Prohibition of Discrimination

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Living Instruments, Judicial Impotence, and the Trajectories of Gay Rights in Europe and in the United States

Evolutionary or dynamic interpretation is one of those perennial 'big' topics, which we e.g. recently dealt with in our book discussion on Eirik Bjorge's recent work on the topic. Judicial pronouncements on LGBT rights are an excellent example of this phenomenon (for some of my earlier thoughts on this, see here). In particular, on 26 June the US Supreme Court rendered its blockbuster ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which it held (per Justice Kennedy, and by 5 votes to 4) that the US Constitution requires full marriage equality between same-sex and different-sex couples. On reading this judgment, as well as some of the recent cases on similar questions before the European Court of Human Rights, I was struck by several points on the practical realities of dynamic interpretation that I'd like to raise in this post. First, it really is striking that despite the many differences in the text of the relevant instruments, their history, the institutional make-up or legal culture generally, US and European courts both look at gay…

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The Human Rights of Migrants as Limitations on States’ Control Over Entry and Stay in Their Territory

As Juan Amaya-Castro points out, (domestic) migration legislation is about selecting among potential or prospective migrants, i.e. creating two categories of migrants: ‘documented’ or ‘regular’ migrants, whose migration status complies with established requirements, and ‘undocumented’ or ‘irregular’ migrants, whose migration status does not so comply. Where does this leave international law and, as Juan Amaya-Castro calls…

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Why International Migration Law Does Not Give a License To Discriminate

Juan Amaya-Castro argues that states’ selective immigration policies are discriminatory, and that this discrimination has been legitimized by international (migration) law. From a legal point of view, this is rather a misperception that confuses differential with discriminatory treatment. The latter is not allowed by contemporary international law as this post will show. International migration…

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The Iranian Charter of Citizens’ Rights

 Nazila Ghanea teaches international human rights law at the University of Oxford. 100 days into his presidency, Iranian President Hassan Rohani delivered a partial result on the nuclear issue (see EJIL:Talk! discussion by Dan Joyner)and released his draft Charter of Citizens’ Rights (henceforth ‘the Charter’) on 26 November 2013. Though the Presidential…

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CERD and Hate Speech

An important case on hate speech was recently decided by the CERD Committee, TBB v. Germany, dealing with the intersection or conflict between the prohibition of racial discrimination and the freedom of expression (thanks to Marty Lederman for the pointer). The case concerned an interview given by a Mr Sarrazin in a journal that contained derogatory and offensive…

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