UN: a resounding call for Human Rights based governance post-2015


 

Just Governance: A critical cornerstone for an equitable and human rights-centered sustainable development agenda post-2015,  Global Thematic Consultation on Governance and the Post-2015 Development Framework, Feb 2013

 

[excerpts from the executive summary]

 

Just governance is defined by six key, mutually reinforcing dimensions, each with their associated implications for the post-2015 sustainable development framework. To be truly

just, governance at all levels must be: 1) human rights-centred, 2) participatory, 3) transparent, 4) equitable, 5) guaranteeing of access to justice, rule of law and the fight against corruption, and finally 6) accountable.

 

Just governance in this sense is not a matter of external imposition, but an indispensable precondition for ensuring that the equal rights of all people and the sustainability of the planet effectively guide all policy making.

 

Impelling decision-makers to be more responsive, providing information about their decisions and actions, and making them ultimately answerable is key.

 

Governance in practice is often coloured by unequal relations of power.

 

Human rights and environmental standards, can help balance inequities and provide a common language and standard by which to hold all actors accountable.

 

The new post-2015 framework must be universally applicable in rich and poor countries alike and must remain at the service of and owned by poor people themselves.

 

Fulfillment of all human rights is both the purpose and the ultimate litmus test of success for the post-2015 agenda.

Duties will have to be clearly attributed primarily to governments, but also to the private sector.

 

Well informed people will need to meaningfully participate in all stages of the legal reform, of budget making, of fiscal, tax and development policy cycles.

 

The ability to consistently monitor and review the conduct of development actors against established responsibilities is an essential prerequisite for just and accountable governance (i.e., monitoring of both of outcomes and of policy processes – and both of progress and of backsliding!)

 

Tax justice between and within countries will also need to be closely monitored.

 

A clear and unequivocal accord regarding who is responsible for what post-2015 commitments will be indispensable.

 

Without progress on just governance, there is a serious risk of predisposition to failure in all other areas, with a mirage of success belying the absence a truly transformative sustainable development agenda.

 

(see: http://cesr.org/downloads/Beyond%202015_Governance_position_paper.pdf )

 

 

ECHR -Judgment on teenage pregnancy due to #Rape and denial of #abortion #Vaw


European Court of Human Rights: Judgment in the case P. and S. v. Poland announced today

 

Oct 31, 2012

European Court of Human Rights announced its judgment today in the case P. and S. v. Poland. Federation for Women and Family Planning and its lawyers have been involved in the case from the very beginning.

It is a case of a teenage girl who was pregnant as a result of rape. Despite the fact that there was a relevant document issued by the prosecutor, she had been denied legal abortion in several hospitals. As a result she had to undergo the procedure in a hospital located 500 kilometers from her place of residence. Besides that, her right to confidentiality of medical information was breached, which resulted in severe harassment by pro-life and Catholic activists. The girl was also separated from her mother and placed in a juvenile shelter.

The Court determined violations of Article 8, (right to respect for private and family life) as regards the determination of access to lawful abortion in respect of both applicants (by six votes to one) and as regards the disclosure of the applicants’ personal data (unanimously);  Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) in respect of P., and a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights in respect of P.

The court held that Poland was to pay P. 30,000 euros (EUR) and S. EUR 15,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 16,000 to both applicants in respect of costs and expenses.

Read the judgment in full here: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/fra-press/pages/search.aspx?i=003-4140612-4882633

 

UK denies right-to-die legal challenge


 

BRITAIN ST.

BRITAIN ST. (Photo credit: marc falardeau)

 

 

MARIA CHENG | August 16, 2012 06:30 PM EST | AP

 


 

LONDON — Britain‘s High Court on Thursday rejected an attempt by a man who has locked-in syndrome to overturn the country’s euthanasia law by refusing to legally allow doctors to end his life.

Tony Nicklinson had a stroke in 2005 that left him unable to speak or move below his neck. He requires constant care and communicates mostly by blinking, although his mind has remained unaffected and his condition is not terminal.

In January, the 58-year-old asked the High Court to declare that any doctor who kills him with his consent will not be charged with murder.

The High Court ruled that challenges from Nicklinson and another man named only as Martin to allow others to help them die without being prosecuted were a matter for Parliament to decide.

Nicklinson said he was “devastated and heartbroken” and planned to appeal the decision.

“I am saddened that the law wants to condemn me to a life of increasing indignity and misery,” he said in a statement.

Martin, 47, also has locked-in syndrome and asked for the court to allow professionals to help him die either by withholding food and water or by helping him go to a clinic in Switzerland to die. His wife said she respects his wishes, but does not want to help kill him.

Locked-in syndrome is a rare neurological disorder where patients are completely paralyzed, and only able to blink. Patients are conscious and don’t have any intellectual problems, but they are unable to speak or move.

The judges wrote that they were both “tragic cases,” but said to allow euthanasia as a possible defense to murder “would usurp the proper role of Parliament.”

Nicklinson had argued that British law violated his right to “private and family life” as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, on the grounds that being able to choose how to die is a matter of personal autonomy. He has previously described his life as “a living nightmare.”

Legal experts weren’t surprised by the ruling.

“This is a really slippery case,” said Richard Huxtable, deputy director of the Ethics in Medicine department at Bristol University. “Although the courts have been willing to look at guidance around assisted suicide, this is about as far as they have been willing to go.

“The feeling seems to be that only Parliament could give adequate thought to what sort of law should be in place and the safeguards required.”

In Europe, only Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands allow euthanasia. Switzerland allows assisted suicide and is the only country that helps foreigners die at a clinic near Zurich.

“It’s very clear courts are unwilling to make the radical shift in our understanding of murder by allowing euthanasia,” said Arthur Caplan, director of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.

“But they did leave a small door open for prosecutorial discretion,” he said, pointing out the judges acknowledged that the decision to prosecute people who helped others to die were not always straightforward.

Britain’s top prosecutor has previously said that people who help loved ones commit suicide won’t necessarily be charged with murder.

Caplan said the British cases were a major departure from past euthanasia debates because neither man is terminally ill.

“Most of the cases which triggered legislation in the past were about dying people and their quality of life,” he said. “We will see more of these discussions as people live longer and we decide what to do about those who are severely impaired.”

Nicklinson said he hoped the courts would grant him another hearing later this year. Experts said he could take his case to the Supreme Court or to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

 

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