|Title||Establishing an Asia-Pacific Court of Human Rights:Feasibility and Strategies - Comparative Research on Regional Human Rights Courts -|
|Files||Establishing an Asia-Pacific Court of Human Rights Feasibility and Strategies- Comparative Research on Regional Human Rights Courts -.pdf|
Establishing an Asia-Pacific Court of Human Rights:Feasibility and Strategies
- Comparative Research on Regional Human Rights Courts -
While states in Europe, the Americas, and Africa have established regional human rights courts that deliver binding judgments on states’ alleged violations of human rights, Asia-Pacific remains the sole region without a region-wide court of human rights. Although continuous efforts have been made over the past decades by NGOs and other international and domestic institutions to promote the need for a regional human rights system in Asia-Pacific, the wide disparities between ideals and realities have not yet been bridged. This research aims to, first, assess the state of human rights systems in different regions by exploring development histories of existing regional human rights systems in Europe, the Americas and Africa. And second, this research seeks to examine the feasibility of establishing a human rights system in the Asia-pacific region, while analyzing strategies to establish such a system.
This research begins by exploring different development histories and current statuses of existing regional human rights systems in Europe, the Americas, and Africa. The common features of the development process between these regions observed that throughout several decades, states in Europe, the Americas, and Africa expanded the scope of substantive rights that the regional norms cover, strengthened the procedural mechanisms by regional institutions, and developed implementation mechanisms at the regional level. The pace of development, however, varies among different regions. The European Court of Human Rights is the most advanced as it is directly accessible to individual applicants and its jurisdiction is compulsory for all parties to the European Convention on Human Rights since it became permanent. In contrast, the American and African systems are not permanent, do not have compulsory jurisdiction, and an individual’s procedural rights to file applications are still limited. Although the current state of effectiveness of the systems between different regions varies, examining their efforts and processes to develop mutually agreed upon norms, institutions, and procedures to promote and protect human rights in their respective regions would provide meaningful insights in devising ways to establish a regional human rights system in Asia-Pacific.
Next, this research examines the feasibility and strategies of establishing a regional human rights system in Asia-pacific. In doing so, this research presupposes that the concept of the ‘Asia-Pacific region’ lacks universally agreed upon boundaries—both geographically and politically. This research then demonstrates the necessity of establishing a regional human rights system in Asia-Pacific. Based on the analysis of the efforts and meaningful changes of regional integration in Asia-Pacific, this research suggests that the challenges that have prevented the establishment of an Asia-Pacific human rights systems are not insurmountable. Acknowledging the recent emergence of regional norms and institutions to promote and protect human rights in Asia-Pacific, this research ultimately seeks to examine strategies to establish an Asia-Pacific human rights system. Three important factors make a regional mechanism function successfully: (1) states’ commitment, (2) effective and fair procedures, and (3) collaboration between global and local human rights actors. Understanding these factors, this research examines three possible routes—narrow, wide, and networked approaches—to create an Asia-Pacific regional human rights systems proposed by the Advisory Committee of UN Human Rights Council. Based on the networked approach, which this research considers as the most feasible route, this research finally examines strategies to revitalize the existing sub-regional human rights systems in Asia-Pacific, adopting multiple thematic treaties that address commonly prevalent problems in the region, and creating a region-wide human rights treaty that covers commonly agreeable human rights in the region.
Lastly, this research concludes by proposing ways the Korean judiciary could contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights in the region. In particular, considering the important roles of the judiciary in implementing international human rights law domestically, this analysis suggests for the Korean judiciary to properly cite international human rights norms in delivering judgments, cooperate, and actively interact with judiciaries of other Asian states to promote a human rights culture in the region, and play a leading role in discussions and efforts to create an Asia-Pacifc human rights system.
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