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Article

Access_open State Obligations to Counter Islamophobia: Comparing Fault Lines in the International Supervisory Practice of the HRC/ICCPR, the ECtHR and the AC/FCNM

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Human rights, positive state obligations, islamophobia, international supervisory mechanisms
Auteurs Kristin Henrard
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Islamophobia, like xenophobia, points to deep-seated, ingrained discrimination against a particular group, whose effective enjoyment of fundamental rights is impaired. This in turn triggers the human rights obligations of liberal democratic states, more particularly states’ positive obligations (informed by reasonability considerations) to ensure that fundamental rights are effectively enjoyed, and thus also respected in interpersonal relationships. This article identifies and compares the fault lines in the practice of three international human rights supervisory mechanisms in relation to Islamophobia, namely the Human Rights Committee (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), the European Court of Human Rights (European Convention on Human Rights) and the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The supervisory practice is analysed in two steps: The analysis of each international supervisory mechanism’s jurisprudence, in itself, is followed by the comparison of the fault lines. The latter comparison is structured around the two main strands of strategies that states could adopt in order to counter intolerance: On the one hand, the active promotion of tolerance, inter alia through education, awareness-raising campaigns and the stimulation of intercultural dialogue; on the other, countering acts informed by intolerance, in terms of the prohibition of discrimination (and/or the effective enjoyment of substantive fundamental rights). Having regard to the respective strengths and weaknesses of the supervisory practice of these three international supervisory mechanisms, the article concludes with some overarching recommendations.


Kristin Henrard
Kristin Henrard is Professor International Human Rights and Minorities, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Kristin Henrard
Kristin Henrard is Professor International Human Rights and Minorities, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Kristin Henrard Ph.D.
Kristin Henrard is professor minorities and fundamental rights in the department of International and EU law of the Erasmus School of Law in the Netherlands.

Jeremie Gilbert
Jeremie Gilbert is professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Roehampton in the UK.
Editorial

Access_open Introduction

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 3 2017
Auteurs Kristin Henrard
Auteursinformatie

Kristin Henrard
Kristin Henrard is Professor of fundamental rights and minorities at the Erasmus School of Law, more particularly the Department of International and EU Law. She teaches courses on advanced public international law, international criminal law, human rights and on minorities and fundamental rights.
Editorial

Access_open Introduction

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 3 2016
Auteurs Kristin Henrard
Auteursinformatie

Kristin Henrard
Kristin Henrard is professor of fundamental rights and minorities at the Erasmus School of Law as well as associate professor International and European Law. She teaches courses on advanced public international law, international criminal law, human rights, and on minorities and fundamental rights.
Editorial

Access_open Introduction

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2016
Auteurs Kristin Henrard
Auteursinformatie

Kristin Henrard
Kristin Henrard is professor of fundamental rights and minorities at the Erasmus School of Law as well as associate professor International and European Law. She teaches courses on advanced public international law, international criminal law, human rights, and on minorities and fundamental rights.

    This article sets out to contribute to the special issue devoted to multi-disciplinary legal research by discussing first the limits of purely doctrinal legal research in relation to a particular topic and second the relevant considerations in devising research that (inter alia) draws on non-legal, auxiliary disciplines to ‘fill in’ and guide the legal framework. The topic concerned is the (analysis of the) fundamental rights of minorities.
    The article starts with a long account of the flaws in the current legal analysis of the European Court of Human Rights regarding minorities’ rights, particularly the reduction in its analysis and the related failure to properly identify and weigh all relevant interests and variables. This ‘prelude’ provides crucial insights in the causes of the flaws in the Court’s jurisprudence: lack of knowledge (about the relevant interests and variables) and concerns with the Court’s political legitimacy.
    The article goes on to argue for the need for multi-disciplinary legal research to tackle the lack of knowledge: more particularly by drawing on sociology (and related social sciences) and political philosophy as auxiliary disciplines to identify additional interests and variables for the rights analysis. The ensuing new analytical framework for the analysis of minorities’ rights would benefit international courts (adjudicating on human rights) generally. To operationalise and refine the new analytical framework, the research should furthermore have regard to the practice of (a selection of) international courts and national case studies.


Kristin Henrard
Professor of minorities and fundamental rights at the Erasmus School of Law.

    A historical analysis demonstrates that religious minorities and their protection needs played an important role in the emergence and the first developments of fundamental rights. It is indeed possible to denote a close correlation between the protection needs of religious minorities on the one hand and the fundamental rights enshrined in declarations and treaties on the other. Closer scrutiny reveals that this correlation can actually be explained by evolving views about the special vulnerability of religious minorities in the periods concerned. More recent developments of the human rights paradigm reveal that in the meantime other groups in particular are considered vulnerable and thus in need of special protection.


Kristin Henrard
Prof. dr. K. Henrard is hoogleraar Minderhedenbescherming aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (EUR). khenrard@yahoo.com.

Kristin Henrard
Professor of Minority Protection at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Monika Ambrus

Marjolein Busstra

Kristin Henrard
Monika Ambrus is assistant professor at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam; Marjolein Busstra is policy advisor at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Kristin Henrard is professor of minority protection also at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. This publication has been made possible by a generous VIDI grant of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research. The authors wish to thank an anonymous referee and the editorial board of the Erasmus Law Review for thoughtful comments. The usual disclaimer applies.

Kristin Henrard
Professor of Minority Protection and Associate Professor of Constitutional Law and Human Rights, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
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