Inequality in access to the rule of law

The rule of law has to offer a remedy for clashes of interests between individuals. However, the function of the rule of law is influenced by social factors, which depends on the specific characteristics of the society wherein it functions. For accessing the rule of law, individuals need specific means in order to resolve disputes arising from these clashes of interests. In reality, not every individual has the same starting position and may lack the means to access the rule of law, which may result in a dysfunctional rule of law. Introducing human rights and positive state obligations may be a solution to the thresholds that individuals face in protecting their interests.

The Right to Change Religion or Belief

The freedom of religion or belief is internationally recognized. However, studies demonstrate that the implementation of the right to apostasy, an essential aspect of this freedom, encounters difficulties in state practices. For this presentation, doctrinal and historical research is conducted regarding the UN legal documents and the drafting history in order to demonstrate that the phrasing of the freedom to change religion in the provisions has been gradually altered since the legal establishment in 1948. Within the UN, member states have succeeded in changing the provisions, resulting in conceptual ambiguity regarding the right to apostasy. It is a matter of concern that there is little recognition, within the UN and in academia, of the fact that the explicit right to apostasy has been disregarded, resulting in diminishing the normative force of the religious freedom provision.

Contemporary developments in the collective protection of social rights

International human rights law, including the field of social rights, relies fundamentally in the technique of legal rights. Given this technique’s limitations to the protection of social rights, where the protected interest is collective rather than individual, this presentation looks at collective mechanisms of social rights protection. The goal of this presentation is to take stock of contemporary forms of collective protection of social rights, identifying its most salient features. The findings of this research are instrumental to the question: what are the opportunities and challenges in contemporary mechanisms of collective protection of social rights?

Mutual Trust and Fundamental Rights

Mutual trust implies the EU Member States trusting one another in complying with their obligations under EU law. It is widely considered to be vital to inter alia the EU system distributing responsibility for asylum applications (Dublin system). However, the presumption of mutual trust has been rebutted based on a lack of fundamental rights protection in practice in the other Member State. In order to better understand the principle of mutual trust, this presentation delves into the way fundamental rights relate to the principle of mutual trust.