Behind the Drama: The Roles of Transnational Actors in Legal Mobilization Over Sexual and Reproductive Rights
38 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2021
Date Written: October 2018
There is no arena of human rights that presents more pitched drama than legal battles over sexual and reproductive rights (SRR). These battles have transcended international borders and threatened the stability and legitimacy of the international human rights system. Indeed, these legal battles regarding SRR ("lawfare") have become important domain in the global culture wars. In this Article, we focus especially on the role of transnational actors (TAs)-including international non-governmental organizations(NGOs), donors, media, churches and intellectuals, inter-governmental organizations, and elements of executive or parliamentary branches of certain governments-in underpinning the framing and strategies in SRR lawfare. We illustrate the ways in which TAs play multiple and critical roles in these litigation processes from norm development, to influencing specific decisions in supra-national courts, and to shaping the effects of the decisions, including implementation. In effect, TAs are often the scriptwriters, directors, producers, and sometimes direct protagonists themselves in these dramas. Yet there is a dearth of literature that maps the actors and their roles, including the dynamics that tend to characterize each stage of what become supra-national struggles over SRR. This Article seeks to fill that gap.
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