Human Rights

Human Rights and the Decay of Democracy

Decay of democracy has been the subject of countless manifestations from academics, journalists, civil society representatives and politicians in recent years. At every scheduled election in any relevant democracy, issues such as the increasing numbers of absent voters, the rise — or the prevalence — of ultra-right political parties and the distrust of representative institutions become central topics for the domestic electoral debate. While the linkage between democracy and the advancement of Human Rights remains largely unquestioned, the effects of deteriorating democracies on Human Rights around the globe have not been fully understood.

 

Human Rights are also at the very heart of this phenomenon. The rise in populist and authoritarian regimes has been closely followed, if not fuelled, by rhetoric and policies which question (i) the notion or scope of Human Rights as it’s been developed since the end of the Second World War and (ii) the role and actions of international organisations and NGOs, which have, over the past 75 years, played a vital role in promoting and protecting Human Rights. As such, it is important to understand how the change of domestic political landscape has impacted the work done by international organisations, and by extension, international law itself, as well as to map out strategies undertaken by NGOs and academics to reaffirm the Human Rights discourse and related norms.

 

Grasping the relationship between Human Rights and the decay of democracy is likely to require the understanding of different developments arising from national experiences, the role of Supreme or Constitutional Courts in reaffirming Human Rights, the differences, if any, between developed and developing democracies and if resilient institutions have been capable of preventing degradation in political, social, economic and cultural rights. Still, research questions such as the following remain to be addressed: How can we frame and explain the current debate on democratic decay and human rights from historical, economic or sociological perspective? Are there especially vulnerable rights in this moment of crisis? Is there an interpretative change of rights and freedoms by the Supreme and Constitutional Courts, and international human rights mechanisms in an age of democratic decay? How does the democratic decline affect the interaction of domestic jurisdictions, particularly the Supreme and Constitutional Courts, with the international or regional human rights bodies? What kind of strategies do the NGOs and civic society deploy for protection and promotion of human rights under illiberal populist regimes? What is the role of legislatures for protection of human rights in a democratic retrogression? If a crisis of democracy exists, may it also be understood as a crisis of political representation and political rights? How does it impact the rights of minorities, refugees and vulnerable groups in different countries?

 

For this call for proposals, we welcome works with an interdisciplinary approach (Law, International Relations, Political Science, History, Economics and other) as well as to comparative research which draws on the experiences of multiple countries simultaneously. The selected proposals will be part of a special issue or an edited volume by a collaborative work of the Human Rights research group under LSGL.

Group Publications

Human Rights Group Paper 2014

Download

Human Rights Group Paper 2015

Download

Human Rights Group Paper 2016

Download

Human Rights and the Decay of Democracy

Download

Group Members

Nadezhda (Nadya) Purtova
Nadezhda (Nadya) Purtova
Assistant Professor at Tilburg Institute for Law
Nadezhda (Nadya) Purtova (LLM, Central European University; MSc, Leiden University; PhD cum laude, Tilburg University) is Assistant Professor at Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society. Her research interests include comparative data protection and information privacy law and property law, as well as economics of data protection law. Her doctoral dissertation ‘Property rights in personal data: a European perspective’ (Tilburg Best Doctoral Dissertation Award) is published by Kluwer Law International. In the past years, Nadya was also involved in research on privacy and safety aspects of eHealth, privacy of health data, and economic analysis of data protection law.
Sudarshan
Sudarshan Ramaswamy
Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, Sudarshan comes with a distinguished career in the three domains of research, development programme formulation and implementation, and governance. A nationally successful debater at the college level, Sudarshan was a Rhodes Scholar at the Balliol College, University of Oxford, where he obtained his M.Phil degree. He was Research Fellow at the St. John’s College, University of Cambridge for many years where he taught and carried out research on issues relating to law and public policy. Sudarshan holds a Masters degree from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi where he held a UGC scholarship for Centre for Advanced Studies in Economics. Sudarshan has an impressive track record of publications comprising books, articles, and UN policy reports. He has a dozen years of experience in inter-disciplinary research and teaching in development economics, human development, law, state and poverty at the Universities of Delhi (1972-74), Oxford (1974-77), Cambridge (1977-82), and East Anglia (1982-83). He has another 28 years of experience in the United Nations Development Programme and the Ford Foundation related to public policy.
Matej Accetto
Matej Accetto
Gulbenkian Professor of Law at Católica Global School of Law
Matej Accetto is Gulbenkian Professor of Law at Católica Global School of Law/UCP in Lisbon. He studied law at the University of Ljubljana, taking his LL.B. in 2000; he then received an LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2001 and a Doctorate in Law from the University of Ljubljana in 2006, where he has also previously served as Associate Professor of European Law. His other experiences include having spent time as a stagiaire at the Court of Justice of the European Union, a Fellow of the Lord Slynn of Hadley European Law Foundation (2003–04), the Monica Partridge Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam College (2006), a Japan Foundation Fellow at Waseda University (2011) and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law (2012). He has offered visiting courses at the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing (China), ISES Foundation in Kőszeg (Hungary), Irkutsk State University (Russia) and Católica, as well as visiting lectures at various universities around the world. His primary area of expertise is EU law, with particular interest in issues involving judicial review, the relationship between EU and national legal orders and nationality law.
yigit-sayin
Yiğit Sayın
Assistant Professor at Koç University Law School
Yiğit Sayın (LLB Istanbul University) (LLM University of Warwick) (Phd Istanbul University) had his bachelor degree on law from Istanbul University School of Law in 1998 and his LLM degree on International Economic Law from University of Warwick in 2001. After practicing law as an attorney and a legal consultant for four years, he started his phd on private law at Istanbul University School of Law in 2003. In 2004 he joined Istanbul University School of Law as a research assistant within the department of Roman Law Studies. In 2009, he received his Phd on private law and moved to work in Koç University College of Law as an assistant professor. He had taught a variety of courses (Roman Law, Legal Theory, Legal History, Advocacy Law, Legal Aspects of International Transactions, International Business Law) and has also developed a course of Ethical Reasoning for students of all disciplines. He has published works on International Financial Institutions, Law of Obligations, Legal History and Roman law.
Amnon Lehavi
Amnon Lehavi
Dean of Radzyner Law School
Amnon Lehavi (Yale, J.S.D) is the Atara Kaufman Professor of Real Estate and Dean of  Radzyner Law School, and Academic Director, Gazit-Globe Real Estate Institute, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya. Prof. Lehavi is a leading authority on property, real estate, land use controls, international economic law, and law and globalization. He is the author of The Construction of Property: Norms, Institutions, Challenges (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and the editor of Gated Communities (Nevo Press, 2010). Prof. Lehavi has published extensively in top journals, including the Columbia Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Texas Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, Law and Social Inquiry, and Yale Journal of International Law. He has won numerous prizes, including the 2007 Tzeltner Award for an outstanding young scholar and the 2008, 2010, and 2014 IDC Award for excellence in scholarship. Prof. Lehavi served as the Chairperson of the Israeli Association of Private Law (2012-2013) and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley (2013-14).
Claudio
Claudio Lucena
Professor at Paraíba State University
Claudio Lucena is a Professor and former Dean of the Law Faculty at Paraíba State University (UEPB) in Brazil.
Francisca
Francisca María Pou Giménez
Academic Division of Economics, Law and Social Sciences
Eli
Eli Bukspan
Senior lecturer in the Radzyner Law School
His teaching and research focus on the areas of contract and corporate law as well as corporate social responsibility, risk management, compliance and ethics.