Minorities

Introduction

Minorities - Research Guide International Law

A systematic approach of international protection of minority rights began after the First World War by the League of Nations. The minority protection system was meant to protect group rights of homogenous populations within States, to further the idea of self-determination. After the Second World War the United Nations the focus was on universal rights of individuals, rather than on minorities. The end of the Cold War, and the many conflicts with ethnic dimensions marked the revival of the protection of minority rights. The result was the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities by the UN General Assembly in 1992. The 21st Century faces the challenge to achieve a peaceful coexistence within the multicultural nations of the world.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for legal research on Minorities. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section.
Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code 106. Minorities and subject heading (keyword) Minorities are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

New titles


1. Palestine
Palestine : the legitimacy of hope / Richard Falk. - Charlottesville, Virginia : Just World Books, 2014. - 237 pages. : maps. ; 23 cm Includes bibliographical references. - 2014
Keywords: Israel, Palestinians, Arab-Israeli conflict, Liberation movements, Human rights, Peace negotiations, International law, Solidarity,

2. The Intimate Relationship Between African Customary Laws and Self-Determination
The Intimate Relationship Between African Customary Laws and Self-Determination / Stefan Salomon. - Wien : NWV, Neuer Wissenschaftlicher Verlag. - Page 273-286 In: Ethiopian and Wider African Perspectives on Human Rights and Good Governance / edited by Wolfgang Benedek, Christian Pippan, Tadesse Kassa Woldetsadik, Solomon Abay Yimer, ISBN 9783708309927: (2014), Page 273-286. - 2014
Keywords: Customary law, Africa, Right of self-determination, International law and domestic law,

3. The Protection of Minority Language - a Myth
The Protection of Minority Language - a Myth / Dr. Kamal Ahmad Khan In: Civil and Military Law Journal on Rule of Law, Military Jurisprudence, and Legal Aid = ISSN 0045-7043: vol. 50, issue 4, page 394-402. - 2014
Keywords: Linguistic minorities, Languages, Human rights, International instruments,

4. Dreaming Authorship: Copyright Law and the Protection of Indigenous Cultural Expressions
Dreaming Authorship: Copyright Law and the Protection of Indigenous Cultural Expressions / Daniela Simone In: European Intellectual Property Review = ISSN 0142-0461: vol. 37, issue 4, page 240-250. - 2015
Keywords: Australia, Aboriginal peoples, Indigenous peoples, Cultural property, Joint ownership, Copyright law, Rights relating to literary and artistic works,
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Bibliography

Reference works

Leading articles

Documents

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

New titles


1. Palestine
Palestine : the legitimacy of hope / Richard Falk. - Charlottesville, Virginia : Just World Books, 2014. - 237 pages. : maps. ; 23 cm Includes bibliographical references. - 2014
Keywords: Israel, Palestinians, Arab-Israeli conflict, Liberation movements, Human rights, Peace negotiations, International law, Solidarity,

2. The Intimate Relationship Between African Customary Laws and Self-Determination
The Intimate Relationship Between African Customary Laws and Self-Determination / Stefan Salomon. - Wien : NWV, Neuer Wissenschaftlicher Verlag. - Page 273-286 In: Ethiopian and Wider African Perspectives on Human Rights and Good Governance / edited by Wolfgang Benedek, Christian Pippan, Tadesse Kassa Woldetsadik, Solomon Abay Yimer, ISBN 9783708309927: (2014), Page 273-286. - 2014
Keywords: Customary law, Africa, Right of self-determination, International law and domestic law,

3. The Protection of Minority Language - a Myth
The Protection of Minority Language - a Myth / Dr. Kamal Ahmad Khan In: Civil and Military Law Journal on Rule of Law, Military Jurisprudence, and Legal Aid = ISSN 0045-7043: vol. 50, issue 4, page 394-402. - 2014
Keywords: Linguistic minorities, Languages, Human rights, International instruments,

4. Dreaming Authorship: Copyright Law and the Protection of Indigenous Cultural Expressions
Dreaming Authorship: Copyright Law and the Protection of Indigenous Cultural Expressions / Daniela Simone In: European Intellectual Property Review = ISSN 0142-0461: vol. 37, issue 4, page 240-250. - 2015
Keywords: Australia, Aboriginal peoples, Indigenous peoples, Cultural property, Joint ownership, Copyright law, Rights relating to literary and artistic works,

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  • U. Caruso and R. Hofmann, The United Nations Declaration on Minorities: An Academic Account on the Occasion of its 20th Anniversary (1992-2012), Brill/Nijhoff, 2015.

    U. Caruso and R. Hofmann, The United Nations Declaration on Minorities An Academic Account on the Occasion of its 20th Anniversary (1992-2012), Brill Nijhoff, 2015

    Created in order to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (1992-2012), this publication aims to offer readers a comprehensive review, written by a variety of scholars in the field, of the value and impact of the standards formulated in the Declaration. In so doing, it hopes to stimulate attention for and debate around the Declaration and its principles. The regional perspectives and case studies included further enable the identification of positive initiatives and good practices as well as persistent gaps in the implementation of the standards enshrined in the Declaration.

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  • G.N. Toggenburg, Die Europäische Union und das Rahmenübereinkommen zum Schutz nationaler Minderheiten: ignorieren, parallell “umsetzen“ oder gar beitreten?, European Diversity and Autonomy Papers, 2014.

    Die Europäische Union und das Rahmenübereinkommen zum Schutz nationaler Minderheiten

    This paper looks at the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) through the lense of European Union law. It does so by posing four major questions: does the fact that 24 of 28 Member States of the EU ratified the FCNM have any legal implications for the European Union itself? Secondly, turning to the national level, does it make a difference for the implementation of the FCNM whether or not a state that has ratified the FCNM is also a member to the European Union? Thirdly, returning to the European Union itself, can and should the EU accede to the FCNM? Or are there, finally, any means beside ratification that would allow the European Union to implement the objectives and obligations as enshrined in the FCNM? These four questions are analysed in detail before the paper concludes on the potential role of the European Union in managing diversity and protecting (persons belonging to) minorities.

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  • T.H. Malloy and J. Marko, Minority Governance In and Beyond Europe: Celebrating 10 Years of the European Yearbook of Minority Issues, Leiden/Boston, Brill, 2014.

    Minority Governance In and Beyond Europe. Celebrating 10 Years of the European Yearbook of Minority Issues

    Minority Governance in and beyond Europe offers a review of contemporary developments in minority relations. The publication addresses normative and institutional developments in a pan-European context. It tackles the theoretical and practical implications of power-sharing; the dichotomy of ‘old’ and ‘new’ minorities; human rights violations; public institutions for minority protection and abating discrimination; theoretical reflections on minority activism; political participation of minorities; justifications of minority protection; the evolution of language rights, and minorities in relation to EU law. It offers a lens that provides the reader with a clearer understanding about academic thinking and indicates where political will is needed to advance the minority rights protection regime in the future. Compiled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the European Yearbook of Minority Issues, and offering a selection of the most important articles published in the Yearbook, this collection will be of great interest to scholars, students and policymakers engaging in minority-related activities and interested in multiethnicity and cultural pluralism in Europe.

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  • L. Salat (eds.) (et al), Autonomy Arrangements Around the World, ISPMN Publishing, Cluj-Napoca, 2014

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    The volume compiles the articles presented at the conference on Autonomy Arrangements organized in Flensburg in September 2012. The initiative aimed to invite scholars, researchers and practitioners to engage in identifying, researching and analyzing as many operational autonomy arrangements as possible in a standard format, with special focus on the lesser-known cases. The contributions include:

    • Continuity and Change in South Tyrol’s Ethnic Governance, by Elisabeth Alber and Carolin Zwilling
    • Territorial (Sub-State) Autonomy in India, by Thomas Benedikter
    • Weaving Miskito and Mestizo Imaginations: the Atlantic Coast Autonomy of Nicaragua, by José-María Arraiza
    • Jammu and Kashmir: A Case of Eroded Autonomy, by Sergiu Constantin and Karl Koessler
    • The Special Status of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, by Zahid Shahab Ahmed
    • From Soviet National Policy to Contemporary Russian Federalism: the Past and Future of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, by Marharyta Fabrykant
    • Continuity and Change in South Tyrol’s Ethnic Governance, by Elisabeth Alber and Carolin Zwilling
    • The Autonomous Structures of Native American Reservations, by Sherrill Stroschein
    • The Roots, Development and Challenges of Autonomy Claims in Tanzania, by Alexander B. Makulilo and Sergiu Gheghina
    • Power Sharing and Informal Autonomy in the Republic of Macedonia, by Aneta Cekik
    • Fragile Autonomy Arrangements in the Republic of Serbia: The Territorial Autonomy of Vojvodina and the National Minority Councils, by Katinka Beretka
    • Between Importing and Exporting Minority Rights: the Minority Self-Governments in Hungary, by Balázs Dobos
    • National-Cultural Autonomy in Contemporary Estonia, by David J. Smith
    • National-Cultural Autonomy in the Russian Federation: the Case of the Tomsk Oblast, by Sara Barbieri
    • Autonomy Through Sub-State Institutions and Administrative Duality: the Case of Acadians in Canada, by Daniel Bourgeois
    • The Irish Gaeltacht: the Limitations of Regional Development and Linguistic Autonomy, by Éamonn Ó Neachtain
    • The (Dys-) Functional Autonomy of the Muslim Turkish Minority in Western Thrace, by Sebahattin Abdurrahman and Ali Huseynoglu
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  • Barten, U., Minorities, Minority Rights and Internal Self-Determination, Cham, Springer, 2014.

    barten, u., minorities rights and internal self-determination

    The book questions the classic idea of self-determination – the right to self-determination is a right of peoples, not of minorities – by examining the content of the right to self-determination and the content of minority rights. Self-determination has four dimensions: the political, the economic, the social and the cultural dimensions. Minorities have minority rights that touch on most aspects of life as a member of a minority. If there is an overlap between minority rights and the different dimensions of self-determination, the concept that the right to self-determination is only applicable to peoples loses credibility. No global and general conclusion is envisaged; there are restrictions in place. The work is limited to the European framework and is further restricted to classic minorities. The argument is based on a legitimacy and justice approach. The analysis in this book shows that some minority rights overlap with the different dimensions of internal self-determination. In short, classic minorities in Europe have a right to internal self-determination.

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  • OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Handbook on observing and promoting the participation of national minorities in electoral processes, Warsaw, ODIHR, 2014..

    Handbook on observing and promoting the participation of national minorities in electoral processes
    The present publication buildson the 2001 Guidelines to Assist National Minority Participation in the Electoral Process by including new material on the development of internationalstandards and good practice in the field of promoting the participation of national
    minorities in electoral processes.
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  • Robinson, R. (ed.), Minorities Studies in India, New Delhi (etc.), Oxford University Press, 2012.

    Robinson, R. (ed.), Minorities Studies in India, New Delhi (etc.] : Oxford University Press, 2012.

    This volume explores the issue of minorities in India and how they are identified, defined, and categorized by legal and institutional processes. It examines how modern law creates and conditions minority identity and also how groups manipulate the ground-level situation to project a certain identity at a particular point of time. When more than one category applies to a group, and such categorizations become the basis for the struggle for rights, the politics of identity become even more complex. The volume specifically focuses on ‘religious’ minorities, questioning the religious identification of groups and showing that the construction of minority groups in religious terms is difficult to achieve given the existence of several, and sometimes contradictory, loyalties and identities.

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  • Galbreath, D.J. and J. McEvoy, The European Minority Rights Regime: Towards a Theory of Regime Effectiveness, Basingstoke (etc.), Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

    Galbreath, D.J. and J. McEvoy, The European Minority Rights Regime: Towards a Theory of Regime Effectiveness, Basingstoke (etc.), Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

    The European Minority Rights Regime investigates the cooperation between the EU, OSCE and Council of Europe on minority rights in Europe. It tracks the formation and transformation of this international regime and questions its effectiveness in securing minority rights. The book demonstrates how the three organizations have formalized their linkages and managed their respective mandates in the context of EU enlargement. At the domestic level, the book focuses on three case studies – Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria – with an examination of the impact of inter-organizational cooperation on the status of their respective national minorities. Although cooperation has delivered largely positive change for accession countries, challenges remain for minorities in Europe and the regime’s future operation. This book links two key research areas – international regimes and EU integration – to determine why ethnic politics remain a source of contention for the European project.

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  • Khan, B.U. and M.M. Rahman, Protection of Minorities: Regimes, Norms and Issues in South Asia, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012.

    Khan, B.U. and M.M. Rahman, Protection of Minorities: Regimes, Norms and Issues in South Asia, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012.
    We live in a world that not only sets standards for, but also professes its commitment to promoting and protecting ‘rights’. Since ours is an age of heightened public interest in auditing the actual realisation of such standards and commitment, the first major focus of this book is a critical account of international standards aimed at the protection of minorities. To that end, it concentrates on four key dimensions. Firstly, it addresses the issue of the identification of minorities as understood by international law. Secondly, it outlines a brief history on the development of international law towards improving the protection of minorities. Thirdly, it gives an overview of international instruments and mechanisms on minorities. Finally, it analyses the rights of minorities under international standards. All these dimensions point to the fact that international minority rights lag behind the development of other branches of rights. The second major focus of this book is to relate international standards on minority protection to South Asian regimes. Concentrating on India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives, and Afghanistan, an endeavor is made to examine the state of minorities and their protection under the domestic regimes. It emerges that the normative commitments of these states are more or less compatible with international standards. Nevertheless, majority-minority syndrome persistently remains as one of the causes behind multidimensional deprivation and victimization of South Asian minorities. The present book also assesses the extent to which regional cooperation in South Asia has so far contributed to extending protection to minorities. This ends with an argument that SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) has the potential to play a far greater role in this regard.
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  • Arp, B., International Norms and Standards for the Protection of National Minorities: Bilateral and Multilateral Texts with Commentary, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2008.

    Arp, B., International Norms and Standards for the Protection of National Minorities: Bilateral and Multilateral Texts with Commentary, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2008.
    A broad network of bilateral treaties for the protection of national minorities has been set up during the past fifteen years. They complement and further develop the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and other multilateral instruments. Some texts are genuine international treaties, while others are non-binding political documents. The present book brings all these texts together in a reliable English translation, which offers practitioners and researchers easy access to and supplies knowledge on the present state of development of the conventional and customary sources of law in this field. The introductory study helps further understanding of the legal character of the texts and explains how to work with these often complex and interrelated sources of law.
     
     
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  • Weller, M. (ed.), Universal Minority Rights: a Commentary on the Jurisprudence of International Courts and Treaty Bodies, Oxford (etc.), Oxford University Press, 2007.

    Weller, M. (ed.), Universal Minority Rights: a Commentary on the Jurisprudence of International Courts and Treaty Bodies, Oxford (etc.), Oxford University Press, 2007.

    The development of international standards for the protection of minorities has been slow and fragmented. In the absence of a comprehensive and universal binding set of rules, the development of minority protection has been left to regional agreements and judicial interpretation of wider human rights treaties. Universal Minority Rights brings together, for the first time, the full set of all regional and international jurisprudence from courts and treaty bodies concerned with issues of minority rights. The commentary is arranged around ten thematic areas of investigation, including religious rights, education, cultural rights, political participation and socio-economic opportunities. Each substantive chapter offers an introduction to the issue at hand and its special relevance to minority communities, a general survey of legal standards addressing the issue, and an examination of specific problems that are being tackled through legal standards and judicial review. Each chapter concludes with an evaluation of the contribution of the case-law reviewed to the development of universal standards of protection. Throughout, the commentary takes full account of international treaties and their associated bodies, including the ICCPR, the ICESCR, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. In addition, the commentary analyzes the regional standards that have developed through the Council of Europe and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights. Through an exhaustive, comparative analysis of principles and substantive rules, the commentary provides an invaluable reference point for the development of minority protection.

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  • Weller, M. (ed.), The Rights of Minorities in Europe: a Commentary on the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Oxford (etc.), Oxford University Press, 2005.

    Weller, M. (ed.), The Rights of Minorities in Europe: a Commentary on the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Oxford (etc.), Oxford University Press, 2005.
    This volume provides the first expert commentary on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, which is the principal international document establishing minority rights in a legally binding way. Many minority rights such as those to political participation, non-assimilation, and the use of native languages are not incorporated in other major Human Rights agreements. The Convention is therefore often taken to be the leading standard in this area of regulation. This commentary offers a detailed article-by-article analysis of the Convention, drawing upon its negotiating history and implementation practice, in addition to examining the pronouncements of the Advisory Committee, which is the implementation body attached to the treaty.
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Database

Blogs

  • “People must be able to look one another in the eye”. Plans of the Dutch Government to ban face-covering clothing.

    The Dutch Government chose to ignore the advice of the Council of State concerning the ban on face-covering clothing. The Council of State, the advisory organ of the Government, heavily criticised the legislative proposal. First, the Council of State does not consider the complete ban as necessary and useful. Second, the Council of State is of the opinion that a ban on face covering clothing is an infringement of the freedom of religion.

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  • Roma Rights in the European Union.

    In July 2010, The French government decided to begin to expel Roma’s, mainly from Romania and Bulgaria, as many of them were living in France illegally. This decision caused much controversy within the Institutions of the EU. This blog will briefly discuss in what way EU institutions have responded to recent Roma issues and what can be done to improve the position of this marginalized community in Europe.

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  • The Islamic veil, secularism and freedom of religion

    “The burqa is a massive attack on the rights of women. It is a mobile prison”, Silvana Koch-Merin stated. Silvana, a German representative of the European Parliament, called for a ban on face-covering veils throughout Europe [1].There are many kinds of islamic veils, such as the niqab, burqa, chador, and khimar (see picture below). The [...]

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  • Cultural Diversity

    On Monday the 17th of August 2009 the Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and International Relations of the Hague Academy of International Law started. The Centre takes place annually at the Academy and Library building of the Peace Palace. The purpose of the Centre is to bring together advanced young scholars of [...]

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  • Australian Key Ruling on Indigenous Fishing Rights

    On Wednesday, 30 July, the Australian High Court in Canberra in a key ruling (Northern Territory of Australia v Arnhem Land Aboriginal Land Trust [2008] HCA 29, judgement here) upheld a decision by the Federal Court earlier this year granting Aboriginal people rights of ownership over a large part of the Northern Territory’s (NT) coastline.

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