Refugee law may be the world’s most powerful international human rights mechanism. Not only do millions of people invoke its protections every year in countries spanning the globe, but they do so on the basis of a self-actuating mechanism of international law that, quite literally, allows at-risk persons to vote with their feet. This is because, as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”) has insisted, refugee status is not a status that is granted by states; it is rather simply recognized by them: Continue reading
Methodology seeks to define the means of acquiring scientific knowledge. There is no generally accepted definition of the methodology of international law. In this article it will be taken to comprise both its wider meaning of the methods used in the acquisition of a scientific knowledge of the international legal system and its narrower and more specialized meaning, the methods used to determine the existence of norms or rules of international law. Continue reading
Is universalism respectful of cultural differences attainable? It does not seem possible to ignore the need for normative justification (thus, moral theory) when we venture into the social and political critics arena. By their very nature, arguments that we must inevitably use in the moral sphere must be included in a wider theoretical framework in order to demonstrate that criticisms do not merely depend on circumstances, nor satisfy suspect ideological goals. Continue reading
The bounds of law 1 – ‘Law’ is not omnipotent within the social field and everything happens, according to societies and times, in the infinite variety of inclusion and exclusion relationships with other normative systems. Next, the issue of the so called ‘science of Law’ appears in the current epistemological range that must combine with other sciences: this shows that Law does not have a position overlooking all other disciplines, but has relations of cooperation, competition and hostility, according to the disciplines and the moments, creating questionable bounds. The only possible posture might be that of a certain epistemology like Michel Foucault when trying to think of the emergence of human sciences in Western history. Continue reading
Un mercenario è “un soldato disposto a vendere le sue abilità militari al miglior offerente, indipendentemente dalla causa”. / Un mercenaire est « un soldat voulant vendre ses compétences militaires au plus offrant, et pour qui la cause importe peu ». / A mercenary is ‘a soldier willing to sell his military skills to the highest bidder, no matter what the cause’. Continue reading
Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law. / “For the discipline of international law, the relationship between the states system, colonialism and international law is something of a chicken and egg question: Which came first? Tradition suggests that international law came ‘to the colonies fully formed and ready for application, as if the colonial project simply entailed assimilating these aberrant societies into an existing, stable, “Eurocentric” system’ […] civilizing missions nowadays bare the varnish of respectability under the guise of democratization, human rights, economic liberalization and development.” Brett Bowden, University of Queensland – translated by myself.
UN- Land Rights, Critical Need to Preserve Indigenous Languages and Rights – Ms. DAVIS: “Choices about the planet have historically been made using a “win-lose” mentality and destructive and “death-producing” approaches. The planet is in peril, and each person of every race and nation is “of the earth”. Health care and gender equality were fundamental rights of American Indians and all people; however, indigenous peoples were considered conquered peoples with no voice. They had endured genocide, the exploitation of their land and resources and victimization through acculturalization. Pointing to other structures that oppressed indigenous peoples, including foreign aid, social services, prisons, the military and indigenous reservations, she went on to say that private industry had become rich on the blood of indigenous people.” entire debate here http://www.un.org/press/en/2016/hr5306.doc.htm
PERUFISH Danesa Mamani Suana (left) and Margarita Aruquipa Apaza (center) prepare a meal of freshly caught Killi Fish on a floating reed island in Lake Titicaca in Peru on March 10, 2015. Around 2000 Uros people live on the floating islands in the middle of what is the largest lake by volume of water in South America. Lake Titicaca is a major water source for many in the area and could become used as a water source by many more if other water sources such as glaciers disappear. — credit: David Wallace /The Arizona Republic