Litigating Transnational Human Rights Obligations
Edited by Mark Gibney, Wouter Vandenhole
Routledge – 2014 – 358 pages
Human rights have traditionally been framed in a vertical perspective with the duties of States confined to their own citizens or residents. Obligations beyond this territorial space have been viewed as either being absent or minimalistic at best. However, the territorial paradigm has now been seriously challenged in recent years in part because of the increasing awareness of the ability of States and other actors to impact human rights far from home both positively and negatively. In response to this awareness various legal principles have come into existence setting out some transnational human rights obligations of varying degrees. However, notwithstanding these initiatives, judicial institutions and monitoring bodies continue to show an enormous hesitancy in moving beyond a territorial reading of international human rights law.
This book addresses the issue in an innovative and challenging way by crafting legally sound hypothetical "judgments" from a number of adjudicatory fora. The judgments are based on real world situations where extraterritorial or transnational issues have emerged, and draw on existing international human rights law, albeit a progressive interpretation of this law. The book shows that there are a number of judicial and quasi-judicial systems where transnational human rights claims can, and should be enforced. These include: the World Trade Organization; the International Court of Justice; the regional human rights monitoring bodies; domestic courts; and the UN treaty bodies. Each hypothetical judgment is accompanied by detailed commentary placing it in context in order to show how international human rights law can address issues of a transnational character.
The book will be of interest to human scholars and lawyers, practitioners, activists and aid officials.
1. Introduction: Transnational human rights obligations, Mark Gibney and Wouter Vandenhole Part 1: International Economic Governance Structures 2. U.S. Trade Santions (World Trade Organization, Panel, Claire Buggenhoudt 3. Biofuel and the Right to Food (World Trade Organization, Panel), Alexia Herwig 4.Land Grabbing and Gender Issues (International Finance Corporation and Compliance Advisor Ombudsman), Joss Saunders Part 2: Global (Human Rights) Monitoring Bodies 5. Putting an End to Victims without Borders: Child pornography (Committee on the Rights of the Child), Gamze Erdem Türkelli 6. Extraterritorial Shared Responsibility for the Right to Health (Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), Rachel Hammonds and Gorik Ooms 7. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of Nuba Peoples (Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), Jernej Letnar Černič 8. "Only the Little People Pay Taxes": Tax evasion and Switzerland’s extraterritorial obligations to economic, social and cultural rights (Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), Nicholas Lusiani 9.Labour Rights in a Transnational Perspective (Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), Arne Vandenbogaerde 10. Climate Change (Human Rights Committee, Ad hoc Conciliation Commission), Margreet Wewerinke 11. Land Grabbing in Uganda by a Multinational Coporation (World Court of Justice), Christopher Mbazira 13. Structural Adjustment and Farmers' Suicide in India (International Court of Justice), Anita Punj 14. (Economic) Crimes against Humanity (International Criminal Court), Michael Wabwile Part 3: Regional Human Rights Monitoring Bodies 15. Public Duties for Private Wrongs: Regulation of multinationals (African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights), Takele Soboka Bulto 16. Forced Evictions in Zimbabwe (African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights), Khulekani Moyo 17. Land Grabbing in South America (Inter-American Human Rights Commission), Ana Maria Suarez-Franco 18/ Enforcing Extraterritorial Social Rights in the Eurozone Crisis (European Committee of Social Rights), Matthias Sant'Ana 19. Military Interventions in Non-European States (European Court of Human Rights), Nico Moons Part 4: Domestic Courts 20. Extraordinary Rendition (U.S. Supreme Court), Mark Gibney
Mark Gibney is the Belk Distinguished Professor at University of North Carolina -Asheville. Since 1984, Gibney has directed the Political Terror Scale (PTS), which measures levels of physical integrity violations in more than 185 countries (www.politicalterrorscale.org).
Wouter Vandenhole holds the UNICEF Chair in Children's Rights at the Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp (Belgium) and is the Co-Director of the Law and Development Research Group.