Thursday, June 11, 2020

"On Street Protests and Human Rights" (Special Issue of the Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law)

Editors-in-Chief: Simon NM Young and Kelley Loper
Publisher: Brill, Leiden

Table of Contents

As 2019 came to an end, many labelled it ‘the year of street protest’. One estimate counted 71,790 protest events around the world in 2019, compared to 35,707 in 2018 and 23,990 in 2017. Rachman could see no ‘convincing global explanation’ for the 2019 protests, but they were obviously ‘connected’ in terms of ‘inspiring emulation’ and ‘shared tactics’. The bbc identified several common themes: inequality, corruption, political freedom, and climate change. Wright noted that ‘virtually all protests worldwide quickly escalated, and began issuing ultimatums for their governments to embrace sweeping changes – or to move aside’. Social media has been a ‘powerful organising tool everywhere’. It was assumed protests would continue unabated into 2020, but then the coronavirus pandemic struck. With global lockdowns and other social distancing measures, the first four months of 2020 have seen a substantial decrease in street protests worldwide. Governmental responses to prevent the spread of Covid-19 have severely restricted public gatherings and assemblies, not to mention other rights and freedoms. For example, in Hong Kong, gatherings of more than four persons in a public place were criminalised on 29 March 2020, punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment or a fine of HK$25,000. While these extraordinary measures are aimed at flattening the curve of new infections, there are growing concerns some governments are using these emergency powers for repressive ends, a situation that may possibly continue even after the pandemic has been contained... Click here to read the full Introduction.

To Facilitate and Protect: State Obligations and the Right of Peaceful Assembly in International Human Rights Law
By: Michael Hamilton
Pages: 5–34

The Democracy Dichotomy: Framing the Hong Kong 2019 Street Protests as Legitimacy Counterclaims against an Incoherent Constitutional Morality
By: James Greenwood-Reeves
Pages: 35–62

‘It was you who taught me that peaceful marches did not work’, Uncivil Disobedience and the Hong Kong Protests: Justification, Duty and Resistance
By: Jane Richards
Pages: 63–97

Implications of Easter Island Protests – Breach of Rapa Nui Rights by Chile in the Context of National, American and Universal Legal Systems
By: Joanna Siekiera
Pages: 98–120

The Law and Policy of Police and Prosecutorial Control of Detention in China
By: Kuibin Zhu and David M Siegel
Pages: 121–137

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