International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies (10 papers in press)
The Development and Practice of Citizenship and Citizenship Rights in Ethiopia: Crude Assessment in Three Consecutive Regimes
by Gizachew Gifayehu
Abstract: Instilling democracy on an unshakable ground in a given society is the main goals of political leaders and political philosophers. This process on its base needs an educated citizen that clearly understands and develops an inherent character about ones own rights and responsibilities. At its core, Citizenship is the legal status of citizens which advocate and empower citizenship rights in the political system. At minimum, there will be the right to be domiciled in and take part in the political decision-making process of the state, usually through voting. Forming an inclusive and responsible citizen is also one of the basic and critical point throughout the history of state formation of Ethiopia. Especially, in multicultural society like Ethiopia, social, cultural, economic and political exclusion will be the basic problem that the country faces. Maybe it will be possible to reduce these social problems through the introduction of different legal statements and rules. However, the legal inclusion can never be a guarantee for developing and ensuring social and cultural inclusion of individuals in a given political community. Rather, educating and creating awareness about citizenship and citizenship rights can possibly mitigate such problems from the grassroot level. Bearing this in mind, the paper attempt to made general assessment and explication about the development and practice of citizenship and citizenship rights in Ethiopia. In doing so, different literature, legal documents, governmental reports and records were used as sources of data. Accordingly, this paper made an assessment, though not made a conclusion, about practice and development and practice of citizenship in to four basic periods namely, pre-Emperor Haile Selassie, Haile Selassie, Derg and the EPRDF.rnrn
Keywords: Citizenship; citizenship rights; Nationality; Citizen; Human rights.
The practice, Adherence and Contravention of Human Rights of Public Sectors Governance in Amhara National Regional States, Ethiopia
by Gizachew Gifayehu
Abstract: One of the basic democratic values which will never be compromised is the human rights of citizens. Accordingly, the basic issues that expected to be seriously considered in public sector governance is the issues of human rights. Cognizant of this, the research investigates the practice, adherence and contravention of human rights during service delivery process of public sectors in Amhara National Regional State (ANRS). In achieving this basic objective, a combination of quantitative and qualitative research approaches was used. To realize this, a combination of both probability (simple and convenience) and non-probability (purposive and quota) sampling techniques was applied. Finally, individual respondents were contacted from customers and authorities of public service providing institutions using convenience sampling. The collected data were analyzed using both qualitative (thematic analysis) and quantitative (Likert Rating Scale) data analysis techniques. After an intensive investigation of primary and secondary data through qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods, the research team conclude that the place and adherence of human rights in public sectors were very fragile and Hereof, the research team recommends that the public sectors need to develop a human rights-based services delivery approach. As per the primary data collected, the study reveals that there are serious human right contraventions which needs to be made a considerable measure to ensure and protect the right to access of customers in public sectors.
Keywords: Good governance; public sector; Public sector governance; human rights; Public service.
Digital Transformation of Society and Economy Ethical Considerations from a Human Rights Perspective
by Peter Kirchschlaeger
Abstract: The digitalization, robotization, and automatization of society and economy, along with the use of artificial intelligence embrace chances and challenges from an ethical perspective. In health care, for example, the robotized support of humans with disabilities empowers them to live an autonomous life; financial markets benefit from higher speed, data-volume, and greater precision for their transactions; innovative business-models open new horizons and contribute to progress; technology-based economic processes relieves humans empowering them for other tasks. At the same time, digital transformation will lead to a substantial loss of paid jobs because technological systems create fewer costs than human employees, and this is due to self-learning systems requiring less human input then former technologies pushing earlier transformative processes. The reduction of the paid labor-market will provoke a lack of sources of income, of financial means for social welfare, of structuring daily life, of purpose of life, and of the self-understanding of humans. Beyond that, it will contribute to the widening of the gap between rich and poor because less people are directly involved economically and socially in a more efficient and more effective value-creation-process.rnDue to their moral capability, humans remain liable for technological development. This ethical responsibility cannot be delegated to technologies because technological systems do not possess moral capability to autonomously define moral norms which are universalizable. Technological progress must receive its ethical orientation from humans. Ethics must, therefore, interact continuously with technological progress.rnIn this article, in a first step, ethical principles serving the ethical assessment of the digitalization, robotization, and automatization of society and economy, as well asthe use of artificial intelligence (more generally) will be introduced. Secondly, digital transformation will be analyzed from an ethical perspective, and its chances and challenges will be discussed. Thirdly, regarding the challenges, specific solutions will be developed from an ethical standpoint.rn
Keywords: digitalization; robotization; automatization; artificial intelligence; ethical perspective; digital transformation; moral capability; humans; technological development; responsibility; ethical orientation; ethics; principles.
Responsibility to Accountability: A Paradigm shift in business and human rights interface
by Aneesha P R
Abstract: When the role of business in society got elaborated due to globalisation, corporations began to have control in the life of the people. Rights of the people, community and other environmental rights began to get adversely affected by the business activities purely based on profit motive and at the expense of the basic rights and interest of the members of the society. Corporate Social Responsibility was developed and evolved in this context to make the corporations more responsible towards society and to contribute to the developmental and welfare measures as a token of gratitude to the society for utilising the natural and other social resources at the expense of all other members of the society. But the whole framework of CSR is built upon a voluntary paradigm and is intended to make the companies duty bound morally. Once the business giants, the transnational and multinational companies, started to have more influence in social affairs because of their huge income, varied labour division roles, interchange of governmental functions with private actors, it turns a threat to the basic rights of the people. The changed neoliberal economy poses new challenges to human rights. Most of the times the business and human rights interface turned to be very threatening depending upon the effectiveness of the national protection, nation states need for money for development, free trading policies and agreements. The situation is too worse in underdeveloped and developing nations. This changed scenario of the neoliberal economy makes the existing human rights protection inadequate and liability standards for the corporations for human rights violations are still indeterminate. This paper is an inquiry into the need of fixing the accountability standards for business corporations in terms of human rights. The study has been done by analysing many real-life experiences from the different parts of the world. A theoretical analysis has been done for proving the need for fixing up the accountability by analysing various articles, case studies, annual reports and other assessments done by various International NGOs and so on. Theoretical and practical limitations of ringing out the accountability standards have also been discussed.
Keywords: corporate accountability; Business and human rights; human rights and business interface.
An academic study of criminalisation of policy in Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono era
by Dwidja Priyatno
Abstract: This study aimed at discussing criminalisation of policy during the former President of the Republic of Indonesia era, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as an academic study which at that time was very widespread in media coverage. There were not a few heads of regions affected by the policies undertaken. This has the effect of whether the policy is included in the realm of administrative law or criminal law. The conclusion of this article is that the protection of the law especially against the suspicion of criminalisation of the policy, which applies to the policy maker and implementer, must be expressly contained in the legislation, as the reason for the criminal offense, namely to abolish the unlawful nature (justification). By referring to the principle of legal certainty, the principle of state administration, the principle of public interest, the principle of openness, the principle of proportionality, the principle of professionalism, and the principle of accountability.
Keywords: policy; criminalisation; government; law.
Minority and federalism: an assessment of the right to political participation of 'non-indigenous' peoples in Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State, Ethiopia
by Gifayehu Wondie Gizachew
Abstract: Ethiopia design ethnic-based federal (though not purely) state structure to respond to the challenges of minorities by developing a counter-majority institutional system. However, this approach literally left 'non-native'/'non-indigenous' group of peoples out of the constitutional recognition and institutional consideration of the regional state administration. Likely, as one regional state of Ethiopia, Benishangul-Gumuz National Regional State had face serious criticism concerning on the right of these groups of people. Minding this, this paper attempt to make a basic assessment on the right to political participation of 'non-indigenous' peoples in Benishangul-Gumuz regional state. In doing so, an interview with focal persons were conducted. In addition to this, different literatures, legal documents and policy documents were used. Finally, the study reveals that the right to political participation has been shortened by normative and institutional constraints. Hence, it is recommended that there must be a constitutional and institutional change in Ethiopian federalism.
Keywords: ethno-territorial federalism; human rights; non-indigenous people; non-indigenous minorities; right to political participation; Ethiopia.
Backlog of cases - civil and criminal justice: a comparative study, Bangladesh perspective
by Md. Milan Hossain
Abstract: The Judiciary was separated on 1 November 2017 and more than ten years have already gone but no impact of its former separation upon reducing the backlogs in either civil or criminal justice has fallen, rather the backlogs have been increased in each year in both cases. This paper has investigated comparatively upon the backlog of cases in civil and criminal justice from 2008 to 2016 (particularly judiciary post separation regime) and its impact upon the judiciary. It has also tried to find out the problems behind the backlogs in both systems and focused upon the challenges in reducing backlogs and ensuring civil and criminal justice. Lastly, this article has given a possible solution to reduce the backlogs from civil and criminal justice. In the study, it is found that the number of backlogs is more in civil justice than criminal justice due to many reasons and the people's confidence upon the judiciary is questionable due to the culture of absence of justice.
Keywords: judiciary; backlogs; civil justice; criminal justice; Bangladesh.
Protecting traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions through cultural heritage and human rights norms in Colombia
by María Julia Ochoa Jiménez
Abstract: This paper deals with the legal protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions through cultural heritage and human rights norms, considering the situation in Colombia. The first part of the paper observes the subject matter from the cultural heritage perspective. The second part sets forth the human rights viewpoint, emphasising some steps taken by the Colombian Constitutional Court. The last part offers a discussion of possible ways to explain some interactions between these two approaches, as well as between them and the intellectual property regime.
Keywords: traditional knowledge; traditional cultural expressions; TCEs; indigenous and local knowledge; human rights; cultural heritage; Colombia.
Social contract and democratic validity of constitution (with a focus on Iran and Iraq)
by Sabah Mofidi
Abstract: This article tries to study the validity of constitutions based on the social contract theory. In this relation, the main outlined question is that is it valid and should the people follow this general and basic law at a country or territory when it is not based on a real social contract and a social group abuses it against others? For answering the question, at first, the constitution as a social contract and a characteristic of modern state and its democratic validity based on social contract are discussed. At the second stage, two sample constitutions of Iran and Iraq are examined and evaluated. As a result, it concludes that a constitution is to be adhered to until it has democratic validity, shows the rights of all people and is enforced completely. Accordingly, the two sample constitutions are not based on a real social contract and have no democratic validity. There are some problems in both their content and implementation.
Keywords: social contract; democratic validity; constitution; Iran; Iraq.
Legal perspectives on coalition agreements: the input of domestic courts
by Vassilis Pergantis
Abstract: The practice of coalition agreements has exponentially grown in the last decades. Their repeated use has led to increased inquiries over their legal status and conformity with constitutional law. This article provides an overview of the relevant domestic (constitutional) case-law on the legal nature of coalition agreements, the applicable law and their justiciability. It also systematically presents the judicial insights of Israeli, German and Dutch courts on the legal issues arising from coalition agreements, particularly with regard to challenges to transparency requirements, the constitutional functions of state organs and the separation of powers.
Keywords: coalition agreements; coalition governments; domestic courts; legal nature; transparency; imperative mandate; separation of powers; justiciability.