E.MA European Master's Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation EIUC Secretary General NEW GOVERNANCE MECHANISMS AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW: MORATORIUMS IN LAW AND PRACTICE

Prof Florence Benoît-Rohmer, Prof Ria, Wolleswinkel Chairperson, Rita De, Brito Gião, Rita De Brito Gião
2014 unpublished
The European Master's Programme in Human Rights and Democra-tisation (E.MA) is the first Master's course in human rights and dem-ocra tisation launched and financed by the European Commission that later served as model for establishing other Regional Master's around the world. Since January 2013 these are all connected and managed by the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democra-tisation (EIUC) under the Global Campus of Regional Master's Programmes (GC). E.MA is a one-year
more » ... E.MA is a one-year master's course aimed at preparing professionals to respond to the requirements of daily work in international organisations , field operations, governmental and non-governmental bodies, and academia. The programme offers an action and policy-oriented approach to learning about human rights, democratisation and international relations from legal, political, historical, anthropological, and philosophical perspectives. This interdisciplinary nature and wide-rang ing scope of E.MA reflect the benefits of true European inter-university cooperation in human rights education. It is an inter-disciplinary programme that reflects the indivisible links between human rights, democracy, peace and development. During the first semester in Venice, students have the opportunity to meet in a multi-cultural environment and be taught by leading academics , experts and representatives of international and non-governmental organisations. During the second semester students re locate to one of the participating universities in the various EU member states to follow additional courses in an area of specialisation of their own choice and to write their thesis under the supervision of the E.MA Director or other academic staff. After successfully passing exams and completing a Master's thesis, students are awarded the European Master's Degree FOREWORD in Human Rights and Democratisation jointly conferred by a group of EIUC/E.MA universities. Each year the E.MA Council of Directors selects five theses which stand out not only for their formal academic qualities but also for the originality of topic, innovative character of methodology and approach, and potential usefulness in raising awareness about neglected situations or issues and capacity for contributing to the promotion of the values underlying human rights and democracy. ABSTRACT Moratoriums in IHRL, as new governance mechanisms, can be defined as "the temporary suspension of a specific domestic law or regulation, which results from a varying degree of external influence of the international human rights politics or practice. Their purpose is to explore alternatives to the existing legal framework, with a view to proceeding with its definite modification in the long-term." They offer a middle-ground solution to a "persistent lack of consensus" on issues where there is a deep clash of culture, morals or values, where no universally agreed standards seem to exist and where the human rights nature of issues is debated. Due to the increased recourse to such "soft law" instruments, which operate on the margin of the rule of law and the traditional separation of powers doctrines, it is crucial to assess the nature of their relationship with the law. Through the application of the conceptual framework of new governance onto moratoriums addressing the highly contentious issues of the death penalty and discrimination based on sexual orientation, it is possible to demonstrate that these instruments-as a flexible alternative to the conventional rule-making processes-have the potential to shape public policies and transform human rights law, in particular through the intervention of peer-review and judicial review. Like past editions, the selected theses amply demonstrate the richness and diversity of the E.MA programme and the outstanding quality of the work performed by its students. On behalf of the Governing Bodies of EIUC and E.MA and of all participating universities, we congratulate the author.
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