Human Rights

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Passing the Buck? The UN Security Council’s Undue Reliance on ASEAN to Defuse the Myanmar Crisis

After the UN Special Envoy's highly-charged report to the UN Security Council of "widespread, systematic attacks on civilians in Myanmar" and the continuum of unabated atrocities against peaceful protesters, children, journalists, among other unarmed victims of Myanmar's rapid descent away from democracy towards 'failed state' status, it is readily observable that the 10 March 2021 Statement by the President of the Security Council emphasized reliance on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to help engage all parties in brokering peace: “The Security Council reiterates its strong support for regional organisations, in particular the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its readiness to assist Myanmar in a positive, peaceful and constructive manner. It commends ASEAN’s continued efforts to engage with all relevant parties in Myanmar. The Council welcomes the recent informal ASEAN Ministerial meeting on 2 March, and the statements made by the ASEAN Chair on 2 March and 1 February, which recalled the purposes and principles of the ASEAN Charter, notably the principle of democracy, adherence…

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Universal Standards for Investigation of Mass Graves

1. The problem Mass graves are an all-too-frequent legacy of conflict and gross human rights violations. The magnitude of the issue is startling: in Iraq over 200 mass graves containing up to 12,000 victims have been found in territory formerly controlled by ISIL; in Srebrenica, Bosnia, some 17,000 sets of human remains from 94 graves and…

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What’s wrong with this picture? The UN Human Rights Council hears the military Junta as the legitimate government of Myanmar

Introduction to the representation issue A few weeks ago, on 26 February 2021, Rebecca Barber wrote a piece in EJIL:Talk! asking whether the UN General Assembly could exclude Myanmar by refusing “to recognise the credentials of its ruling military Junta?” Quite correctly she answered with a resounding “YES”. This piece will continue the focus on…

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Myanmar: Testing the Democratic Norm in International Law

It is official now: history does repeat itself. In 1990, the military regime in Burma, now Myanmar, held elections. To their surprise, the democratic opposition in the shape of the National League of Democracy (NLD) achieved an overwhelming victory. This happened despite the fact that they had taken the precaution of keeping the leader of the NLD, Daw…

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Should the ECtHR Invoke Article 17 for Disinformation Cases?

Increasingly, legal debates surrounding disinformation in Europe have questioned how this problem can be tackled while preserving fundamental rights to freedom of expression. Under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), freedom of expression is protected. Throughout the extensive Article 10 jurisprudence in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), it has been well established…

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