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Columbia Law School

Human Rights Law

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Articles 1 - 13 of 13

Full-Text Articles in Law

Covid, Crisis And Courts, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark, Jessica K. Steinberg, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2020

Covid, Crisis And Courts, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark, Jessica K. Steinberg, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

Our country is in crisis. The inequality and oppression that lies deep in the roots and is woven in the branches of our lives has been laid bare by a virus. Relentless state violence against black people has pushed protestors to the streets. We hope that the legislative and executive branches will respond with policy change for those who struggle the most among us: rental assistance, affordable housing, quality public education, comprehensive health and mental health care. We fear that the crisis will fade and we will return to more of the same. Whatever lies on the other side of ...


Debating Autonomous Weapon Systems, Their Ethics, And Their Regulation Under International Law, Kenneth Anderson, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2017

Debating Autonomous Weapon Systems, Their Ethics, And Their Regulation Under International Law, Kenneth Anderson, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

An international public debate over the law and ethics of autonomous weapon systems (AWS) has been underway since 2012, with those urging legal regulation of AWS under existing principles and requirements of the international law of armed conflict, on the one side, in argument with opponents who favor, instead, a preemptive international treaty ban on all such weapons, on the other. This Chapter provides an introduction to this international debate, offering the main arguments on each side. These include disputes over defining an AWS, the morality and law of automated targeting and target selection by machine, and the interaction of ...


Climate Change And Human Trafficking After The Paris Climate Agreement, Michael Gerrard Jan 2016

Climate Change And Human Trafficking After The Paris Climate Agreement, Michael Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Climate change is a major contributor to migration and displacement. Persistent drought forced as many as 1.5 million Syrian farmers to move to overcrowded cities, contributing to social turmoil and ultimately a civil war that drove hundreds of thousands of people to attempt to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. Drought also worsened refugee crises in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and other parts of the continent. Climate change can cause displacement in multiple ways. No reliable estimates exist of the number of people who will be displaced partly or wholly by climate change, due to uncertainties concerning the ...


Dignity Rights: A Response To Peggy Cooper Davis's Little Citizens And Their Families, Jane M. Spinak Jan 2016

Dignity Rights: A Response To Peggy Cooper Davis's Little Citizens And Their Families, Jane M. Spinak

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Spinak responds to Professor Davis’ comment by considering how the concept of human dignity can be used to reassert human rights – of individual members of the family and the family as an entity – that have been diminished, if not destroyed, by poverty and inequality.


Adapting The Law Of Armed Conflict To Autonomous Weapon Systems, Kenneth Anderson, Daniel Reisner, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2014

Adapting The Law Of Armed Conflict To Autonomous Weapon Systems, Kenneth Anderson, Daniel Reisner, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

As increasingly automated – and in some cases fully autonomous – weapon systems enter the battlefield or become possible, it is important that international norms to regulate them head down a path that is coherent and practical. Contrary to the claims of some advocates, autonomous weapon systems are not inherently illegal or unethical. The technologies involved potentially hold promise for making armed conflict more discriminating and causing less harm on the battlefield. They do pose important challenges, however, with regard to law of armed conflict rules regulating the use of weapons. Those challenges demand international attention and special processes for adapting existing ...


The Invention Of A Human Right: Conscientious Objection At The United Nations, 1947-2011, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2013

The Invention Of A Human Right: Conscientious Objection At The United Nations, 1947-2011, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

The right of conscientious objection to military service is the most startling of human rights. While human rights generally seek to protect individuals from state power, the right of conscientious objection radically alters the citizen-state relationship, subordinating a state’s decisions about national security to the beliefs of the individual citizen. In a world of nation-states jealous of their sovereignty, how did the human right of conscientious objection become an international legal doctrine? By answering that question, this Article both clarifies the legal pedigree of the human right of conscientious objection and sheds new light on the relationship between international ...


On Waldron's Critique Of Raz On Human Rights, Joseph Raz Jan 2013

On Waldron's Critique Of Raz On Human Rights, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

Prof. Waldron has recently published a paper criticising the views of Rawls and Raz on human rights. It is pointed out that some supposed criticism are nothing more than observations on conditions that any account of rights must meet, and that Waldron objections to Raz are due to misunderstanding his thesis and its theoretical goal. The short comment tries to clarify that goal.


United States Detention Operations In Afghanistan And The Law Of Armed Conflict, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2009

United States Detention Operations In Afghanistan And The Law Of Armed Conflict, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

Looking back on US and coalition detention operations in Afghanistan to date, three key issues stand out: one substantive, one procedural and one policy. The substantive matter – what are the minimum baseline treatment standards required as a matter of international law? – has clarified significantly during the course of operations there, largely as a result of the US Supreme Court’s holding in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. The procedural matter – what adjudicative processes does international law require for determining who may be detained? – eludes consensus and has become more controversial the longer the Afghan conflict continues. And the policy matter – in waging ...


Human Rights In The Emerging World Order, Joseph Raz Jan 2009

Human Rights In The Emerging World Order, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

This article has been published by the journal Transnational Legal Theory. The article is an expanded and revised version of the lecture I gave at the opening plenary session of the 24th IVR World Congress in Beijing, September 2009, which was entitled and previously uploaded as ‘Human Rights in a New World Order.’ The unrevised ‘Human Rights in a New World Order’ speech will appear in the IVR proceedings as well as in translation in Chinese. The present article is made available for download here immediately after publication by special arrangement with the journal. The article is a reflection on ...


Guantánamo, Habeas Corpus, And Standards Of Proof: Viewing The Law Through Multiple Lenses, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2009

Guantánamo, Habeas Corpus, And Standards Of Proof: Viewing The Law Through Multiple Lenses, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court held in Boumediene v. Bush that Guantánamo detainees have a constitutional right to habeas corpus review of their detention, but it left to district courts in the first instance responsibility for working through the appropriate standard of proof and related evidentiary principles imposed on the government to justify continued detention. This article argues that embedded in seemingly straightforward judicial standard-setting with respect to proof and evidence are significant policy questions about competing risks and their distribution. How one approaches these questions depends on the lens through which one views the problem: Through that of a courtroom concerned ...


Secret Evidence And The Due Process Of Terrorist Detentions, Daphne Barak-Erez, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2009

Secret Evidence And The Due Process Of Terrorist Detentions, Daphne Barak-Erez, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

Courts across many common law democracies have been wrestling with a shared predicament: proving cases against suspected terrorists in detention hearings requires governments to protect sensitive classified information about intelligence sources and methods, but withholding evidence from suspects threatens fairness and contradicts a basic tenet of adversarial process. This Article examines several models for resolving this problem, including the “special advocate” model employed by Britain and Canada, and the “judicial management” model employed in Israel. This analysis shows how the very different approaches adopted even among democracies sharing common legal foundations reflect varying understandings of “fundamental fairness” or “due process ...


Human Rights In The United States – Foreword, Sarah H. Cleveland, Catherine Powell Jan 2008

Human Rights In The United States – Foreword, Sarah H. Cleveland, Catherine Powell

Faculty Scholarship

In this foreword, Powell and Cleveland introduce a special volume celebrating one of a signature program of the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute (HRI). As the founding director and current faculty co-director of HRI, they co-wrote this introduction to celebrate the first ten years of HRI’s progress – particularly its work to bridge the international law of human rights and the domestic law of constitutional rights.

While the United States played a leading role in the creation and development of modern international organizations and human rights law regimes and there has been a bi-partisan commitment to advancing human rights ...


Human Rights Without Foundations, Joseph Raz Jan 2007

Human Rights Without Foundations, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

Using the accounts of Gewirth and Griffin as examples, the article criticises accounts of human rights as those are understood in human rights practices, which regard them as rights all human beings have in virtue of their humanity. Instead it suggests that (with Rawls) human rights set the limits to the sovereignty of the state, but criticises Rawls conflation of sovereignty with legitimate authority. The resulting conception takes human rights, like other rights, to be contingent on social conditions, and in particular on the nature of the international system.