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Human Rights Quarterly. 2004; 26:873-878.Leonard S. Rubenstein offers a thoughtful response to my article on how international monitoring and advocacy organizations that use a methodology of public shaming can best advance economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights. His article makes three basic points. First, he notes that such organizations can make useful contributions beyond exposing government misconduct and subjecting it to public opprobrium. Namely, he suggests that they can provide technical assistance to governments on implementing ESC rights and help with capacity building for national or local NGOs that seek such rights. Second, he contends that such international organizations need not be as concerned with advocating tradeoffs among competing ESC rights because fears of limited resources— a “zero-sum game”—are overblown. Third, he disagrees with my perceived preference for condemning “arbitrary” government conduct to the exclusion of violations of particular ESC rights. On the first point, I largely agree with him. On the second, I regretfully suspect he has an overly sanguine view of the problem. And on the third, I fear he has misunderstood me. (excerpt)
[Toward a new international penal law: some general reflections at the end of the century] Vers un nouveau droit international pénal: quelques réflexions générales à la fin du siècle.
In: La protection des droits de l'Homme entre la législation interne et le droit international. Actes du colloque organisé par le Centre de Recherches sur la Coopération Internationale pour le Développement de la Faculté de Droit de Marrakech avec le concours de la Fondation Hanns-Seidel, les 21 et 22 janvier 2000. Rabat, Morocco, Revue Marocaine d'Administration Locale et de Developpement, 2001. 33-56. (Thèmes Actuels No. 26)In classic international law, since the individual is separated from the international sphere by the legal fiction of the State, while international law at the dawn of the twenty-first century no longer governs only co-existence among States or the pursuit of their common goals, but also collective interests proper to the international community as a whole, the protection of human rights today is no longer part of the domain reserved to States. At the present time, we find that the individual is the subject of rights and the State is the subject of new duty, namely the respect of human rights. It is possible to identify, through the practice of diplomacy and international jurisprudence, a few general rules, divided into those relating to substance and those relating to procedure. Among the rules relating to substance, it is possible to identify the principles of sovereignty and cooperation, the elementary rules of humaneness and the rule of individual criminal liability. In the area of international sanction mechanisms in international law, the first image we see is that of the courts of Nuremberg and Tokyo. The classic approach to the sanctioning of individuals has really changed only since the end of the 1980's. These sanctions had long been in the hands of the State. In all cases, at least on the normative level, they left in their hands the obligation to obey and to enforce international criminal law, which at the present time is conveyed, among other ways, through the action of international tribunals, bilateral cooperation through international criminal judiciary assistance and multilateral cooperation. Several humanitarian tragedies, such as those in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Rwanda, have called into question the effectiveness of these new enforcement and sanction procedures; however the participation of public opinion and non-governmental organizations (NGO's), the political and judicial action of the United Nations have reinforced it.