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A VALUABLE EXPLORATION OF THE CURRENT STATUS OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Human Rights Protection: Methods and Effectiveness, 1stEdition, edited by Frances Butler. Hard Bound, 6.5" x 9.5".
Martinus Nijhoff, (An Imprint of Brill Academic Publishers), P.O. Box 9000, 2300 PA Leiden, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 (0)71 5353500. Fax: +31 (0)71 5317532. E-mail: email@example.com. Publication Date December 2001 , 250 pp., ISBN 90-411-1702-4. Price EUR 95.00 / USD 87.00 / GBP 60.00
Human Rights Protection: Methods and Effectiveness is the second volume in a series offered by the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), published by Kluwer Law International. The aim of the BIHR is "to promote a greater understanding of human rights and to further their protection through education and research." As such, this volume offers a review on how human rights should be protected and the extent to which this actually occurs.
The book is an edited volume with contributions by professionals from the United Kingdom and elsewhere offering a multi-disciplinary approach to exploring and protecting human rights. This volume is organized into 13 chapters, arranged in five sections. An introduction by the editor is also included which accurately explains the need for the protection of human rights and the further education of human rights principles. Butler states that although the need to acknowledge and protect human rights is finally beginning to be recognized on a global scale, political agendas still inhibit their full practice. Therefore we must continue to seek to provide rights for all people, not just in theory, but in practice. Forensic scientists have been working at the forefront of theses efforts via the practical application of their respective disciplines in the scientific investigation of human rights abuses.
The first section, "National Institutions: Their Role in Protecting Human Rights," offers five chapters reviewing the importance of cooperation between national and international law-making bodies. Four case studies of national human rights commissions are given as well as a discussion on the need for proper education of lawyers and judges in international law. Section two, "Societies in Conflict: What Happens to Human Rights," includes two chapters which discuss the importance of building strong foundations for the protection of human rights in conflict areas, as exemplified with cases studies of Northern Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Section three, "International Institutions and Treaties: How Effective Are They," covers in four chapters the development of international human rights law and its progressive assimilation into domestic criminal law.
The International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and Yugoslavia (ICTR and ICTY, respectively), the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) are mentioned, as well as the restrictions placed upon these and other international bodies in the implementation of international law. The final two sections, "Other Influences" and "Rethinking the Meaning of Human Rights," offer one chapter each, briefly reviewing the social responsibility placed upon global corporate powers in the protection of human rights and the difficulties that lie ahead in protecting and providing rights while remaining sensitive to cultural norms and values.
This volume offers a valuable exploration of the current status of human rights and future prospects for protecting those rights. In years to come, international law will permeate its way through domestic affairs as the need for the protection of human rights becomes recognized on a worldwide scale. To the world of forensic science, this volume offers a thorough introduction to the role of international law in the achievement of peace, security and justice. In addition, as the practice of protecting human rights grows, so too will the involvement of forensic scientists in human rights work. Just as scores of pathologists, anthropologists, criminalists, and other scientists have already been involved in judicial and humanitarian forensic missions throughout Africa, the Balkans, South America and elsewhere, the role of forensic science in human rights will continue to expand. National teams (such as the Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense and the Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala) and non-governmental organizations (such as the Centre for International Forensic Assistance) are being developed to train, recruit and deploy experts world-wide. These teams offer a tremendous opportunity for forensic scientists to contribute to the protection of human rights.
This volume argues that institutions teaching law to law students must be revised so as to heighten awareness of international law. We would also argue that human rights law and the legal implications of violating those laws should become part of the standard curriculum for students of forensic science. To this end, Human Rights Protection: Methods and Effectiveness offers a valuable tool to the forensic scientist in today's global community.
-Shuala Martin Drawdy and Michael W. Warren
Department of Anthropology, University of Florida,
Gainesville, FL 32611, U.S.A.
Shuala Martin Drawdy received her Master's degree in Anthropology from the University of Florida and is currently a doctoral student specializing in forensic identification and human rights issues. She has consulted for the United Nations and various non-governmental organizations in the investigation of war crimes in Bosnia, Kosovo and the Philippines.
Dr. Michael W. Warren received his Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Florida, where he studied under the late William R. Maples. Michael is currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida, with research interests in forensic identification, human variation, and growth and development. Dr. Warren also serves as Deputy Director of the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory, one of the foremost forensic anthropology laboratories in the United States. His research program examines populational variation in fetal limb growth and proportionality, the impact of various pathologies on normal growth and symmetry, and ecogeographical patterning in fetal limb proportions. Other current research areas involve problem-based research in human identification and trauma analysis. He has also conducted fieldwork in human rights in Bosnia and Kosovo.
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