Claims of imperialism: the common legal basis of anti-imperialism in international and regional human rights organisations

Cowell, Frederick (2017) Claims of imperialism: the common legal basis of anti-imperialism in international and regional human rights organisations. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Abstract

Opposition to an international organisation with legal powers to protect human rights describes both the legal process of non-compliance with an organisation and political attacks on the organisations legitimacy. Opposition is caused by an organisation’s legal structure, in particular the powers that organisations have to encourage compliance with international human rights law. This study examines anti-imperialist opposition – which is opposition broadly predicated on the notion that human rights law and its enforcement are a continuation of colonial-imperialism or a form of neo-imperialism. When analysing opposition from the Third World bloc and other postcolonial states within the UN Commission on Human Rights and treaty bodies, it is possible to discern a distinct form of anti-imperialist opposition. This was in part because of international law’s origins in the colonial-imperial era and the perpetuation of inequalities between different states after decolonisation. But forms of anti-imperialist opposition continued in regional organisations, such as the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, created outside of this broader imperialist context. This study concludes that there common elements in the legal structure of human rights organisations which are predicated on an imperialist form domination. This explains the persistence of anti-imperialist opposition which is a major factor affecting the functioning of international human rights organisations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Law
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 19 May 2017 12:46
Last Modified: 19 May 2017 12:46
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/234

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