Nordisk Tidsskrift for Menneskerettigheter Vol. 23 Nr. 3:2005:

English abstracts

Herman Salton: Independent People? Iceland, Falun Gong and the visit of the Chinese President in 2002

In June 2002, just before the official visit of the Chinese President to Iceland, the Icelandic Government allegedly compiled a blacklist of peaceful Falun Gong practitioners, sent it to Iceland’s national airline Icelandair and ordered it to deny passage to them. The series of events that followed—together with the disturbing incidents during the visit—form the object of a substantial, forthcoming Report that this article anticipates. The Icelandic events are not an isolated occurrence but represent one more example—although extraordinarily transparent—of Beijing’s bullying diplomacy on foreign soils. They are also a disturbing illustration of how easy it is, for a democratic state, to succumb to the pressures of an authoritarian regime—particularly when the latter has a population of 1.3 billion and an almighty economic power.

Keywords: Iceland, Falun Gong, China, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Movement, Freedom of Religion, Diplomacy.

Lene Auestad: Plurality and Human Dignity

In The Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt described the way in which the human rights of stateless people were rendered, in practice, worthless. Based on this fact, she criticized the conception of human rights formulated in the abstract language of the eighteenth century. In this article I argue that human dignity should be defined in accordance with plurality.

Keywords: Plurality, dignity, human rights, radical evil, world, love

Vygantë Milaðiûtë: Formal Criteria and Substantive Issues in Discrimination Cases

This article analyses the application of prohibition of discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights and highlights a number of problematic aspects related to reliance on formal criteria (primarily the ground of discrimination) resulting in the presumption of discrimination. Given the level of theoretical and practical difficulty involved in making an adequate presumption, it is concluded that substantive rights underlying discrimination claims are too complex to be reduced to a set of formal criteria and, therefore, the analysis of substantive issues of the case should prevail.

Keywords: ECHR, discrimination, equality, grounds, presumption

Tanja Joona: The Political Recognition and Ratification of ILO Convention No. 169 in Finland, with Some Comparison to Sweden and Norway

The demands of indigenous peoples for self-determination over their traditionally occupied lands have caused new challenges for State sovereignty. Outside pressure from the international community has led States to reconsider their relationsip with the indigenous peoples living within their borders and to recognize their historical rights.This article surveys the recent responses in Finland, Sweden and Norway to Sámi demands for protection of land rights pursuant to ILO Convention No. 169 of 1989 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. While Norway has ratified the treaty, Sweden and Finland have not done so. They are however, aware of the potential impact of the law of the Convention and trying to remove the obstacles before the ratification. The article analyses the interpretation and implementation of the Convention, which has caused disagreement and conflict between the different stakeholders, and where legal concepts have been mixed in different ways and used for political purposes.

Keywords: Sámi land rights, ILO-Convention No.169