Something rotten in the Draft Copenhagen Declaration?

The Danish Chairmanship of the Council of Europe has proposed a new installation to the reform saga of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Their recipes sound innocuous: no one can be against ‘sharing responsibility’ for human rights protection, or for improved ‘dialogue’ between the Court and states.

Many fear that in the Danish details, sovereignty will trump human rights protection. Broader trends and issues in the shadows of subsidiarity merit further attention, lest shared responsibility morphs into no one’s responsibility, and the discursive dialogue turns Melian, allowing state executives to do as they can and leave the Court to judge as it must.



Constitutionalization, Not Democratization!

“Constitutionalization, Not Democratization: How to Assess the Legitimacy of International Courts”. In The Legitimacy of International Courts . N. Grossman, H. Cohen, A. Follesdal & G. Ulfstein. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 307-337.

Several authors – including Armin von Bogdandy and Ingo Venzke, Allan Buchanan and Robert Keohane, Gráinne De Búrca, and Nienke Grossman address the legitimacy deficits of international courts (ICs). They propose the ‘democratization’ of ICs, by which they often mean to increase their transparency, accountability or participation by various parties. There are other, better reasons to value transparency, accountability and participation concerning ICs than as building blocks of democracy, namely insofar as they contribute to valuable forms of constitutionalization of the global basic structure. Moreover, they can be valuable even when such changes do not advance democracy of the kind worth having. We should not assume that democracy is the touchstone for all legitimate modes of governance. TWe should distinguish between democratic institutions of decision-making, the normative principles that justify such institutions, and important features of such institutions that contribute to their justification, such as accountability, participation and transparency. It is only calls for the first of these – formalized institutions of decision-making – which should be considered democratication proper. [D0I/LINK] [SSRN] [WEB].

Hva har forandret seg siden forrige gang ÖVP var i regjering?

Hva har forandret seg siden forrige gang ÖVP var i regjering i Østerrike, i 1999-2000?
– Den gang fryktet mange at det ville bli storstilt trakassering av minoriteter som følge av at dette høyreorienterte partiet skulle inn. De hadde en veldig markant, utagerende leder, Jörg Haider. Nå er de ikke så utagerende, sier professor Andreas Føllesdal ved Institutt for offentlig rett, Universitetet i Oslo. [Mer ] [ABC nyheter]

Islamske stater har også godtatt at menneskerettighetene er universelle

Terje Tvedt hevder [her] at norske myndigheter i sin forkjærlighet for at menneskerettigheter er universelle, har fortiet Kairo-erklæringen, vedtatt av 57 islamske stater. Den norske feiloppfatningen er alvorlig: Den har villedet norsk utenrikspolitikk og førte til bombingen av Libya i 2011.
Vi støtter Tvedts oppfordring om at norsk utenrikspolitikk må bygge på en grundig forståelse av verdens idé- og verdikonflikter. Men argumentasjonen holder ikke mål…. Mer i Aftenposten 29. november 2017

“Theories of Human Rights: Political or Orthodox – Why It Matters”

“Theories of Human Rights: Political or Orthodox – Why It Matters”. in Moral and Political Conceptions of Human Rights: Implications for Theory and Practice . R. Maliks &J. S. Karlsson. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2017: 77-96.
One important contribution by a philosophical theory of international legal human rights [ILHR] is to provide normative perspectives and standards to assess the current international human rights regimes. .. There is currently a discussion about how two families of theories may best be used to develop such a philosophical theory of ILHR. ..”Orthodox” philosophical accounts .. tend to hold that behind the human rights movement generally – including ILHR – there is a unitary, cogent notion of moral human rights. .. “Political” theories pursue another aim and justificatory strategy. They aspire to systematize the existing international legal human rights practice, and seek to end with a theory with sufficient critical standards, – without drawing on a prior concept of a human right. … The aim of this article is primarily to alleviate some of the alleged conflicts, in particular to defend at least one Political theory against charges that it is unduly constrained to actual consensus on premises in defense of ILHR, that it is too closely linked to the current state system to match the universal ambitions of human rights, and that it seeks to avoid normative premises. [D0I/LINK] [SSRN] [WEB].


Utfordre for å forbedre, eller for å rive ned?

Hvordan bør norske og andre lands myndigheter forholde seg til de internasjonale menneskerettighetene de er uenige i? Partiene bør avklare om de vil foreslå endringer som kan undergrave den skjøre oppslutningen om menneskerettighetene i Norge og i resten av Europa? Og er det en beklagelig ulempe for å oppnå viktige mål for Norge – i såfall hvilke? Eller er det partier som mener at slike internasjonale ordninger ikke virker, eller at menneskerettighetsvern i resten av Europa eller i verden ikke er noe vi skal ha noe ansvar for? med Geir Ulfstein, Klassekampen 9. september 2017 [WEB].