International Human Rights Law: Returning to Universal Principles

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This clear and compelling text confronts the dominant thinking on human rights, taking issue with the notion adopted by all states and even many academics that human rights obligations extend no further than their own territorial borders. Mark Gibney critiques cases from the US Supreme Court, the International Court of Justice, and the European Court of Human Rights, arguing for a much broader reading of state responsibility on the basis that current law misses most of the ways in which states fail to protect human rights standards. Finally, Gibney takes up the issue of human rights enforcement, unquestionably the weakest aspect of international human rights law. He proposes several practical models that could begin to provide victims the “effective remedy” promised by the law itself. The book concludes that there is a moral and legal imperative to return to the universal principles human rights were founded on. And rather than witnessing the end of human rights—as some have suggested—we should see our times as the true beginning.

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Editorial Reviews

Gibney presents critical issues in international human rights law in language which makes these topics accessible to the general public....Highly recommended.
Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann
Mark Gibney is a passionate and compassionate advocate of the universality of international human rights law. Using clear, accessible language and grounding himself in key legal cases, he urges states, transnational corporations, and international organizations to take responsibility for the human rights violations they cause, regardless of where those violations occur. This book will be popular among students and others who are frustrated with the inattention of domestic and international law to transnational abuses of human rights.
Gibney presents critical issues in international human rights law in language which makes these topics accessible to the general public. . . . Highly recommended.
David P. Forsythe
It is very good to have a second edition of Mark Gibney’s fine book about universal human rights in legal form.Readers will be able to take an informed position on whether serious attention to the international law of human rights as he presents it is a utopian dream or a pressing necessity in today’s world.
Rhoda Hassmann
Mark Gibney continues to be a passionate and compassionate advocate of the universality of human rights law.This second edition of International Human Rights Law presents updated material and arguments for taking seriously extraterritorial human rights obligations. Gibneygrounds himself in interesting legal cases to argue that states, transnational corporations, and international organizations are responsible to remedy human rights violations, wherever they occur. His clear, accessible language will make this book, like the first edition, popular among students and others who are frustrated with the inattention of domestic and international law to extraterritorial abuses of human rights.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742556294
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Series: Latin American Silhouettes Series
  • Pages: 162
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Gibney is Belk Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science at the
University of North Carolina at Asheville, and Raoul Wallenberg Visiting Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University.

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Table of Contents

Preface: The Nightmare
Step One: Responsibility
Step Two: Territory
Step Three: Accountability
Step Four: Remedy
Conclusion: The End of Human Rights—or Just the Start?
About the Author

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