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You are alone and finishing up some shopping at the local mall when you hear a young woman scream for help. You notice that she’s surrounded by several men. Your mind begins the justification process: she is just playing; someone else will come to her aid. As you hesitate, the young woman is dragged into a van and they disappear. Already late for a meeting, as you power walk toward your office you see a young boy crying and being dragged to a car. Your mind begins the justification process: the child is just being petulant; if it is really an issue, others will jump in to help the child. You hesitate and the boy is forced into the car, and they disappear. You just arrive home from work exhausted and ready for supper. You see your elderly next-door neighbor, who lives alone, being verbally belittled by a worker he hired to do some type of chore. Your mind begins the justification process: it’s a dispute between them; I don’t know my neighbor well enough to intervene. In each of these cases, would you be surprised to learn that the young woman was abducted and murdered, the young boy is still missing, and the elderly neighbor was just scammed of a significant portion of his life savings? Most of us think we are not capable of rendering aid. If we do, we reason, we could be hurt, sued, or embarrassed because we misinterpreted the situation. Guardians of Necessity recognizes the right of all humans to defend themselves and others against an attack. This right is in reality an obligation that carries an awesome responsibility. Within these pages the reader is taken through the history of this right, the legal and political climate surrounding this right, and the importance of preparing to exercise this ultimate right.
The field of human rights and the environment has grown phenomenally during the last few years and this textbook will be one of the first to encourage students to think critically about how many environmental issues lead to a violation of existing rights. Taking a socio-legal approach, this book will provide a good understanding of both human rights and environmental issues, as well as the limitations of each regime, and will explore the ways in which human rights law and institutions can be used to obtain relief for the victims of environmental degradation or of adverse effects of environmental policies. In addition, it will place an emphasis on climate change and climate policies to highlight the pros and cons of using a human rights framework and to underscore its importance in the context of climate change. As well as identifying emerging issues and areas for further research, each chapter will be rich in pedagogical features, including web links to further research and discussion questions for beyond the classroom. Combining their specialisms in law and politics, Atapattu and Schapper have developed a truly inter-disciplinary resource that will be essential for students of human rights, environmental studies, international law, international relations, politics, and philosophy.
Over the past decade or so, philosophical speculation about human rights has tended to fall into two streams. On the one hand, there are "Orthodox" theorists, who think of human rights as natural rights: moral rights that we have simply in virtue of being human. On the other hand, there are"Political" theorists, who think of human rights as rights that play a distinctive role, or set of roles, in modern international politics: setting universal standards of political legitimacy, serving as norms of international concern, and/or imposing limits on the exercise of national sovereignty.This edited volume explores this disagreement, its underlying sources, and related issues in the philosophy of human rights. Using the Orthodox-Political debate as a springboard for broader reflection, the volume covers a diverse range of questions about: the relevance of the history of human rightsto their philosophical comprehension; how to properly understand the relationship between human rights morality and law; how to balance the normative character of human rights - their description of an ideal world - with the requirement that they be feasible in the here and now; the role of humanrights in a world shaped by politics and power; and how to reconcile the individualistic and communitarian aspects of human rights.All chapters are accompanied by useful and probing commentaries, which help to create dialogues throughout the entire volume.
The protection of human rights in Europe is currently at a crossroads. There are competing processes which push and pull the centre of gravity of this protection between the ECHR system in Strasbourg, the EU system in Luxemburg and Brussels, and the national protection of human rights. This book brings together researchers from the fields of international human rights law, EU law and constitutional law to reflect on the tug-of-war over the positioning of the centre of gravity of human rights protection in Europe. It addresses both the position of the Convention system vis-à-vis the Contracting States, and its positioning with respect to fundamental rights protection in the European Union. The first part of the book focuses on interactions in this triangle from an institutional and constitutional point of view and reflects on how the key actors are trying to define their relationship with one another in a never-ending process. Having thus set the scene, the second part takes a critical look at the tools that have been developed at European level for navigating these complex relationships, in order to identify whether they are capable of responding effectively to the complexities of emerging realities in the triangular relationship between the EHCR, EU law and national law.

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