11 October 2013
Spreading Our Roots
As intelligent beings, the human race has always been riddled with arguments about rights. This phenomenon is completely natural to humans and is part of what separates us from animals. Perhaps it is our intelligence, our natural course given by divine beings, or just simply a part of who we are through evolution that causes us to believe in and assert our basic rights. To evaluate this idea, it is necessary to examine human history and modern belief. Two great writers from American history, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, wrote extensively on this subject. Both of whom lived in a time of major revolutionary beliefs relating to human rights: the era of American Revolution. Their core beliefs were transcribed into their documents; these motivated and proclaimed a new American ideal on true freedom and inherent rights. Jefferson, who drafted the Declaration of Independence, the document which proclaimed an absolved relationship between the Colonies and the King of England, wrote many fiery and revolutionary ideals about human rights into his draft of the Declaration. The first sentence of the document is very important and sets the tone for the entire paper: “When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth and separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to make the separation.” (340) Jefferson uses powerful language from the very beginning, shown here, on the topic of basic rights. He believes that according to human events, it is the right of humans to dissolve the binding and controlling bands that are creating unrest. He also speaks upon this when he states, “…it is the right of the...
...HRV1601: HumanRights, Values and Social Transformation
Semester 01/ Assignment 01
The Historical Background and Development of HumanRights
Table of Contents
2) The Development of HumanRights
3) Historical Documents of HumanRights
3.1) The English Bill ofRights (1689)
3.2) The American War of Independence (1775-1783)
4) Developing and Maintaining a HumanRights Culture in South Africa
5) The South African Constitution
6) The South African Bill of Rights
A right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all human beings from the moment of birth. According to Ndungane (as stated in Slater 2010:19), “A humanright is a right that a human person has simply by virtue of being a human person, irrespective of his or her social status, cultural accomplishments, moral merits, religious beliefs, class membership or cultural relationships”. Basic humanrights are not earned or deserved, and should not be considered a privilege, but an imperative implement for the well-being and peacefulness of mankind. This...
...Are humanrights innate and universal?
Post WWII on the 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of HumanRights (UDHR) was espoused by the General Assembly of the United Nations in order to agree on the notion that such atrocities that occurred throughout the Great War and the Second World War would not ever be reciprocated. The document that was drawn up in less than two years by the UN and Western states, and although ambitious it would guarantee a premise for life and living for every individual all over the world. The UDHR are founded on nobility, equality and reverence, and are said to be aimed at all cultures and religions within the West and East of the globe. However there is great discrepancy regarding the justification and practicality of humanrights all over the world due to political, economic and cultural differences and limitations. Universal means that ‘something’ affects, applies or is completed by everyone all over the world – there is no distinctive bias shown and equal policies are applied. Innate, in relation to humanrights, means that people are given natural rights purely based on the fact that he/she is human and alive. Therefore, are humanrights universal and innate or is the Universal Declaration of Human...
The Cyrus Cylinder (539 B.C.)
The decrees Cyrus made on humanrights were inscribed in the Akkadian language on a baked-clay cylinder.
Cyrus the Great, the first king of Persia, freed the slaves of Babylon, 539 B.C.
In 539 B.C., the armies of Cyrus the Great, the first king of ancient Persia, conquered the city of Babylon. But it was his next actions that marked a major advance for Man. He freed the slaves, declared that all people had the right to choose their own religion, and established racial equality. These and other decrees were recorded on a baked-clay cylinder in the Akkadian language with cuneiform script.
Known today as the Cyrus Cylinder, this ancient record has now been recognized as the world’s first charter of humanrights. It is translated into all six official languages of the United Nations and its provisions parallel the first four Articles of the Universal Declaration of HumanRights.
The Spread of HumanRights
From Babylon, the idea of humanrights spread quickly to India, Greece and eventually Rome. There the concept of “natural law” arose, in observation of the fact that people tended to follow certain unwritten laws in the course of life, and Roman law was based on rational ideas derived from the nature of things.
Documents asserting individual...
...ideology of the western world. As with any system of beliefs, leadership style or ideology, liberalism has too received ample criticism. Liberals argue that their ideology provides society with the ability to be individuals within a community by continuing to make strong legislation on civil rights. Although liberals believe strongly in individual rights and freedoms, its critics strongly question when these individual freedoms become a detriment to the society or country at large. Throughout this paper the role of today's liberal government will be evaluated, focusing on both the effectiveness and the short comings of its ideology.
To start, liberal democracy came to fruition when the American Revolution happened in 1776, and is still holding strong to present day. American people were sick and tired of paying taxes to the British Empire so that they in return could pay off their war debts. The Americans felt that this was intolerable and unfair to be manipulated by the British rule, so they declared their own independence. On July 4, 1776 the declaration of Independence was written up stating "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." This is what the Americans wanted and felt that the British were not providing them with, so when writing the Declaration of Independence this was a major issue to have no...
...Origins of HumanRights
The emergence of rights in political thought is generally regarded as relatively recent, though any historical study of rights reveals how indeterminate the philosophical charting of the evolution of rights has been. Humanrights are considered the offspring of natural rights, which themselves evolved from the concept of natural law. Natural law, which has played a dominant role in Western political theory for centuries, is that standard of higher-order morality against which all other laws are adjudged. To contest the injustice of human-made law, one was to appeal to the greater authority of God or natural law.
Eventually this concept of natural law evolved into natural rights; this change reflected a shift in emphasis from society to the individual. Whereas natural law provided a basis for curbing excessive state power over society, natural rights gave individuals the ability to press claims against the government The modern conception of rights can be traced back to Enlightenment political philosophy and the movement, primarily in England, France, and the United States, to establish limited forms of representative government that would respect the freedom of individual citizens.
John Locke, in his Second Treatise on Government (1690), described a 'state of nature' prior to the...
...Humanrights are universal, indivisible and interdependent. Humanrights are what make us human. When we speak of the right to life, or development, or to dissent and diversity, we are speaking of tolerance. Tolerance will ensure all freedoms. Without it, we can be certain of none.
<br>The raging ethnic cleansing in Kosovo is an example of intolerance. The Serbians will not tolerate the Albanians at any cost. They are forcing them from their homes, turning the streets into killing fields. This civil war seems unstoppable because of the intolerance of one race against another. No respect for individual rights, basic humanrights.
<br>Another example is right in our own back yard. I am speaking of hate crimes which plague our society. They are no different today than centuries ago when slavery was allowed. One race against another. One religion against another, it is all the same. Hate is the opposite of tolerance. We can only live together through an expression of tolerance of the differences each of us brings into this world. We should embrace the differences and share the differences. For this is how we learn, through each others' differences. Tolerance in all cultures is the basis of peace and progress.
<br>Our country was founded on the basic idea that all man and women are created equal with liberty and justice for...
...Humanrights refer to the natural or basic rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled to. Traditionally, the rights and freedoms of citizens were protected by an Act of Parliament or by the judges in developing the common law. Prior to World War II, the convention for the protection of humanright and freedom was drafted in 1950s by the Council of Europe. It was drafted because of disgust with fascism and an anxiety to protect basic freedom. On 1953, it has developed to become an international treaty, which all 47 countries of the continent of Europe are bound by the European Convention of HumanRights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950, also known as ECHR. United Kingdom (UK) was one of the first countries to sign the Convention in November 1950. Although it entered into force in the UK on 3rd Sept 1953, UK chose not to incorporate its terms into domestic law. Therefore UK was only bound to ECHR on the matter of international law and not within the domestic legal system. During 1960s, there are few parties concerned had campaigned for the enactment for HumanRights Act in UK. These parties are the commentators and public interest groups. However, due to several criticisms and the reluctant of UK government to pass such legislation, the HRA did not enact until 1998. Though the convention did not incorporate into domestic law, UK...
...Humanrights in today’s world have become pivotal to the functioning of our society as a whole, largely due to the increased occurrences which in turn have led to greater awareness and repudiation of the same in the world community. In present times the humanrights field encompasses a broad range of civil, political, economic and social rights which shows its all pervasive nature, and the accountability for the violation of these rights by state and non-state actors alike. The scope of humanrights in today’s day and age has thus widened considerably as gradually the individual becomes an end in himself and is recognized as being of primordial concern.
Humanrights law is a subset in the field of humanrights. Humanrights are what define a society; hence the humanrights law takes primacy over all the laws. There is nothing more important than the development of humanrights in an evolving society
Humanrights and criminal law are closely inter - related. My personal interest lies towards humanrights as under the criminal law. Today we see all kinds of crimes being committed- state or non-state, say torture of prisoners, child labour, or most importantly...