‘Safe Third Country’: A Theory of a Dangerous Concept and the Democratic Ends of International Human Rights

This paper develops a critique of the ‘safe third country’ concept in international asylum law. Thus far, a rich scholarly literature has scrutinized the concept within a particular analytic frame: that of individual rights protection. Focusing on effects of STC rules in EU and N. American jurisdictions, the paper proposes a change in perspective. The change reconceives the fundamental harm of ‘safe third country’ as a violation not, in the first instance, of individual rights but instead of the principle of democratic responsibility. The wrong is better conceptualized as a relational and distributive harm before it is felt as an individual one: relational in that it changes the character of the relationship between removing states and individual refugees; and distributive in that it unfairly maldistributes responsibilities among states for the protection of refugee rights. The paper details the analytic shift’s consequences for vertical and horizontal dimensions of asylum law.

Between Legal Impressionism and Political Realism: The Human Rights Obligations into the New EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

On 12th February 2020, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a non-legislative Resolution (P9_TA-PROV(2020)0029, the Resolution) on the Draft Council Decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Investment Protection Agreement between the European Union and its Member States and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. That Resolution include a series of “human rights obstacles” to the effective implementation of the agreement. Furthermore, it must be included into the more ample Partnership between EU and Vietnam. The present proposal aims, inter alia, to analyze the nature of those human rights limits listed into such a resolution of the parliament and their effective impact on the economic relationships between EU and Vietnam. In particular, it will try to reflect about their nature, accountability mechanisms in case of violations, subjects obliged by them.

Trust, the Right to Development, and Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations of States (ETOs): Reclaiming Education as a Human Right in a Globalised World

Trust in human rights has been lost. They have “lost their bite” at the very point where, in a globalised world, they would need it most – at the point where individuals’ and peoples’ rights are affected by the conduct of other states, as global actors, acting uni-, bi, or multilaterally, e.g., in international organisations. Yet, such conduct remains beyond the purview of human rights. Taking the right to education as an example, if education is a prerequisite for personal and national development, then education as a human right must impose global extraterritorial human rights obligations on states. These would protect education in international development co-operation, finance lending (World Bank, IMF), trade in education services (GATS), copyright regulation (TRIPS), and education policy (OECD). This paper asserts the potential of ETOs as a means of taking the human rights of individuals, peoples, and nations – ultimately thus also the right to development – seriously again.

Elaborating on Human Rights of the Infected and the Uninfected: From the Comparative and International Law Perspective

Amid the global outbreaks of epidemics, it has become a matter of global concern how to balance human rights of the infected and the uninfected at national and transnational levels. This paper first tries to show that the way the human rights are balanced is often misaligned by fear, stigma, or political motivations, rather than firmly rooted in the scientific approach. To that end, this paper presents a comparative analysis of how diseases laws in multiple OECD member states address the critical traits of contagious diseases, including mortality, acuity, communicability, and socio-economic impact. Expanding the perspective to international norms and practices, this paper observes a systematic failure that the economic or political motivations overshadow the vast positive externalities of containment strategies, undermine the human rights of both the infected and the uninfected, and aggravate the risk of catastrophic outcomes.