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The Global Community Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence 2018$
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Giuliana Ziccardi Capaldo

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190072506

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190072506.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 April 2021

Misdiagnosing the Human Rights Malaise

Misdiagnosing the Human Rights Malaise

Possible Lessons from the Danish Chairmanship of the Council of Europe

(p.153) Misdiagnosing the Human Rights Malaise
The Global Community Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence 2018

Jacques Hartmann

Oxford University Press

Contemporary populism is antagonistic towards human rights. As a result, the challenges now facing the human rights movement are fundamentally different from those of the past. Yet, proposed remedies to this malaise often seem ill-conceived. Populists tend to claim that the institutions charged with the protection of fundamental rights not only limit the capacity of the people to exercise their rightful power but are also the source of a growing discontent with the system itself. This narrative is often uncritically accepted and leads to suggestions that human rights must be fundamentally reformed. Although intuitively appealing, such suggestions commonly lack support from empirical evidence. In addition, much of the debate seemingly starts from the premise that the public is fully informed. Using Denmark as a case study, this Note shows that existing assumptions may be questioned. It further suggests that it may be dangerous to propose a cure before the malaise has been properly diagnosed.

Keywords:   Council of Europe chairmanship, Danish Supreme Court, ECtHR, human rights malaise, popular backlash

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