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Human Rights Courses, Beijing 20-23 April and 25-28 April 2009
Course outline
Course outline P. de Waart
The human rights courses consist of four working days, including three interactive contact hours, each on the basis of the following scheme:
 International standard-setting.
 International monitoring.
 Shared responsibilities with particular reference to:
 Human rights and international trade law;
 Human rights and international environmental law;
 International protection of vulnerable groups.
Human Rights: International Standard-setting
 Universality: historical background, United Nations efforts;
 Cultural context: UNESCO, UNFPA, Dutch position;
 Limitations and derogations:
o Limitations: determined by law;
o Reservations: the law of treaties, characteristics of human rights treaties;
o Derogations: public emergency, minimum standards;
o Non-derogable human rights: human rights treaties, fair trial;
o Appropriate mechanisms to ensure implementation.
Human Rights: International Monitoring
 UN Charter organs:
o Sovereign equality of states: no world government, extensive system of monitoring;
o Powers: General Assembly/ECOSOC, International Court of Justice, Security Council;
o Access: states, international organizations, non-state actors.
 UN Charter-based bodies: Human Rights Council:
o Intergovernmental body;
o Universal Periodic Review: outcome, example of China, other features.
 Human rights treaty-based, quasi-legal bodies:
o Story of development;
o Complaints: states, individuals;
o Human Rights Committee: communications, guidelines for reports, implementation;
o People at the centre of development.
Human Rights: Shared Responsibilities
 Human responsibilities:
International standard-setting: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Vienna Conference (1993), Universal Declaration of Human responsibilities (2000);
o Regional standard-setting: Africa, America, Europe;
o International monitoring: International Criminal Court;
o Regional: African Union, Organisation of American States, Europe – Council of Europe, European Union.
 Trade, labour, human environment
o Labour: Versailles Peace Treaty (1919), labour not commodity (1944), ILO rights at work (1998);
o Trade: Doha Development Round, political principles, ILA responsibility;
o Human environment: rules and principles, International Law Association, humanization of international law.
 Vulnerable and disadvantaged groups: Withdrawing government in the global market, special needs, social integration.
 Globalization with a human face.
Willem van Genugten, Kees Homan, Nico Schrijver, Paul de Waart, The United Nations of the Future: Globalization with a Human Face, KIT-Publishers Amsterdam, 2006, Chapters 3 – The International Protection of Human Rights -; 4 – Protection of Minorities and Indigenous Populations -; Chapter 5 – On Rights and Responsibilities: The Integration of Vulnerable Groups.
Netherlands Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV), Universality of Human Rights: Principles, Practice, Prospects, Report No. 63, November 2008.
Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, ‘The Human Rights Approach Advocated by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and by the International Labour Organization: Is it Relevant for WTO Law and Policy?’, in Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann (ed.), Reforming the World Trading System: Legitimacy, Efficiency, and Democratic Governance, Oxford University Press 2005, pp. 357-381.
Martin Scheinin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, A63/223 of 6 August 2008, Part III B ‘The Non-derogable nature of the right to a fair trial’, and Part V ‘Aspects of a fair hearing’, available in Chinese language at: http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N08/451/81/PDF/N0845181.pdf?OpenElement
Nico Schrijver, The Evolution of Sustainable Law: Inception, Meaning and Status, Pocketbooks of the Hague Academy of International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden 2008.
Paul de Waart, ‘Legal principle of integration in the Doha Round: Embedding a social order in the global market’, in Harald Hohman (ed.), Agreeing and Implementing the Doha Round of the WTO, Cambridge University Press 2008, pp. 235-261.


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