Human Rights

Afterword - Decolonising utopia

To date, modernist thinking has dominated the interdisciplinary field of intellectual inquiry engaged with utopia and utopianism. In this article, I argue that in order to fully engage with the possibility of different utopias emerging in the early decades of the 21st century, we have to be prepared to decolonise the premise on which utopian imaginings are conventionally based.

Towards a realistic utopia: literary representations of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

The ad hoc international criminal tribunals established by the UN Security Council in the 1990s represented the first international efforts to respond to war crimes since the Nuremberg Trials. These tribunals had practical as well as symbolic significance in the context of a longer history of utopian ideas of international justice and universal human rights. Focusing on the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), this article examines the 2009 memoir of the ICTY’s chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, as well as Dubravka Ugresić’s novel The Ministry of Pain (2005).

Crooked lines: utopia, human rights and South Asian women’s writing and agency

My article focuses on the relationship between human rights and utopia with special focus on South Asia and women's writing and agency. Utopia offers possibilities to capture, in writing and practice, the impossible good place. Utopia has the dimension of the anticipatory consciousness, but also the impulse to narrativise that not-yet. Human rights too have a dual impulse of a strong drive to articulate a desired set of norms, while knowing that their actualisation is partly elusive.

Realising rights here and now

A focus on utopia risks obscuring complexities in the process of realising human rights in time through institutions of governance. This article recounts judicial rituals by which judges delay the coming into effect of their conclusion that a law violates human rights. Here the more ‘radical’ approach involves insisting on rights’ enforcement now. The article also addresses a controversy around the moment when a right began to produce legal effects that bind governments.

On the genealogy of human rights: an essay on nostalgia

On the genealogy of human rights: an essay on nostalgia nostalgia

Introduction - Human rights, interdisciplinarity and the time of utopia

This article explores the relationship between human rights and utopian thinking through three recurrent tropes: interdisciplinarity, time and the promise. Utopia, like human rights, is shaped by its interdisciplinary engagement with multiple fields of knowledge, by its invocation of the past, present and future as ways of addressing contemporary problems, and by a promissory language, often unfulfilled, of social change and betterment.

The High Court, the Constitution and Human Rights

The High Court of Australia plays an important role in protecting human rights. It does so despite the fact that Australia lacks a human rights act, bill of rights or like instrument. This article examines how the Court is able to protect human rights in the absence of such laws. The focus is upon the possibilities for human rights protection by way of interpretation of the Australian constitution.

Lifting the cloak of conceptual confusion: exploring the meaning of the human right to higher education

The right to education, and specifically higher education, is clearly set out in international law. Higher education is, however, in a state of change as a result of pressures from the increased demand for higher education, globalisation and the impact of new technology (Barber et al 2013, 1-2). This article asserts that before significant changes to higher education are made, we should reflect on the content of the human rights obligations contained in the international documentation.

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