No.2 | 2020 | See the journal here


Adrian Bulgaru, Maria-Beatrice Berna

Respecting human dignity during crises from the ethical and legal implications generated by the COVID-19 pandemic

The difficulties inherent to the operationalization of the concept of human dignity derive, in essence, both from the ineffable nature of the value associated with the term and from the multivalence of its application. From a scientific point of view, dignity eludes the attempts of unitary theorizing, being hypostasized both as a central legal value, as a fundamental normative principle or as an independent right. From a practical point of view, the implications of human dignity are manifold, as it affects the totality of human prerogatives and it is correlated to the set of State obligations undertaken in the field of the protection and promotion of human rights. In this paper we aim to advance the scrutiny of human dignity in a double scientific dynamic: (1) the analysis of the manner in which the restrictions, limitations or derogations invoked by States during the COVID-19 pandemics have influenced the guarantee of human dignity taking into account its characteristic of being the fundamental source of individual rights and freedoms; (2) examining the legal connection between the right to life and human dignity and its potential features derived from the conditions imposed by the health crisis.

Keywords: human dignity, the right to life, individual prerogatives, legal axiology, health crisis, COVID-19 pandemic

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Ioan Voicu

Third age and disability during COVID-19 times in the United Nations vision

The article is focused on a diplomatic, legal, and institutional analysis of the situation of older persons and people with disabilities in the view of the United Nations in the context of the unprecedented circumstances generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It critically examines the current situation caused by this pandemic and the way in which it is the subject of diplomatic debates in the UN General Assembly, the Security Council, and the World Health Organisation from the perspective of the most severely affected persons. The article presents the main resolutions adopted in this field, highlighting, at the same time, the regional efforts to win the battle against COVID-19. Moreover, it emphasises the need for joint action at global level to promote global solidarity in order to identify realistic solutions, acceptable to all the countries in the world. The article cites the most important international documents that will guide the cooperation of states in preventing and combating pandemics, with special reference to older persons and people with disabilities.

Keywords: health, older persons, disabilities, COVID-19, pandemic, General Assembly of the United Nations, Security Council, World Health Organization, cooperation, solidarity, resolution, convention

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Bruce Adamson

The Children and Young People`s Commissioner Scotland

The Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland was established in 2003 by the Scottish Parliament. The core value of the institution is to ensure the participation of children and young people in their work. The office is committed to working to raise awareness and understanding of children`s human rights amongst children and adults across Scotland. The Commissioner uses its legal powers to investigate key children`s human rights issues and promote a rights-based approach to policy, guidance and practice. The last years were marked by the efforts of to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic Scottish law, and the push for better legislation in order to protect children and young people across Scotland.

Keywords: Children and Young People`s Commissioner, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, participation, incorporation, age of criminal responsibility, human rights defenders

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Silvia Iorgulescu

Categories of linguistic rights of minorities and their fields of application in documents of public international law

The field of linguistic rights of minorities is a complex one, not only because the domain is at the intersection of several disciplines (human rights, sociolinguistic research, macro, meso and micro public policies), but also because its levels of implementation are numerous and multilayered. In order to be able to understand these areas and levels of concrete implementation, it is necessary to first identify the connections between the abstract meaning of linguistic policies – with its various levels of action – and their actual application, as transposed in the form of rights. A connection that can be highlighted by exemplifications of linguistic human rights included in documents of public international law. Based on those documents, one can outline the mentioned key areas of application: freedom of expression; religion; education; representative organizations of minorities; media; public administration and services; justice and judicial proceedings.

Keywords: human rights, linguistic policies, linguistic minority, areas of application of linguistic rights, public international law documents

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Gianina Lăzărescu, Mona Vintilă

Psychological and legislative aspects on Alzheimer patients in Romania

One of the medical challenges facing society at the moment is Alzheimer`s disease. In addition to the medical implications, it is necessary to understand the psychological implications of this disorder and how we can help those suffering from Alzheimer`s. This article aims to provide information on both psychological and legislative aspects in dealing with this type of dementia. It brings together information about the stages a person with Alzheimer`s goes through, the risks they are exposed to, how they need to adapt to the new condition etc. The article also mentions the psychological implications of this disorder on caregivers, family members, the emotional states they face, the strategies they have found over time to succeed in providing care to those diagnosed with this disease. At the same time, we present some current legal aspects that must be followed to provide people with Alzheimer`s the best medical services and mental health care available. The information gathered in this paper shows the high need to raise awareness on Alzheimer`s disease in the Romanian society, to recognize that it is a public health problem, and it is necessary to develop a national strategy to increase the quality of life of people suffering from this disease and of their caretakers.

Keywords: Alzheimer`s disease, psychological aspects, legislative aspects, impact on family

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Andreea Moroianu

Decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Napotnik vs. Romania

In 2005 Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms came into force. It introduced a general prohibition of discrimination and it guarantees that no-one shall be discriminated against on any ground by a public authority. In the case Napotnik against Romania, the Court analysed whether the applicant was treated differently on grounds of pregnancy. However, The European Court for Human Rights noted that a difference of treatment amounts to direct discrimination on grounds of sex if it was not justified.

Keywords: Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, discrimination, margin of appreciation, pregnancy, legitimate aim

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Daniela Albu

“Business and Human Rights – Access to remedy”, Report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA, 2020)

The Report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights presents the major problems of infringement by both small businesses and corporations, as well as a number of good practices in the field. The authors aim to encourage decision-makers to promote, through the measures and policies adopted, a responsible conduct of the business environment that respects human rights in the European Union, but also outside it. Recommendations are made for future legislative amendments at national and EU level to improve access to an effective remedy for victims of business abuse.

Keywords: business environment, human rights violations, remedies, good practices, responsible conduct, consumer rights, legislative measures, prevention

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Adina – Maria Nikolić

Effective promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities - Report of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues (UN, 2020)

In the analyzed report, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Fernand de Varennes, briefly presents his activities in 2019 and 2020 to the General Assembly, highlighting the continuous work on the thematic priorities of statelessness, education and minority languages, hate speech targeting minorities in social media, as well as initiatives on a regional approach to minority issues, with a focus on the aspects of education, language and minority rights. The report also provides a thematic study on the significance and scope of the four categories of minorities – national or ethnic, religious and linguistic – tackling aspects of history, United Nations mechanisms and entities, approaches and views of the Member States, civil society organizations, minorities and other stakeholders. The Special Rapporteur concludes his report by making recommendations to guide the activities of his mandate in the field of human rights of persons belonging to minorities and to ensure a consistency in approaches regarding the categories of beneficiaries under the United Nations minority rights system.

Keywords: minorities, minority issues, minority rights, self-identification, language, education

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In Memoriam Gheorghe Pârvan

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In Memoriam Emil Marinache

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