2. The moral status of animals
5. Data protection
Information is no longer merely power. It is big business. In recent years the fastest growing component of international trade has been the service sector. It accounts for more than a third of world trade—and it continues to expand. It is a commonplace to identify as a central feature of modern industrialized societies their dependence on the storage of information. The use of computers facilitates, of course, considerably greater efficiency and velocity in the collection, storage, use, retrieval, and transfer of information.
4. Freedom and the limits of government
3. Human rights foreign policy and the role of the United Nations
The narrative about agreed texts and their international supervision leaves many dissatisfied. Where is the enforcement of these rights? We have a legal framework and reports from international secretariats and non-governmental organizations, but where is the pressure to ensure that these rights are realized in practice? What does it really mean when governments say that their foreign policy is concerned with promoting and protecting human rights? Only very rarely do governments actually invoke these treaties before international courts in order to bring international complaints against other states. Clearly
8. Discrimination and equality
As we have seen throughout this short book, discrimination is prohibited with regard to the enjoyment of all rights. We have discovered the immediate obligation to prevent discrimination, not only in the context of the enjoyment of civil and political rights (such as personal freedom from arbitrary detention, freedom of expression, political participation, and association), but also in the fields of food, water, health, education, housing, and work. Now we shall consider the prohibited grounds of discrimination, what new grounds may be emerging, and when drawing distinctions between people can be considered reasonable and therefore legitimate.
A Very Short Introduction
6. Refugees and asylum-seekers
Julian V. Roberts
5. In and out of prison
The use of the prison has evolved considerably over the centuries. In the late Middle Ages imprisonment was just a way of ensuring that the offender paid a fine—he left prison as soon as he had paid the fine. Today, we seldom imprison people for failure to pay a fine; prisons are all about punishment and rehabilitation, but particularly punishment.
The state of prisons today
The cell was eight feet by eight feet, filthy and with the straw worn to dust and swarming with vermin. There was no accessible water and the offenders were
Julian V. Roberts
6. Hearing the crime victim?
Thirty years ago someone broke into my home late at night, stealing and damaging some property. Months passed after I had reported the crime to the police, I eventually went to give evidence at the trial of the man accused of the burglary. In fact, I went to court twice, only to be sent home on both occasions, having been told that the matter had been ‘put over’—delayed for some reason that was never explained to me. On the third visit, after passing hours in the waiting area, a prosecutor came over, said, ‘You can
John C. Maher
3. Multilingualism, myth, and controversies
Society has conventions for the use of language, like ‘speak properly’ and ‘don’t interrupt when somebody’s talking’. There are recurrent ideas and superstitions surrounding language, like ‘French is logical, Italian is beautiful, Japanese is vague’ or ‘Children don’t speak properly any more’. There is also misunderstanding about language diversity in society. Linguists challenge these assumptions, ‘Well, it’s not quite like that’. Analysing people’s beliefs about language, or ‘folk linguistics’, is important for education and for our common understanding about how language works. One of the most enduring myths is the Tower of Babel
3. Dworkin: the moral integrity of law
Jack A. Goldstone
6. Constitutional revolutions: America, France, Europe (1830 and 1848), and Meiji Japan
9. Second-wave feminism: the late 20th century
4. Rights and the ‘right to have rights’