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Chapter: '‘Anachronistic As Colonial Remnants May Be…’ Locating the Rights of the Chagos Islanders As a Case Study of the Operation of Human Rights Law in Colonial Territories' from book: Fifty Years of the British Indian Ocean Territory: Legal Perspectives (Book chapter)

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Book Series: The World of Small States ISBN: 9783319785400 9783319785417 Year: Pages: 39 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-78541-7_8 Language: English
Publisher: Springer Nature Grant: European Research Council
Subject: History --- Migration
Added to DOAB on : 2018-06-01 17:23:32
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In the colonial era, it was commonplace for treaties binding on the metropolitan state to be applicable in that state’s colonies if the state made a declaration to this effect, via the operation of a ‘colonial clause’ in the treaty. This reflects concepts of trusteeship-over-people and civilizational difference which legitimized colonial rule in general and the role of the colonial authority in determining what standards were appropriate in colonial territories in particular. The colonial-clause model for applicability was adopted in the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950 and certain of its Protocols, but not other subsequent human rights treaties. The standard jurisprudential view is that in the absence of a colonial clause declaration, the Convention cannot be applicable on the alternative basis on which it operates in a state’s territory and to its extraterritorial activities. Such a declaration of applicability was not made in relation to the Chagos Islands, a UK colony, where human rights questions have been raised by the forced displacement by the UK of the indigenous population between 1968 and 1973, the continued denial of this people of their right to return, and more recent allegations concerning the US military base on one of the islands, Diego Garcia. However, in a 2012 decision, the European Court of Human Rights suggested that the standard position on the exclusive determinacy of declarations under the colonial clause may no longer be sustainable. The present piece takes this suggestion and explores its potential, taking into account the significance of the self-determination entitlement in having delegitimized the underlying concepts of trusteeship and civilizational difference on which the standard position is based.

Reconsidering Constitutional Formation II Decisive Constitutional Normativity: From Old Liberties to New Precedence

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Book Series: Studies in the History of Law and Justice ISSN: 2198-9842 ISBN: 9783319730363 9783319730370 Year: Volume: 12 Pages: 419 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73037-0 Language: English
Publisher: Springer Nature Grant: European Commission; European Research Council (ERC); University of Passau
Subject: Law
Added to DOAB on : 2018-06-29 15:51:53
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This second volume of ReConFort, published open access, addresses the decisive role of constitutional normativity, and focuses on discourses concerning the legal role of constitutional norms. Taken together with ReConFort I (National Sovereignty), it calls for an innovative reassessment of constitutional history drawing on key categories to convey the legal nature of the constitution itself (national sovereignty, precedence, justiciability of power, judiciary as constituted power).In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, constitutional normativity began to complete the legal fixation of the entire political order. This juridification in one constitutional text resulted in a conceptual differentiation from ordinary law, which extends to alterability and justiciability. The early expressions of this ‘new order of the ages’ suggest an unprecedented and irremediable break with European legal tradition, be it with British colonial governance or the French ancien régime. In fact, while the shift to constitutions as a hierarchically ‘higher’ form of positive law was a revolutionary change, it also drew upon old liberties. The American constitutional discourse, which was itself heavily influenced by British common law, in turn served as an inspiration for a variety of constitutional experiments – from the French Revolution to Napoleon’s downfall, in the halls of the Frankfurt Assembly, on the road to a unified Italy, and in the later theoretical discourse of twentieth-century Austria. If the constitution states the legal rules for the law-making process, then its Kelsian primacy is mandatory.Also included in this volume are the French originals and English translations of two vital documents. The first – Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès’ Du Jury Constitutionnaire (1795) – highlights an early attempt to reconcile the democratic values of the French Revolution with the pragmatic need to legally protect the Revolution. The second – the 1812 draft of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland – presents the ‘constitutional propaganda’ of the Russian Tsar Alexander I to bargain for the support of the Lithuanian and Polish nobility. These documents open new avenues of research into Europe’s constitutional history: one replete with diverse contexts and national experiences, but above all an overarching motif of constitutional decisiveness that served to complete the juridification of sovereignty. (www.reconfort.eu)

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