through the UN Charter, universal treaty regimes collectively called the International Bill of Rights in some part reliant on enforcement by UN organs, increasing of the influence of regional treaties as the ECHR.[6] ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 25/05/2007 [1] Karl Meyer, enforcing human rights, in www.worldpolicy.com. [2] Oona Hathaway, Global Legal Information & Human Rights in the 21st Century, in www.worldpolicy.com [3] Both quoted by Noam Chomsky in Rogue States, Pluto press, 2000, chapter 9, p. 112-113. [4] Steven Donziger, The real war on crime: The report of the National Criminal Justice Commission, HarperCollins, 1996. [5] Tom Campbell, Realizing Human Rights in Human Rights: from rhetoric to reality, Blackwell, 1986, p.11. [6] www.udhr.org ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Jurisprudence section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Jurisprudence essays

  1. Human Rights

    Indeed, there was at the time a strong reaction against the idea of a global conflict taking place 20 years only after the devastating World War I. But whether recent or old, the concept of Human Rights has been developed in a world dominated by the occident and its civilization

  2. 'Martin Luther King played the major role in the Civil Rights Movement 1955-68. Without ...

    ('The cause of twenty million Negroes has been advanced by the program conducted so appropriately before the nation's shrine to the Great Emancipator')-President Kennedy on Martin Luther King King achieved his Voting Rights Bill by organising marches through Washington and also trying to keep his non violent tactics even though Malcolm X, an individual who favoured violence, was getting involved.

  1. Universal conceptions of human rights should supersede culturally relative conceptions. Discuss. Assess the effectiveness ...

    the rights of others, primarily by causing harm to them or their property. His right to liberty is a negative right, that is, your right not to have others interfere with you when you are not interfering with them. An individual's right to property is the right to acquire unwanted

  2. Does the law on terrorism reflect a tendency in the UK to pass authoritarian ...

    the time, the concern was made greater by the inexistence of a Bill of Rights), that the respect of the human dignity of prisoners is ignored (the extended powers give greater opportunities to police abuses like torture) and that instead of having a deterrent effect, these set of laws can

  1. Beneficial joint tenants and the protection of purchasers: An unsolved problem

    The wording of standard forms of restriction is set out in Sch.4 of the draft Land Registration Rules 2003. The appropriate one in this case would be Form A: "No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation)

  2. How have law and international institutions sought to promote human rights globally? To what ...

    It appears to be moving away from being premised on a system of sovereign states towards the development of a common law for a world community of individuals. This process is continuing, most notably with recent multilateral declarations and conventions on human rights.

  1. Essay on how judges decide cases

    that the unsuccessful party would find himself bound by a law that did not exist prior to the case coming before the courts. In order to illustrate what he means by interpretation Dworkin uses the metaphor of the chain novel in which the judges assume the roles of the consecutive co-authors.

  2. Perhaps the most pertinent issue regarding the justification of torture is the ongoing and ...

    Either way, the implications of the usage of such methods that are intended to subject a suspect to relinquish information without being willing can be considered generally inappropriate. However, in saying this, if governments were to possess such a drug that would allow interrogation to proceed without any effects on

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work