This week’s research guide Human Rights

Human Rights - Research Guide International Law

Human Rights are basic rights and freedoms that every human being is entitled to, irrespective of his or her nationality, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, language, sexual orientation, place of residence or any other status. Human Rights are often expressed and ensured by law in the form of national legislation, international treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. Human Rights entail both rights and obligations. States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights.

Check our Research Guide on Human Rights

Library Blog

Should Police Officers Wear Body Cameras?

Should Police Officers Wear Body Cameras? The Mike Brown Law

On 9 August the unarmed, afro-american 18-year-old boy, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a 28-year-old caucasian police officer, Darren Wilson, in a working-class neighborhood in Ferguson, Mo. The shooting happened after police officer Wilson stopped Brown because he was jaywalking.

Unfortunately both the police and the eyewitnesses tell a different story about what happened that evening. Eyewitnesses saw that Brown was shot while he trying to surrender but police officer Darren Wilson stated that Brown assaulted him just before the shooting. FBI has opened an investigation. 3 Autopsies have been performed. According to an independent autopsy, Brown was killed by at least 6 bullets which all came from Wilson’s gun.

The shooting has provoked intense racially charged protests and riots. In some occasions police officers used fire rubber bullets and tear gas on participants. The feelings of fear, anger, injustice, racial mistrust in the criminal justice system are clearly visible when one looks at footage portraying the situation in Ferguson in the last few days. The shooting of Michael Brown has led to worldwide discussions about race relations, segregation, and the use of force by the police in the United States of America.

How should police officers deal with violence when they are at work? When should the police refrain from using force and when is the use of force justified and proportional? And how can a tragedy similar to the shooting of the unarmed Michael Brown be prevented in the future?

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Special collections

  • Peace movement

    • J23 -28-012-thumb
      J23 -28-012-thumb

    • Killinger, E., De avonturen van een Oostzee-vlieger, Utrecht, G.J.A. Ruys, 1917.
      Killinger, E., De avonturen van een Oostzee-vlieger, Utrecht, G.J.A. Ruys, 1917.

      Killinger, E., De avonturen van een Oostzee-vlieger, Utrecht, G.J.A. Ruys, 1917.

    • Viruly, A., Por la Honoro de Nia Lando, Rotterdam, D. van Sijn & Zonen.
      Viruly, A., Por la Honoro de Nia Lando, Rotterdam, D. van Sijn & Zonen.

      Viruly, A., Por la Honoro de Nia Lando, Rotterdam, D. van Sijn & Zonen.

    The Peace Palace Library holds a unique collection on the peace movement from the period 1899- 1940. More about this collection »
  • Grotius collection

    • Feenstra, R. and J.B. Vervliet (eds.), Hugo Grotius Mare Liberum: 1609-2009, Leiden, Brill, 2009. [Original Latin text, facsimile of the first edition, 1609 and modern English translation]
      Feenstra, R. and J.B. Vervliet (eds.), Hugo Grotius Mare Liberum: 1609-2009, Leiden, Brill, 2009. [Original Latin text, facsimile of the first edition, 1609 and modern English translation]

      Feenstra, R. and J.B. Vervliet (eds.), Hugo Grotius Mare Liberum: 1609-2009, Leiden, Brill, 2009. [Original Latin text, facsimile of the first edition, 1609 and modern English translation]

    • DeIureBelliAcPacis_1st_state
      DeIureBelliAcPacis_1st_state

      De iure belli ac pacis libri tres (1st state) / Hugo Grotius, 1625

    • De iure belli ac pacis (3rd state)
      De iure belli ac pacis (3rd state)

      De ivre belli ac pacis libri tres (3rd state) / Hugo Grotius, 1625

    The Peace Palace Library in The Hague holds one of the greatest collections in the world of the works of Hugo Grotius. More about this collection »