Gro Sandkjær Hanssen: The theoretical approach to democratic legitimacy of the right to effective participation for members of national minorities in international law.
The right to effective participation for national minorities in International Law represents a shift in the theoretical approach to democratic legitimacy. The development of the human rights regime after World War Two was based on a liberal (or aggregative) approach to democracy. Numerous emerging minority rights instruments have been acknowledged by international law. Most instruments reflect a new theoretical approach to what makes a democratic system legitimate. The deliberative democracy approach argues that the broad and free process of discourse that takes place before decisions are taken is what gives democratic decisions legitimacy. Many of the comments on the emerging treaty acknowledge a right to effective participation for members of national minorities, and thus reflect the deliberative theoretical approach.
Keywords: Theories of democratic legitimacy, European framework Convention on National Minorities, deliberative democracy, Habermas, international law, human rights.
Shaheen Sardar Ali and Javaid Rehman: Freedom of Religion versus Equality in International Human Rights Law: Conflicting Norms or Hierarchical Human Rights? (A Case Study of Pakistan).
This paper attempts to highlight the normative conflict arising from the right to equality and non-discrimination as stated in the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the right to freedom of religion and belief as enunciated in the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief. Using the case of Pakistan, a Muslim State that subscribes to both human rights instruments it will be argued that, while international human rights discourse appears to present both sets of rights as being at par, yet the practical implications are very different.
Keywords: Equality, Non-Discrimination, Freedom of Religion, Pakistan, Islam.
Cas Mudde: Liberal Democracies and the Extremist Challenges of the Early 21st Century.
The most fundamental question facing democracy is: how can a democracy defend itself from its enemies without losing its democratic character? In this article I first provide a short overview of the main extremist challenges confronting (mainly European) democracies in the early 21st century (based on an original typology). Second, I present a short overview of the different ways in which democracies have responded to these challenges, including some preliminary evaluations of their rate of success. Third, and finally, I offer some suggestions as to how, in my view, democracies should deal with the different challenges. This last part, which includes a call for the creation of a European Civil Liberties Union, is intended as a basis for discussion rather than the ‘last word on the subject’, if only because my suggestions are embedded in a particular interpretation of liberal democracy which itself is open to debate.
Key words: Defending democracy, extremism, human rights, militant democracy, 9/11, terrorism.
Egill Aarø: War and terrorism.
The objective is to show that the primitive regime of war comprising a collective responsibility for others’ (wrong)doings cannot be attached to a certain state or population due to the acts of a terrorist group. In accordance with International Law regulations a terrorist is submitted to criminal law. Since war has been defined as an interaction between two or more states for the past 350 years, and terrorist groups certainly do not qualify as a state, the action of terrorist groups cannot be regarded as acts of war. According to the UN Charter article 51, self-defence is equally founded, providing no justification for a state to act in self-defence against any assault permitted by a terrorist group. After Israel’s attack on Tunisia, the SC imposed Res. 573 (1985) 14-0, the US abstained, condemning a state to use military force on other states on the allegations that a terrorist group has committed several wrongdoings against the civilians in the attacking state. International conventions urging states to act in accordance with peace and good will, give no justification to wage war against states that breach such obligations. The state’s breaches must amount to armed attack before self-defence can be justified. Since the NATO treaty is built on the same principles, the NATO statement supporting the US contradicts the treaty’s article 5. Since terrorist groups do not have participant status, they are not combatant groups according to the law. Their sources cannot be regarded as military targets.
Keywords: Terrorist warfare, International Law, preemptive war, military targets, self-defense, combatants.