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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

AU considers mass withdrawal from ICC

There has been an interesting and disconcerting development in the relationship between the African Union (AU) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Recent media reports in Africa have stated that the AU is considering withdrawing en masse from the ICC should Kenya's request for deferral of the 'Ocampo six' cases,  not be granted. For more information on this development read these reports as posited by the Daily Nation and Cameroon News.

Posted by Ingrid Roestenburg-Morgan

Article on Extension of Jurisdiction of ECHR to Social Security Regulations

Followers of our blog might enjoy reading a recent publication by Professor Marc Bossuyt, entitled 'L’extension de la compétence de la Cour de Strasbourg aux prestations sociales : sur l’interprétation de l’article 14 de la Convention combiné avec l’article 1er du Protocole n° 1 dans les affaires Gaygusuz, Koua Poirrez, Stec et autres, Burden et Andrejeva'  (Revue de Droit Monégasque (n° 10, pp. 91-130, 2008-2009)).  This article has only been published now.  Please find abstract below, submitted by the author, providing a more clearer idea about what the article entails: 

This article is the French version of an article published in English in March 2010 (“Should the Strasbourg Court exercise more self-restraint? On the extension of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights to social security regulations”, Human Rights Law Journal, 31 December 2007, vol. 28, n° 9-12, pp. 321-332). Contrary to this English version, it also contains a summary and comments on the Grand Chamber judgments Burden v. United Kingdom (29 April 2008) and Andrejeva v. Latvia (18 February 2009) on discrimination based on sex or nationality respectively. The author criticizes the extension by the Court of its jurisdiction which will attract an ever increasing number of cases without having the means to deal with them in an appropriate manner. He does not consider it realistic to expect that the European Court of Human Rights will have the capacity to adjudicate within a reasonable time, sometimes as a supreme judge of appeal or cassation for all legal proceedings, and sometimes as a constitutional court for all domestic laws and regulations, and even in response to applications for interim measures, and all this with respect to all individual rights of about 800 million of individuals living, whatever their nationality, in the 47 States parties to the European Convention. In those socio-economic cases, and particularly when the difference of treatment is based on sex (Stec and others and Burden), contrary to differences based on nationality (a ground not even mentioned in article 14 of the Convention), the Court allows the States a “wide margin” of appreciation. The author wonders whether in the future the Court will stick to this prudent approach, which would raise the question whether it was worthwhile to extend the jurisdiction of the Court to the very vast field of socio-economic rights, or whether it is only a formula of style that will not persist once the “dynamic” interpretation of the Court will bring it progressively to engage in an ever more strict control of the infinite variety of distinctions of all kind applied by the States parties in their economic and social legislation.

Posted by Ingrid Roestenburg-Morgan

Welcome to our Blog

Welcome to the blog Culture and Human Rights. This blog will cover topical issues relating to culture, traditional values, human rights and international criminal justice. We hope to discuss current and controversial issues relating to and intertwined with these topics. Discussing these issues and their relationships to and with each other, we believe, will enhance a better understanding of the cross-cultural dilemmas which can sometimes cause misunderstanding and mistrust between individuals from different cultures. Our goal is to better understand tradition and cultures and try to find a way to promote the human rights and diffuse certain entrenched views we might hold of each other. A further aim we hope to achieve is the promotion of the rule of law and international justice through the dissemination of reliable information to our readers. Culture and Human Rights will create a forum where individuals can identify important issues and challenges, test new theories, develop their own points of view and draw attention to important topics.

Posted by Ingrid Roestenburg-Morgan

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Kenyan Choice: Why article 16?

The recent rejection by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) of the request (bid) to defer the ICC cases of the Ocampo six as lobbied has definitely in recent days incited many to comment on the Kenyan situation and cases pending before the ICC.  First there is the debate, or rather the more popular view that Kenya went against the accepted order by directly approaching the UN Security Council instead of the ICC first, before requesting deferral of the two cases currently before the Court.

After the Lautsi Judgments the European Court of Human Rights needs to Repair its Legitimacy

On 18 March 2011, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights handed down its judgment in the case of Lautsi v. Italy. The case concerns the practice in Italy of displaying a crucifix in every classroom in state schools. It was brought by Ms. Soile Lautsi, a Finnish national, who objected to the fact that her children were being exposed to these crucifixes in class. Ms. Lautsi argued that displaying the crucifixes was contrary to the principle of secularism, which served as the basis of the upbringing of her children.