Volokh on international law and rights
Gene Volokh has an interesting post on the dangers of regarding international and foreign law (or custom) as protecting freedom. He cites to the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which, while acknowledging a right to practice of religion, states it may be restricted as "necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others." Also, it may be restricted as necessary "For respect of the rights or reputations of others" It then goes on to mandate -- not allow, but mandate -- "Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law." Pursuant to those provisions, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights has ordered an investigation of Denmark's position that publishing the cartoons of Mohammed is protected by freedom of speech.
Egad. Those who place such weight on international matters should accept that it's quite the other way around. The international community should be looking to the US since (1) we do a much better job of protecting rights and (2) it's been working for two hundred years.
So why the push to change now? Is that why the government is pressing charges against the Army personnel whose dogs barked at,
not bit terrorists in custody?
Posted by: The Mechanic at March 23, 2006 08:33 AM