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European Convention of Human Rights - Essay Example

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[T]he government has a duty to protect the lives and properties of its citizens. But that is a duty which it owes all the time and which it must discharge without destroying our constitutional freedoms.The real threat to the life of the nation, in the sense of a people living in accordance with its traditional laws and political values, comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these…
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European Convention of Human Rights
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European Convention of Human Rights

Download file to see previous pages... This was regarded as a breach of the UK's obligations under the Human Rights Convention2. But the Government asserted its right on bringing about such limitations on human rights and civil liberties, as the whole issue was borne out of a desperate situation and keeping in mind the national security. National security concerns thus have become an intrinsic reason for curbing fundamental Human Rights that seek to restore greater danger to the well being of world citizens and that which is not only threatened by terrorism but also the erosion of basic human rights, and freedoms upon which delicate democracy is based.
Rights of people, as per ECHR, are put above the rights of states out of a realization, borne out of harsh reality, that states acted in self-interest to the detriment of humanity throughout history. From time immemorial, the concept of States always shares a sense of being threatened: a cause and effect relation of dominating and trying to offer resistance. It is generally believed that though there are peaceful and controlled environments existing within states, the international arena is anarchical and prone to uncontrollable violence. What these motifs do is put the focus of national security on the protection of one's territorial boundaries and sovereignty. Power comes to be measured through military capability, where everybody starts sharing a sense of being marginalized. The world begins to have an absurd dynamism and begins to operate on a zero-sum game in which, according to Peter Stoett, "security is obtained at the expense of others."3 Thus, is the issue of human rights is being traded off for more security, or whether security concerns, as Blair argued, should trump over human rights

In this regard, it is important to realize that Theodore Roosevelt's discourse on four freedoms is often cited as the nucleus of the development of the post-1945 human rights system. It was a model where freedom from fear and freedom from want were seen as being translated into the concept of civil and political rights and economic and social rights. Yet, when talking about the freedom from fear, Roosevelt referred to arms control, and not to human rights or individual security!4 Interestingly, nobody can deny that freedom from fear is an easily understood and tangible idea and a powerful wish which all of us share. However, if we study the matter closely, we find that that its promontory is definitely beyond the simplistic idea of human rights. For example, if we take Canada, we find that the country has taken up the idea of human security and has started to formulate it as a foreign policy priority.5 And following the initiative of Canada, other countries have come together to form the Human Security Network. The organization has been created as an amalgamation of the like-minded nations and aims to advance human security globally6. It also has a high level Commission on Human Security, which is co-chaired by Amartya Sen and Sadako Ogato.7 Yet, some view Human Rights as a paradigm, which has made a dramatic departure of traditional foreign policy concepts. Critics have accused the concept of being far to universalistic with conceptual flaws and have argued that it does not serve the victims of insecurity, but rather creates ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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