UNRIC Backgrounders

The United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe Backgrounders are a great resource for locating UN documents and sites covering international law topics and selected countries
These guides provide links to treaties, UN resolutions, UN press releases, UN reports and UN Web sites. Many thanks to the UNRIC Library staff for posting these useful guides online.

UNRIC Library Backgrounders

http://www.unric.org/en/unric-library-backgrounders

Backgrounders are available for the following countries:
Afghanistan
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Gaza
Iraq
Kosovo
Libya
Mali
Myanmar
Somalia
South Sudan
Sudan/Darfur
Sri Lanka
Syria
Yemen

Backgrounders are available for the following topics:
Biodiversity
Climate Change
Desertification
Disability
Disarmament
Educational Resources
Food Waste
Forests
Genocide
Global Food Crisis
Human Rights
Human Rights Council
Middle East
Migration
Millennium Development Goals
Nuclear Disarmament
Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations
Peacebuilding Commission
Peacekeeping
Poverty
Protection of civilians in armed conflict
Racism
Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
Sustainable Development
Terrorism
Youth

Universal Human Rights Conference: 500th Anniversary of Antonio de Montesinos

Universal Human Rights Conference: 500th Anniversary of Antonio de Montesinos
humanrights500.org

From the conference description and promotional materials:

On December 2-4, 2011, a coalition of universities and other institutions are hosting a  conference and celebration in Washington, D.C. to assess what has been achieved in 500 years of human rights advocacy.  The conference is scheduled to include Sunday, 4 December, the conventionally identified date in 1511 when Antonio de Montesinos, O.P. delivered a sermon in Santo Domingo calling for reform of Spanish policy toward the indigenous.  That sermon launched a Spanish debate about the human rights of the Indians, which in turn contributed to advocacy of the universality of human rights.  While concerned with the history of human rights, the conference will have as its focus current institutional and legal approaches to refine and enhance protections of human rights.

Working with international partners, Alma College’s Public Affairs Institute and Center for Responsible Leadership; George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs; Justice for North America for the Dominican Family; Partnership for Global Justice; the Osgood Center for International Studies; the Washington Theological Consortium; the Aquinas Institute; and the Fundacja Centrum Solidarnosci are hosting a conference focused on assessing what has been achieved in 500 years of human rights advocacy. The conference will include Sunday, December 4, 2011, the conventionally identified date in 1511 when Antonio de Montesinos delivered a sermon in Santo Domingo calling for reform of Spanish policy toward the indigenous. That sermon launched a Spanish debate about the human rights of the Indians, which in turn contributed to later advocacy of the principle that human rights apply to all people, regardless of nationality.  The new Spanish film Tambien La Lluvia (Even the Rain) has as its core purpose considering the legacy of Montesinos.

The conference is really a series of coordinated events that will bring together international scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, religious leaders, attorneys, civic leaders and workers in NGOs concerned with human rights (their history, definition, protection and enforcement). We will produce a “Proceedings,” collecting as many of the presentations as would be appropriate. Either as part of the “Proceedings” or in separate printed material, we anticipate assembling consensus documents that address contemporary human rights challenges.

We events will be held over the weekend of  Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 through Sunday, December 4, 2011. The weekend will include the following parts:

  1. Conference of experts, both practitioners (attorneys, NGO leaders, public officials) and scholars, including graduate students, held at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Arlington, Virginia on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3, 2011;
  2. Luncheon and seminar on Religion and Human Rights, held at the Georgetown University, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and Foreign Affairs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 2;
  3. An undergraduate human rights conference held in conjunction with the Osgood Center for International Affairs in Washington on Dec. 2-3, 2011.
  4. Performance of Jean Claude Carriere’s The Controversy of Valladolid on Saturday evening, Dec. 3;
  5. A celebration of the Montesinos homily at St. Matthews Cathedral on the afternoon of Sunday Dec. 4, 2011; and
  6. Development of one or more consensus documents during small group sessions on Sunday, December 4.

Papers and panels are invited on the following topics:

The history and philosophy of universal human rights, while we anticipate special interest in the Americas and in imperial nations, we encourage wider perspectives;

The institutional structure and processes for protecting universal human rights (including the responsibility to protect), especially from Nuremberg to the ICC;

The relationship of human rights to issues such as sovereignty, migration, labor rights, gender, development, and security/terrorism;

The relationship of universal rights to different national, regional, historical, and indigenous cultures; and

Religion and human rights.

Please submit paper or panel proposals by OCTOBER 17, 2011.

 

Governance and Social Development Resource Centre Document Library

The Governance and Social Development Resource Centre has put together a nice document library of citations and summaries of book chapters, reports, and journal articles arranged by keyword and by country. Links are provided to documents that are freely available on the Web. This site will help make up for the recent demise of the Intute portal.

From the Web site’s description:

“The document library is an up to date collection of the most credible publications available on governance, conflict and social development issues. It includes brief, policy-oriented summaries of each document highlighting the major findings and implications in an easy to read format, plus links to the full text online or by document delivery.

We monitor a wide range of publication sources weekly, including donors, NGOs and research institutes. Materials are carefully selected by our researchers to ensure that they are relevant to our topic area, demonstrate good practice or significant insight and represent a range of perspectives. Only the most credible and policy-relevant research, toolkits, analyses and case studies are included.”

Governance and Social Development Resource Centre Document Library

http://www.gsdrc.org/go/document-library

G-20 Materials

Each G-20 meeting has created its own Web site of documents, with varying degrees of comprehensiveness.  No central repository exists of G-20 documentation, but some recent initiatives might help.

Bloomberg Law has started a G-20 Declarations library under the “Global Law” tab.  It includes declarations from the G-20 summits since 2008.
http://www.bloomberglaw.com
Search > Global Law > World Organizations > Group of 20 > Declarations

An open access repository is being created at Archive-It. In addition to final proclamations, it should include preliminary documents and reports from experts and working groups.
http://www.archive-it.org/public/collection.html?id=2592

Diplomat’s Handbook for Democracy Development Support

Diplomat’s Handbook for Democracy Development Support 2nd ed.

http://diplomatshandbook.org/_resource.html

http://diplomatshandbook.org/pdf/Diplomats_Handbook.pdf

Table of Contents

Preface by President Vaclav Havel

Ministers’ ForewordChapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The International Context

Chapter 3: The Diplomat’s Toolbox

Chapter 4: Conclusions

CASE STUDIES:

Cuban Exceptionalism

Egypt: Will Democracy Succeed the Pharaoh

China’s Fifth Modernization: the Enduring Hope for Democratic Governance

South Africa: “The Long Road to Freedom”

From Independence to Real Democracy – Ukraine’s Orange Revolution

The Fall and Rise of Chilean Democracy: 1973-1989

Belarus: Europe’s Last Dictator?

The Suffering of Burma/Myanmar

Zimbabwe: From Hope to Crisis

Tanzania’s Road to Multi-Party Democracy: Focus on a Single Mission’s Efforts

Found online at http://www.diplomatshandbook.org/Tanzania

Sierra Leone: Belated International Engagement Ends a War, Helps Consolidate a Fragile Democracy. Found online at http://www.diplomatshandbook.org/SierraLeone

Resource List: Donor Organizations, Other Democracy Support Organizations and Election Assistance and Observation Organizations

Annex: International Human Rights Law

From the description:

The Diplomat’s Handbook is a project commissioned by the Community of Democracies, and produced by the Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD). The First Edition was produced with the financial support of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, Freedom House, the Princeton Project on National Security, the US Department of State, the Governments of Chile, India, and Morocco, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Government of Canada.

The Handbook project was conceived by Ambassador Mark Palmer. Preparation of the Handbook has been a partnership between Project Head, Ambassador Jeremy Kinsman (jeremykinsman@diplomatshandbook.org), who has been principally responsible for the text of the Handbook itself, and the Director of Research, Kurt Bassuener (kurtbassuener@diplomatshandbook.org), who has been principally responsible for producing the Handbook’s case studies

The text which follows and the case studies benefit from the generous contributions and advice of many former and current diplomatic practitioners, scholars, members of policy centers and nongovernmental organizations, and development experts. The case study on China was drafted by Chantal Meagher, the case study on Cuba by Jeremy Kinsman, and the case study on Egypt by a variety of experts, including Stephen McInerney, Moataz El Fegiery, Michele Dunne and Issandr El Amrani. The Belarus and Ukraine case study updates were undertaken with the assistance of Iryna Chupryna of the Democratization Policy Council.

 

 

Links from the Constitutional Court of South Korea

The English language site of the Constitutional Court of South Korea provides links to supreme and constitutional courts of individual countries arranged by continent.

There are also links to a few selected international tribunals and five Korean government Web sites that provide resources in English, including the Ministry of Government Legislation (Korea Law in English)

http://english.ccourt.go.kr/

Click on “Legal Links” from the homepage.

Talk by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donohoe at SLS

Eileen Chamberlain Donohoe, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, spoke this afternoon at Stanford Law School. She articulated five goals for the U.S.  in the upcoming years at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

1. Improve the Council’s ability to respond in real time to human rights emergencies, including taking preventative measures.

2. Support victims of human rights abuses.

3. Promote a more diverse mix of issues that are addressed by the Council.

4. Lower resistance to investigations of violations committed by individual countries.

5. Promote human rights defenders in all jurisdictions.

 

Lord Owen Report on British Policy on Iran 1974-1978

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has released the previously confidently Owen Report on British Policy on Iran 1974-1978.

This report covers the fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamic Republic.

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/who-we-are/our-history/historical-publications/documents-british-policy/british-policy-on-iran-1974-1978

From the description:

The Islamic Revolution in Iran represented a seismic shift in the internal and geopolitical orientation of a formerly close ally of the United Kingdom.

This document, now released for the first time, was commissioned in 1979 by the then Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon David (now Lord) Owen, in order to enable a detailed examination of the context of the events leading to the Revolution, and for the FCO to identify any lessons that might be learned from the UK’s reactions to, and analysis of, the events concerned.

The intention, as mentioned by the then Permanent Under-Secretary in his foreword, was not to apportion blame for the fact that the FCO, in common with others, failed to predict the Islamic Revolution. Rather, the intention was to “examine where, if anywhere, we had gone wrong and how we could do better in the future”. In this context Chapter XI, “Conclusion: Lessons for the FCO”, is of particular interest.

As a whole, this document shows the value of analysis and historical perspective in formulating policy not just with regard to the Islamic Republic of Iran, but to other countries and regions which remain of vital interest to the UK.

It is important to bear in mind that this is a historical document and does not necessarily reflect the views of the current UK government. It has been released for publication on the web following the FCO’s standard clearance procedures.

 

Anton’s Weekly Digest of International Law Scholarship

Looks like Prof. Don Anton’s round-up of international law publications will be a useful and timely resource.

Don Anton is a professor of international law at the Australian National  University College of Law.

Anton’s Weekly Digest of International Law Scholarship

http://donanton.org/?s=weekly

Table of Contents of the latest issue:

I. SSRN Legal Scholarship Network & bepress Legal Repository

II. Books

III. Law Journals

IV. Blogs/News Papers (Select Entries)

V. Gray Literature

VI. Documents

 

Legal Research Guide to Canadian Statutes

Legal Research Guide to Statutes

Eric B. Appleby

Maritime Law Book, 2007

http://www.mlb.nb.ca/site/ffiles/statute.pdf

From the introduction:

This legal research guide is meant to provide instruction on how to find cases that are relevant to an issue in the law of statutes and statutory interpretation. This guide does not provide instruction on how to find statutes or regulations.

Table of Contents

1. The language of statutes – common terms defined

2. Operation and effect of statutes

3. Operation and effect, on earlier statutes

4. Interpretation of Statutes

5. Remedial Statutes

6. Penal Statutes

Hat tip: Ted Tjaden.  One of many nuggets in his excellent book “Legal Research and Writing,” 3rd Edition.