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Flashcards in International Human Rights Law Deck (24)
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What are human rights?

Fundamental rights and freedoms every human being is entitled to.
They are :
Non- discriminatory
Indivisible and interdependent
Inalienable- can't be taken away but may be restricted such as in prison
Universal- article 1 UDHR - all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights


Which 2 instruments did the UN general assembly adopt?

The Genocide Convention 1948:
Made genocide an international crime( both in peace and armed conflict)

UDHR 1948:
Endorsed universality and inalienability of HR.


A states legal obligation to human rights may be positive or negative- what does that mean?

Positive imposes a positive duty on state to protect an individuals rights( housing or education)

Negative- places restrictions on the state to ensure individuals rights( right to fair trial/ freedom of expression)


Can an individual only receive protection of human rights if they are a national of the country?

No, even if they are not a national they will benefit from the protection of human rights


What are non state actors?

They are not party to International human rights treaties- therefore they cannot breach them.
However, if a human right violation was committed by a private actor the state may be held liable for breach of human rights if it is shown to be linked to the state ( torture committed by govt official)
OR- state failed in its due diligence to protect violations against individuals.


What was the case linked to due diligence?

Gonzalez et all( cotton field) v Mexico, judgement, inter- American court of human rights series c no 205( 16 Nov 2009)
Mexico failed to adopt a policy to address violence against women.


Which rights are non derogable and where is it stated ?

Art 4 ICCPR 1966
Right to life,
Recognition of a person before law
Prohibition of torture
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Prohibition of slavery
Imprisonment merely on the grounds for failing a contractual obligation


What is jus cogent status?

Peremptory norm. A norm enjoying a higher status than treaty law or ordinary customary rules,
Such as prohibition of torture
Prohibition of slavery
Prohibition of genocide


What legal instrument prohibits torture?

The convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment 1984( cat)
United Nations.


Which case confined the jus cogens status of prohibition of torture?

Prosecutor v Furundzija( judgment ) IT -95-17/1-T ( 10 Dec 1998)


What case states that using torture to obtain a confession would be unreliable and the evidence could not be used in proceedings

A and Others v Secretary of State for Home Department[ 2005] UKHL 71


Although the rights highlighted in the UDHR are not binding, what two International Covenants derived from it?

The ICCPR 1966
The ICESCR 1966
Came into force in 1976


What three documents are referred to as the International Bill of Rights?

UDHR 1948
ICCPR 1966


Some treaties contain optional protocols- what does that mean?

They are created to supplement the content of a treaty ( such as developments of human rights that were not originally envisaged)
Or to establish a special procedure
A state must ratify the option protocol regardless of whether it is already a party to a particular convention.


What are human right treaty bodies and what is their role?

Each state party to a convention is required to regularly submit a compliance with the convention report to the relevant monitoring body.
The monitoring body of the ICCPR is the human rights committee.
After receipt of reports, the monitoring bodies can issue recommendations to the state parties on their compliance .

They can also receive individual complaints about HR violations contained within a treaty.


What conditions must be met before an individual complaint can be submitted to a treaty body?

The complaint must be Ines writing outlining the facts
The complaint must state the articles of the convention that have been violated
The state must be party to the optional protocol establishing individual complaints procedures.
The individual must exhaust domestic remedies.


What was the case where an individual brought a complaint to a treaty body?

Cecilia Kell v Canada Communication No 19/2008 UN Doc CEDAW/C/51/D/19/2008 ( 26 April 2012).
Discrimination against women


When was the human rights council created?

Created in 2006 by the UN General Assembly to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights.


What is the human rights council role?

To strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide
Address human rights violations by making recommendations
Overlooks the Universal Periodic Review


What is the Universal Periodic Review?

A procedure that obligated all UN member states to submit a report on their compliance with human rights obligations.
They can receive complaints from individuals, groups and non governmental organisations.


Where are the three regional human rights protections based?

Europe ( ECHR)1950

Americas (ACHR)1969

AFrica-African Charter on Human and People's Rights 1981( Banjul Charter)


Although there is not a single international human rights court- which courts are involved in securing protection of Int HR?

ICC- established through the Rome Statute
Has jurisdiction over war crime, crimes against humanity, genocide


What are some challenges to the protection of human rights?

Willingness of states to comply and abide with it- ratification
Universalism- non western ideas may be different to our perception
Cultural and religious differences - reservations can be made by states who do not want to be bound by a particular obligation. It may conflict with countries law.


What the potential new human right?

Right to water- underpinned in the CEDAW, CRC, CRPD.', ICCPR,ICESCR

Right to internet access?