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June 03, 2023, 02:20:24 pm

Author Topic: Tackling the External Exam  (Read 4247 times)

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Tackling the External Exam
« on: December 25, 2020, 12:35:23 am »
Hi everyone!
I just thought I would share a summary of the notes that helped me prepare for the external exam :) I'm going to be posting these notes in multiple instalments as there is quite a lot of content.

What are rights?
Rights are legal, social or ethical principles regarding the freedoms and entitlements possessed by particular groups of people (or all people as a whole - depending on what system you are looking at). That is, rights are fundamental normative rules that address that which is allowed of and owed to people. Often times rights can be viewed as pillars of society and culture.
It is important to note, however, that there exists significant disagreement around the world, regarding what is meant by the term rights and what exactly their purpose is.

What are human rights?
Human rights are basic rights that describe the minimal standards with which people should be treated. They often have a focus on areas of great injustice. These rights are inherent to all human beings.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1984)
The UDHR is responsible for the modern formulation of human rights. Its conception was the UN's response to the horrors of WWII. The core values of the UDHR are made evident in the Preamble and in Article 1 (both of which have a focus on the inherent dignity of and fundamental human rights owed to all people).

Krishnaswami Study (1960)
This study details how individuals should maintain the freedoms and rights to manifest religion or belief - Krishnaswami argued that this means that a religions words, teachings, practice, worship and observance must be protected. However, some religious practices must abide by certain limitations (e.g. rituals/practices such as human sacrifice, slavery, mutilation...).
Further, this study outlines church and state relations.
Ultimately, this study posits 3 keys ideas:
1. Individuals should possess the freedom to maintain or change religion/belief
2. Individuals should possess the freedom to manifest religion/belief
3. The state and public authorities have the duty to ensure that individuals possess religious rights 

1966 Covenants on Human Rights
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) were adopted in 1966. These covenants aim to allow individuals to follow or adopt a religious belief of their choice. However, they have issues with the practices of some major world religions (e.g. the slaughtering of animals in Jewish traditions, and similar practices in Islamic traditions). This is evident in Article 20 of the ICCPR, which states that, "Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law."

Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (1981)
This declaration is an important international instruction that highlights the necessity for the intolerance of discrimination based on religion. It was an important step toward extending the protection of religion to an international scale. Unfortunately, as it is not a treaty, it is not binding.

Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (1990)
This declaration doesn't have any articles specifically related to religious freedom. However, it cites "race, colour, language, sex, religious belief, political affiliation and social status" as not permissible bases of discrimination.
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