Showing posts from March, 2020

Is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ‘too white’? The Cultural Relativism argument and its merits.

In 1948, when the 48 Member States of the then-UNGA voted to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“UDHR[1][2]”), little did they know that, despite living in the aftermath of the collective and horrific WWII experience, they were far from actually having human rights realized, as with time new arguments against the iconic UDHR surfaced. Out of which, the most famous is that the UDHR is ‘too white’ or does not cater to ‘non-white people’. This is known as ‘Cultural Relativism’ (“CR”). The CR argument at the onset does not stand its ground. This is because out of those 48 adopting states[3], 32 were ‘non-white’ (if we include the South Americas) or 13 were ‘non-white’ (if we do not include them), with Afghanistan, Iran and China etc. as the adopting states as well. Even in the UDHR’s drafting, the representatives from the ‘non-white’ states such as C. Malik from Lebanon, P.C. Chang from China[4] and H. Mehta from India[5] etc. were actively involved. So then, why is CR still a…

‘Femininity’ within ‘Feminism’: the Cultural Feminist vs. the Radical Feminist debate and who wins it?

Like many other paradigm-shifting movements in the world (such as the American Civil Rights Movement and the Communist Movement), having solid foundation in the legal theory and scholarship as it may have, the Feminism Movement (‘FM’) or the Feminist Legal Theory (‘FLT’) has also been met with severe opposition, sometimes backlash and also legal consequences of the unjust laws (that Martin Luther King Jr. warned us against). 
Within these very real struggles for redefining ‘work’, ‘beauty’, ‘marriage’ and what not, there has emerged a new debate concerning ‘Cultural Feminism ‘CF’ (or ‘soft feminism’) and Radical Feminism ‘RF’ (or ‘hard feminism’). In a nutshell, CF’s would say you have to appear welcoming and ‘soft’ to really make a change, while forgetting (as RF’s would argue) that this essentially is not ‘soft feminism’ but reinforced internalized-misogyny that has adapted itself to the modern feministic attack, much like a virus that adapts to appear friendly but is highly dangerou…

Why do States obey international law?

It is very obvious to read remarks that international law lacks a number of features that would be considered key in any domestic legal system. Some of the features would include a proper system of courts with compulsory jurisdiction, a legislative organ that enacts law, and an administrative body that secures compliance with such law.  Also, the very nature of international law and the subject it covers makes it impossible for the system to have international equivalents to a police force or a system of prisons. And it is these missing elements in the system, which has led some to argue that international law isn't law at all but a system of niceties that originated in the courtesies that Kings once extended to one another.
A diversified view of this argument lies in the fact that the states, the subjects of international law, actually consider international law to be concrete law. It is worth mentioning that International lawyers do not talk in the language of morality or efficac…