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LSJ 320 Weeks 1 and 2 Lecture and Section notes

by: Taylor McAvoy

LSJ 320 Weeks 1 and 2 Lecture and Section notes LSJ 320

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Welcome to LSJ 320 International Human Rights! For your note taking convenience these notes contain all lectures from weeks 1 and 2 including notes from both class sections during week 2. We mainly...
International Human Rights
Professor Mayerfield
Class Notes
constitution, Bill of Rights, UN Charter, Declaration of Independence, Humanities, Human Rights




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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Taylor McAvoy on Tuesday September 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to LSJ 320 at University of Washington taught by Professor Mayerfield in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 179 views. For similar materials see International Human Rights in LSJ at University of Washington.


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Date Created: 09/27/16
LSJ 320A Professor Jamie Mayerfeld Week 1 and 2 Lecture and Section notes Week 1 Lecture 1 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 Order course packet from Rams Copy center Start research paper as early as possible- due Nov 22nd Midterm October 28th Extra credit events on canvas site The idea of human rights Human rights are not conditional on age, class, race, gender, religion, orientation, etc. Societies have a responsibility to respect these rights for just being human EX:  Prison for criticizing the government  Racial bias  Child hunger- medical care- poverty  Girls not allowed in school  Torture in police  Government bombing and starving citizens  Domestic violence  Religion and orientation persecution  Disabilities/ mental illness Authoritative documents tell us our rights  EX: universal declaration of human rights by UN  Historical documents like the declaration of independence- bill of rights, constitution The idea itself is connected to the idea of equal dignity for all human beings Equal dignity- every human is a moral center and should be protected from harm- treated with equal respect and concern- no human being is worth more or less than another Everyone has a right to life and a life worth living- free to determine each their own life path and cannot be treated as a means to a goal- even a moral goal Four fundamental moral principles 1. Persons have a fundamental interest in security  Protected against terrible outcomes like death, disease, unjust imprisonment- poverty  Fears are within reason and cross cultural 2. Persons have a fundamental interest in autonomy '  The right to choose the life you want to lead- thoughts and experiences- study- career- relationships 3. Persons are inviolable  Not a tool for fulfilment of other people's goals  Each person is an end in themselves not a means to an end  Cannot do things to other people even if it helps achieve a moral goal  Ex: A surgeon needs organs to save 5 patients. The surgeon sees a healthy person nearby and thinks that maybe he can kill the healthy person to save the other 5 people. Is this a right thing to do or not?  EX: context of the criminal justice system 4. Persons deserve to be recognized and treated as individuals  Each person treated equally- not to be discriminated against on the basis of race, class, age, gender, religion, orientation, etc. Week 1 Lecture 2 Friday, September 30, 2016 Human rights are distinct from legal rights EX: the US before the civil war- slavery states - legal for people to own saves but no human right for them to own slaves- conversely the slaves had a human right to be free but not a legal right Human rights can be used to evaluate legitimacy of the law Law remains important to human rights because:  Legal backing is necessary for effective protection of most human rights  Law provides a forum where we negotiate provisional agreement about human rights EX: congress  Law can transmit the value of human rights EX: constitution  Law can provide opportunities for thoughtful deliberation about the meaning of human rights The idea of human rights is powerful and appealing but not unchallenged and conflicts with other ideas like:  Paternalistic religion- The idea that it is more important to follow the right religion than the right to choose a religion  Statism- The idea that the state has the right over the individual  Collectivism- the idea that the good of the group has rights over the individual  Culturalism- the idea that we are creatures of culture and preservation of culture is more important than the individual  Free market fundamentalism- sell and trade without government oversight- causes people to lose sight of the individual  National security ideology- threats from external forces are more important than the individual's right - individual's right can be sacrificed in the name of national security  Total revolution- the idea that we are governed by an unjust society and in need of full and complete change  Skepticism about moral values- maybe not equipped to make moral claims about individuals US Declaration of Independence  Declare separation and necessity to do so  Statement of principle - Self-evident truths - reasonable when thought about Ideas that are self-evident  All people are created equal - central claim of equality - equality is a central claim in human rights  If you recognize rights for yourself, you have to hold the same rights for others  Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness  When a government doesn’t uphold rights- people have a right to abolish that government The problems with the declaration of independence The problem of slavery and treatment of Native Americans Samuel Johnson - "How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of slaves" Many ignored the unwanted true meaning of the declaration US Constitution 1787 A political framework for the US government Human rights document- source of ideas about human rights The problem of slavery in the original constitution- allowed slavery to continue - assault on human rights Giving states representation in congress- slaves 3/5 of a person for slave state representation Fleeing slaves in free states were sent back to slave states Racial privileges not rights - rights have to be applicable to everyone to be considered rights Rights in the original seven articles 1787  Habeus corpus may not be suspended unless when cases of rebellion, invasion, or the public safety may require it - right to go to trail and argue for wrongful imprisonment  No expost facto laws- an act that was committed legally in the past but is now considered illegal- the person can now be punished for an act committed in the past  No bills of attainer- passing laws to omit right to court  Trial by jury  No titles of mobility  Congress (not president) is given the power to declare war  Republican form of government is guaranteed to all states- common popular government  Limited definition of treason, necessary proof spelled out, giving aid to the enemy  No religious tests for public offices Bill of Rights 1st- religion, freedom of speech, press, assembly, petition governments on grievances 2nd- right to bear arms and have a regulated militia- not recognized as an international human right 3rd- no soldier can be quartered in a house without the owner's permission 4th- right to be secure, no unreasonable search and seizure- probable cause and warrant 5th- right not to be tried unless endited by grand jury - no trial more than once, when case is over, its over- right not to testify against self, right to remain silent, miranda, due process, right not to be deprived of life liberty, or property without due process This ensured a general right to life, liberty, and property Protects government violence in absence of law and limits the kinds of laws governments can enact Week 2 Lecture 3 Monday, October 3, 2016 Rights enshrined in the US Constitution continued Bill of Rights 6th amendment- Right to a fair trial that is public, speedy, within a reasonable time frame  The accused has a right to know what they are accused of  The accused has a right to confront and cross examine witnesses and call witnesses of their own  The accused has a right to a lawyer 8th amendment- No excessive bail or excessive fines should be put on a person awaiting trail with few exceptions (if that person is suspected to run away or a threat)  No cruel and unusual punishment The 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments lead a chronology of the criminal justice system Underlying rights:  Innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt  No excessive punishment on those who are found guilty 9th amendment- Just because these rights in the constitution her listed does not mean that they are the only rights human beings have and should have- rights exist prior to law and law protects rights - those rights not recognized in the constitution or by law still exist 10th amendment- the only powers by the national government are those given to it by the people and by the constitution- the government is limited only to what it is said it can do in the constitution While the constitution is built, slave states battle free states Then comes the civil war and Lincoln decides to instate the emancipation proclamation to abolish slavery and uphold the union Civil war amendments 13th amendment- abolishes slavery and/or involuntary servitude except when used as a form of criminal punishment In some southern states, they created new laws to convict African Americans and created a convict leasing program 14th amendment- no state can abridge privileges or immunities  No state can deprive anyone of life, liberty, or property without due process  No state can deny anyone equal protection of laws All states have individual rights and congress has authority to enforce those rights 15th amendment- all people have the right to vote regardless of race or previous condition of servitude - specifically for African Americans to vote Subsequent amendments 19th amendment- right to vote for women 26th amendment- lowers voting age from 21 to 18 Remarks The most important rights are attributed to "persons" Commitment to rights also reflected in form of government established- defined by:  Limited government  Government by popular consent- right to vote out an unjust government  Checks and balances Checks and balances  Staple of constitutional theory: Aristotle, Locke, Montesquieu, Madison  Declaration of the rights of man and citian (France 1789)  Right to challenge imprisonment  Judges have authority to ensure people are not unjustly imprisoned How to interpret the constitution Some say: we should apply meanings generally attached to constitutional provisions at the time of ratification Others say: we should apply our own best interpretation of the principles expressed in the constitution The 19th century was a step backward and a step forward in some ways for human rights On the one hand we have the European powers with war and genocide, age of imperialism, civil war On the other hand we have the emancipation proclamation, worker's rights and women's rights Intellectually there were many theories skeptical of human rights and some claimed individual rights as an artifact of capitalism Germany, Italy, and Japan fascism and rise to WWII Atlantic Charter between Britain and the US in 1941 1941 Franklin Roosevelt's speech about the four freedoms  Freedom of speech  Freedom of religion  Freedom from want  Freedom from fear Emerging from WWII with a sense that the world has to be rebuilt on new foundations- the formation of the United Nations and the Big three- Britain, the Soviet Union, and the US International human rights movement after 1945  From the ashes of 1945: horror at what has just transpired and eagerness to create something new  United Nations charter 1945  Universal declaration of human rights 1948  The goal of the United Nations: to prevent war and promote international cooperation (mostly to prevent war)  Protection of human rights in general terms Week 2 Lecture 4 Wednesday, October 5, 2016 The emergence of the international human rights movement after 1945  Crimes and horror never seen before  Time to go back to the basics and set up a new structure  United Nations Charter 1945  Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948  The goal of the United Nations: to prevent war and promote international cooperation (but mostly to prevent war) The Principle governing organs of the UN Charter:  General assembly - Virtually every country has a vote to pass general resolutions - not law but supports the general will  Security Council- upholds international peace and security- 15 members - 5 are permanent (US, Russia, China, Britain, France) who have the power to veto a resolution and 10 that trade off  plus a large set of specialized organizations that deal with refugees, food, health, environment, education, culture, etc.  In order to pass a resolution: It must have 9 affirmative votes and avoid any 1 veto from the 5 permanent countries  A resolution is: legally binding, necessary for upholding peace and security - every country is obligated to obey a resolution  General secretary- presides over general secretariat- staff New rules laid down in UN Charter  War is prohibited, unless undertaken in self-defense in response to an armed attack (art. 51), or authorized by the Security Council (art. 42) as a necessary means for preserving international peace and security.  Basics: war is prohibited unless in self defense, authorized by security council, or a necessary means for preserving international peace and security  War is a last resort- for when other methods have failed Human rights in the UN Charter  affirmed in the Preamble.  included among the United Nations’ core purposes (Article 1).  Article 55: [T]he United Nations shall promote … “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinctions as to race, sex, language or religion.”  Article 56: “All members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55.”  Article 62: Economic and Social Council “may make recommendations for the purpose of promoting respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.”  Article 68 authorizes establishment of a Human Rights Commission.  Several UN organs have the promotion of human rights included among their responsibilities.  Originally there was no intention to affirm human rights with the big three countries  Religious groups, small countries, and activist organizations lobbied for human rights  Civic groups can have a direct impact Article 1 of the UN Charter The Purposes of the United Nations are: 1. To maintain international peace and security…. 2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples…. 3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; 4. To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends. Obstacles to human right in the UN Charter? Strong assertion of state sovereignty in Article 2(7): “Nothing in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state… but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII.” Does this shield states from intervention intended to halt human rights abuses? The Human Rights Commission and the drafting and adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1946-48 Original members of the Human Rights Commission: Australia, Belgium, Byelorussia, Chile, China, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Lebanon, Panama, Philippines, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, USSR, Uruguay, Yugoslavia Eleanor Roosevelt as president John Humphrey Rene Cassin Charles Malik P.C. Chang  Most thought the commission would be a protector of human rights and got lots of appeals (too many)  So then they said they would not respond to individual appeals to human rights violations  Two or three decades later, they have developed procedures to deal with individual appeals  Instead of drafting a treaty, they drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  Human rights division in the general secretariat- put together materials for a universal declaration- John Humphrey  Asked scholars from many different countries and cultures to submit their views of human rights- over 70 contributed  They saw a lot of consensus about the need for and content of the universal declaration of human rights The soviet union weighed in assertive equality of men and women even though Stalin was in rule and committed several assaults to human rights The Final Draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  Adopted unanimously by the General Assembly of the United Nations, December 10, 1948  Recognizes rights to security, due process, freedom, political participation, social security  Vote is 48 to 0, with 8 abstentions (USSR, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa) What is the practical impact of the UDHR?  It has inspired people all over the world.  Many of its provisions have become part of customary international law.  Its provisions are widely copied in international human rights treaties.  Its provisions are widely copied in national constitutions. Some themes of the UDHR:  the unity of human rights  the harmony of human rights  the need for legal backing How does the UDH compare to the U.S. Bill of Rights (1791) and the U.S. Constitution as it exists today? Week 2 Lecture 5 Friday, October 7, 2016 Linda Rabben - Associate professor of anthropology at the University of Maryland Migration Glossary Asylum: From the Greek word asylos, “inviolable.” A secular legal institution created in the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648. Asylum traditionally was the right of a sovereign state to admit people fleeing to another country from persecution in their own country. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), asylum became the right of everyone “to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” (Article 14). However, the UDHR and other international agreements do not establish a right to gain asylum or a government’s obligation to provide it. Asylum Seeker: A person who seeks refuge or protection in another country on his or her own initiative. An asylee is an asylum seeker who has gained legal refugee status in the receiving country. Immigrant: An individual who arrives in a foreign country and seeks to settle permanently there, with or without legal authorization. An emigrant is a person who leaves the home country. Migrant: An individual who moves from one place to another, without or without authorization, usually temporarily or seasonally.* Refugee: A person or group that cannot remain safely in the home country and flees to another country, “owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion” (Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Article 1). The host country admits refugees as legal residents on a temporary or permanent basis. (See the Refugee Convention, 1951, and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1966, for a detailed description of the legal category of refugee under international law.) Sanctuary: From the Latin word sanctuarium, a sacred or consecrated place. A predominantly religious institution in many cultures, in which an individual or group offers hospitality, refuge, protection or other assistance to a member or members of another society, with or without conditions or limitations. *“The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants”(BBC 2016). This definition is meant to be a neutral umbrella term—unlike “illegal immigrant” or “economic immigrant,” which opponents of migration use to characterize migrants who are thought to be misrepresenting themselves as refugees or trying to enter a country without authorization. Sanctuary and Asylum History of the US immigration policy Poem about the statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants to Ellis Island - New Colossus The statue of liberty was a commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence Chinese exclusion Act around the time the poem was written - repealed in 1942- US trying to help Chinese who were fleeing from Japan in WWII Laws and decisions in immigration under short term pressure Late 19th Century system of visas and passports Negative stereotypes like fear of disease and stealing jobs while we still held a value of being a nation of immigrants The know nothings campaigned against Irish immigrants Italians were heavily persecuted in Louisianna- innocent people were killed because of anit-immigrant sentiments Boston- in the early 20th century partly religion- partly political disagreements Sacco and Vancetti were poor Italians- one was a fish monger and one was a peddler of anarchist literature They were arrested in 1919 of Robbery and murder and they were tried over and over again- executed in 1927 Japanese, eastern Europeans, Jews, Native Americans, Vietnamese More recently Central Americans- 1980's in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala It was impossible to get asylum in the US for short term political reasons Sanctuary movement 1980's - Sympathetic people took in Central Americans- over 400 religious groups were taking in people The government decided that this was a threat and they put leaders of the sanctuary movement on trial  The judge would not allow defendants to explain why they helped the asylum seekers  10 of 13 leaders were found guilty  The judge didn't want to make martyrs out of them and put all of them on 5 years of probation  Asked them to sign statement that said they would not shelter any more central American's but they refused and were not jailed  Movement continued with little consequence and grew after these trials  Eventually lead to a change in policy  Bush Sr. backed away from Central America and considered Asylum seeker applications Syrian, Afghan, Iraqi- Fleeing civil conflict and complicated politics to US and Europe Germany tried to welcome as many Syrian refugees as possible to take care of elderly, work in factories, etc. but became overwhelmed with the numbers of people Germany and Sweden backing away from admittance Policies change often but we are in need of reform 1996 was the last major immigration reform Supposed to support society and development but the system doesn't work anymore 500,000 people waiting for their status- huge backlog Control- overriding concern of the government Supposed to abide by the UN agreements, International law may super cede national law- this gets ignored sometimes Governments make is difficult for people to gain asylum that its under threat - however, human nature is still to help people and we will have that for a while so things can change Week 2 Section 2 Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Questions to consider 1. Discuss the differences between human rights and legal rights. Examples? 2. What is the Declaration of Independence? 3. Does the Declaration of Independence tell us anything about human rights? 4. In your opinion, is the Declaration of Independence an international human rights document? 5. What are the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? 6. What are the protections and which is your favorite? Least favorite? Why? 7. Does the form of government authorized by the Constitution seek to prevent violations of human rights? 8. Is the constitution an international human rights document? Answers given in section 1. Legal rights- those rights protected by law and government- made by society  Human rights- inalienable rights people have just for being human Examples:  Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that people have a right to clean water yet there are laws in many countries and states that do not protect that human right  Slavery was once legal but there was no human right to slavery, in fact, there was and is a human right not to be a slave  Certain tax laws and exemptions are not human rights but are sometimes legal rights and all are not equal 2. Statements made by the colonists telling the king what he did wrong and why they are justified in breaking off from him to declare their own government 3. A center of equality and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness  Government should and shouldn't do- the right to overthrow or part from and unjust government 4. The Declaration of Independence certainly influences and facilitates change in other countries but is not itself adopted by every country  It tells us what we are justified in doing and what the government can and cannot do 5. They give government its power and limits - checks and balances- lays out the logistics of rights 6. Favorite: First amendment- Freedom of speech, press, religion, expression, assembly - it is a protection of the individual from the government Least Favorite: Second amendment- the right to bear arms When it was written, different social norms and circumstances made sense for it but times have changed It is a legal right and not necessarily a human right- right to protect oneself but still different Subjective to the place one lives 7. Checks and balances in order to prevent human rights violations - limited government  There are instances that government can bypass human rights for its own gains  Government needs to have a healthy medium  Power to protect businesses and workers  Limits on government to help other countries  Government is not the only violator of human rights Week 2 Section 3 Thursday, October 6, 2016 Questions 1. What is the UN? The UN Charter? Post WWII - prevent war 2. What is the UDHR? What's the relationship between the UN Charter and the UDHR? 3. Why was the UDHR created? What historical factors/ processes shaped it? Post WWII- genocide- human rights violations on a massive scale 4. UDHR's strengths? Weaknesses? 5. How do the rights listed in the UDHR relate to each other? Some more important? 6. How does the UDHR compare to the U.S. Bill of Rights? 7. Your assessment of the UDHR? Sections for the UDHR 1-2: Intro - Equality 3-11: Life, liberty, security, due process 12-17: Social rights 18-21: religion, speech, assembly, vote 22-27: Quality of life, work, education, social security 28-30: All rights listed are not to be abused or infringed on For each section: 1. Summarize 2. Important Rights 3. Contentious rights 4. Any you disagree with? 5. How does the section compare with the Bill of Rights?


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