Monday, June 27, 2005

What have the Romans ever done for us?

The American Society of International Law (ASIL) is 100 next year, and is asking for contributions for a publication to mark the event called 'International Law: 100 Ways it Shapes our Lives'.

An example given is enabling people to fly the shortest, most direct route to international destinations. This is as a result of the international agreement permitting overflights of sovereign airspace (The Chicago International Civil Aviation Convention of 1944). Which is great.

The '100 Ways' initiative might however be most productive if it avoids basking in its own glory and takes account of challenges to international law. For instance, another obvious 'Way' which may be included in the publication is enabling people, through the advent of human rights mechanisms, to fight injustice and impunity all over the world. Yet some would say that all human rights have done in Western society is protect the criminals, and that they hamper efforts to make society safer. And it is not just the right which urges consideration of the criticisms of human rights. Tackling such arguments/concerns head on should be an integral part of this initiative.

Contribute your 'Way' and you could win a 'prize'. See here for details.

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