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Monday, 13 August 2007

Lecture Discussion Notes from August 10, 2007:

Additional Reading Assignments/Recitation

Oxford Amnestry Lectures, 1993: 

Rawls, John "The Law of Peoples"

MacKinnon, Catherine, "Crimes of War, Crimes of Peace" 

Discussion Guide:

1. Basic contributions of CEDAW/Key Principles (Introduction)

-Expansion of State Accountability Concept

Enabling Conditions++ protection and promotion of rights

Examples: "Property Rights" (marital laws; citizenship laws)

-Equality Framework: Substantive/Transformative

-Non-Discrimination Framework (VAW, GR 19)

2. Feminist Critiques of HR (Introduction)

-Public/Private Sphere (Review: Taub/Schneider)

-Equality (Sameness/Difference Debate/Dominance) by MacKinnon

-Language of Rights (evasive of power relationship; geopolitical inequality issues) Finley

-Vrey important to note the language of HR documents at the time of adoption: level of consensus and ideas; CEDAW ++ its General Recommendations

Examples of Law's limited articulation: 

pornography->free expression


 3.  Vaw, gr 19  as example of changes or updating CEDAW interpretation; new concepts integrated into "frame" (1992); Rape as war crime ICC recognition came also after several years of engagement by women's movements (note MacKinnon article)

Questions raised: 

1. Why wasn't VAW in the original CEDAW?

-Its time hadn't come yet; not yet articulated in the frame which then was simply "non-discrimination/equality"

-defintiion would later be adopted as a form of discrimination against women; worsens inequality; or barriers to equality

Note even rape as political act/ in war had to be lobbied for...

2. Rawls example of a non-liberal well ordered heirarchy open to HR? Bhutan monarchy is a common example. (Current issues with transition to liberal democratic rule) Point by Rawls was to ilustrate that to him, HR is not necesarrily exlusively "liberal" ideology; possibility of creating culture around HR across political/cultural traditions ; his minimum requirements address the basic premises : "common good" and legitimacy or rule (state)

**Further discussion required? Notable difference in tradition by Rawls (purposively obejective/without specificities or context in discussion; for the sake of universalism); and feminist purposive in subjective/specificity; contextual?


Posted by karolruiza at 5:44 PM
Sunday, 29 July 2007

Topic: Lecture 2

Lecture Notes/Outline 

1. Overview of HR System/Conventions

2. Philosophical and Ethical Paradigms; Influences of Liberal Theory on Classical Human Rights Concepts

3. "Women's Human Rights"  (Feminist Engagement of Rights Theory)



Power Point

Reading List:

Charlesworth, Human Rights , Chap. 7

Engle Merry, S., Global Law on VAW

Evatt, The Impact of the Women's Convention

Additional Assignment: "Guided Internet Surfing on Human Rights History"


Posted by karolruiza at 3:00 PM
Women's Human Rights Course - UPLaw 131
Topic: Workshop No. 1

Group Activity (Structured Learning Exercise)

1. Five groups will tackle five different news peices about a "human rights" issue. Each group will be asked to identify the different types of human rights violations in each given case as well as discuss the concept of "accountability" for human rights violations.

News Clippings:

(1) Peru Forced Sterilization of Tribal Women

(2) Jonas Burgos Case

(3) Carol Jimenez case

(4) Taliban targets teachers; women

(5) Abu Gharib case 

2.  The point of the exercise is to level off on the basic concepts of Human Rights; get the students familiar with the language of "rights" in the Internatonal Human Rights Conventions and to provoke reflection on the difference between human rights law and the philosophical /moral basis of human rights.

3. Core Messages:

  • Human Rights Law only pertains to the body of HR principles which have been adopted into law or treaty/conventions
  • Human Rights necesarrily have a  philosophical or moral basis but often in "law,"  also comes  face to face with the  positive/liberal law assumptions  of neutrality, objectivity --- making it appear that "HR" can be invoked  and applied equally between individuals and institutions; as if it is value-free; and often divorced from structures of power/relations
    • Example (from class discussion) "Does the military (institution) have human rights? Can it claim  their right to presumed innocent has been violated in the media handling of the Burgos case?"

Assigned Readings for  Day 2 (Introduction to Women's Human Rights)

Charlseworth, Chapter 7, Human Rights

Merry Engel, S., The Global Law on VAW

CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination Against All Forms of Discrimination) 


Posted by karolruiza at 1:44 PM

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