Peace Settlements and Human Rights
Forthcoming, Mark Retter, Andrea Varga and Marc Weller (eds.) International Law and Peace Settlements (CUP, 2020)
41 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 12, 2019
In the context of a difficult transition from war to peace, arrangements aimed at achieving peace (such as power-sharing, including autonomy) may come into tension with human rights (such as non-discrimination or indigenous rights). When this happens, peace and human rights are often unhelpfully characterized as binary or even mutually exclusive. The aim of this chapter is to query this binary characterisation, using three case studies where a particular tension was contested before a court: Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Philippines and El Salvador. The chapter shows that since neither peace nor (most) human rights are absolute, it is possible to weigh the two against each other; and the tension can be framed in a way that is more conducive to its resolution, by conceptualising peace as a fundamental public purpose, a legitimate aim, and/or a human right, thus internalising it in human rights reasoning, rather than treating it as external.
Keywords: Human Rights, Peace Agreements, Peace Settlement, Human Rights standards, Rights of Victims, Right to Self-Determination, Right to Non-Discrimination
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