Last week I attended an international conference on The Global Challenge of Human Rights Integration: Towards a Users’ Perspective (HRI).
The conference considered how rights holders, duty bearers and other ‘users’ of human rights are confronted simultaneously with multiple layers of human rights law, amongst which there is generally little coordination. Human rights law today is characterised by the simultaneous existence of a large variety of norms, developed by numerous actors, at different geographical levels, addressing similar or different topics, individuals and groups. In result human rights studies often focuses on one or more specific rights, target groups or jurisdictions, which in turn contributes to creating a fragmented view of human rights law. For users, the complex architecture of human rights may create opportunities as well as obstacles.
The conference had posters and presentations organised into five interesting tracks – theorising fragmentation and integration in human rights law, convergence and divergence within international human rights law, convergence and divergence between national and international human rights law, convergence and divergence between international human rights law and other branches of international law, and human rights are useless/useful.
I presented my paper on “National Constitutions and the Protection of Human Rights in ASEAN”, which was accepted under the track of convergence and divergence between national and international human rights law.
Some prominent scholars also presented their thoughts and ideas in the plenary sessions. I will write more about this next time.