Past Program

Aug 01 - Aug 08, 2001

International Legal Perspectives on Human Rights


In the half Century since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly, significant progress has been made in the codification of human rights within the framework of international law. Still, violations throughout the world remain a grim testament to the lack of a universal commitment to the fundamental protection of human rights, and point to the failure of many mechanisms intended to prevent such atrocities.


In ascending order, the session will explore methods available to the international community to persuade sovereign nation states to uphold the basic human rights of their own citizens: private diplomatic persuasion, open public criticism, the granting or with-holding of foreign aid, the use of economic sanctions, the presence of peacekeepers and human rights monitors, the use of armed force, and the establishment of international criminal tribunals to try and punish national leaders who commit egregious violations against their fellow citizens. The session will also examine the inherent ambiguities of the United Nations Charter, which prohibits intervention in the domestic affairs of member states, and the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the human rights activities of UN officials. The legality of the use of armed force by other member states, without the approval or ratification of the UN Security Council and the efforts of non-governmental agencies engaged in upholding human rights will also be considered.


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