human rights

  • Comparing Human Rights in Europe and Oceania

    The 9th International Conference of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland Systems of Protection of Human Rights in Europe and in Australia & Oceania. Warsaw, (April 24-25, 2017), Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce and the Polish Parliamentary Association. 

  • Discrimination, Democracy, and Postmodern Human Rights

    The question of discrimination, as far as it is considered in the field of philosophy, cannot be perceived as a problem which can be effectively combated. Even the most precise diagnosis of human nature will not restrain people from defining others as evil and inferior. The most universal and spacious conventions, declarations, cards or bills will not solve the problem either. They can be regarded as an example of applied philosophy at most. On the other hand, we should pose the question what the world would look like if political pragmatism were the main obligatory rule. Thus, the situation finds us between philosophical wishful thinking about a global order free from discrimination and macro – or micropolitical pragmatism.

  • Akt końcowy KBWE i jego wpływ na instytucjonalizację ruchu praw człowieka w krajach Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej w perspektywie porównawczej 1975–1991 (wybrane aspekty)

    On the 1st of August 1975 in Helsinki, 35 countries signed the Final Act of the CSCE. Running the Helsinki process was crucial for the institutionalization of the human rights movement in Central and Eastern Europe. For the first time the principle of respect for human rights, treated as a manifestation of European security, achieved a high status in the basic international document. Although at the beginning the conference did not have any means of direct impact on Member States, thanks to the adopted mechanisms (Review Conferences ) it became possible to international control over the observance of the principle of protection of human rights. As a result, already in 1976, the first non-governmental organizations, upholding the findings of Helsinki, were established in the USSR, Poland and Czechoslovakia,. In this way, the European communist states were subjected not only international but also internal pressure of societies. Social transformations in each of these countries have become the nucleus of the emerging civil society. The final result of, ongoing since 1973, the CSCE process in 1989, was a fall of the Iron Curtain in 1991 and end of the Yalta–Potsdam order, dividing Europe into the political sphere of influence for more than four decades.


  • Civic Education for Human Rights

    The success of democracy depends on the formation of the social capital conducive to the maintenance of democratic patterns of behavior. Civic education is the most important instrument of the formation of such social capital and is, therefore, an essential responsibility of the democratic state. The concept of social capital, introduced in the social science theory by such authors as Pierre Bourdieu (1984) and James Coleman (1988), implies that the quality of democracy depends on the relations between citizens, particularly on the acceptance of such values as trust in others and willingness to accept them as equals. Consequently, the way in which human rights are perceived in a society has profound importance for the quality of political life and constitutes the crucial component of democratic political culture.

  • Współpraca Unii Europejskiej z Kazachstanem w zakresie dobrego rządzenia, demokracji, praw człowieka i wsparcia reform instytucjonalnych

    The European Union supported Kazakhstan in carrying out political, economic and social reform twice. For the first time EU did so within the framework of the TACIS program in the years 1991–2006 when Kazakhstan has received $ 166 million mainly for the restructuring of state-owned enterprises, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, transport, environmental protection, administrative reform and health care and education. Again, the European Union has granted funds to Kazakhstan in the framework of the Strategy for Central Asia in 2007–2013. The main burden of support has been designed to prepare for institutional reforms for good governance and human rights protection. There were implemented 17 projects within four sectors: legal services and the judiciary; human rights, economic policy and development, strengthening civil society. In assessing the changes in some regions of the country reported good practices in the field of dialogue between local authorities and non-governmental organizations, increase the efficiency of public services and the transparency of budgetary expenditure. It was emphasized, however, that the authorities of Kazakhstan do not show understanding for the concept of good governance and democratization processes.

  • Jednostka wobec rządów prawa

    This text focuses on the issue of the functioning of the individual in the state. The main issues analysed in the text are: autonomy and privacy units, the influence of the individual on political decisions, legitimization of political power, the universal protection of human rights. An attempt to answer the question about the scope of the possibility of entering the state into the sphere of human rights, rights of individual.


    In the article below the authors analyse the political, social and legal revaluations of human rights relating to non-heteronormative men in Germany, from the rise of the German Empire (Zweites Reich) till contemporary times. What is important is not only a change in the mentality of the German society throughout the last hundred years, but also the fact that the legal system of the Federal Republic of Germany (Deutsche Bundesrepublik, BRD) was using a provision that had been created during the Nazi dictatorship and applied it to its own citizens. The authors of this article demonstrate that the social changes in the BRD in the second half of the 20th century were much faster than the amendment of the legal system; what is more, the BRD has not faced its Nazi past, failing to atone to homosexual men who had been persecuted on the basis of a Nazi legal provision, inherited and applied by a democratic state.


    The LGBT rights are one of the most crucial aspects of a social and political discourse in Poland and in the Russian Federation. Although in both countries there is a different system of power, and, what follows, human rights and their realization are perceived in a different way, in these two states the right of LGBT people become an instrument of politics. In the following article the authors present a comparative analysis of the way in which the rights of LGBT people are perceived in Poland and in the Russian Federation. They will depict the similarities and differences between these two countries which result from historical conditions, and will provide an analysis of the current perception of non-heterosexual people in Poland and in Russia.


    The LGBT rights are lately one of the aspects of a social and political discourse both in the Russian Federation and in Ukraine. In these countries of a common historical heritage there are some analogies in the perspective on human rights and their realization. It may be also noted that the LGBT rights have become an instrument of politics. In the following article the authors present a comparative analysis of the way in which the LGBT rights are respected in the Russian Federation and in Ukraine. They will depict the similarities and differences between these two countries which result from historical conditions, and will provide an analysis of the current perception of non-heterosexual people in both countries.


    The development of the civil society in Poland post-1989 has put the LGBT movement on the map of the country’s social landscape. As a corollary, it has also led to a greater social engagement of the non-heterosexual community striving for recognition of its demands. The establishment of the Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH) and the spread of the Internet in Poland have raised the Polish society’s awareness of the LGBT movement and made it part of the country’s political discourse. On the other hand, the perceived threat to the established conservative values of the Polish society has galvanised the opponents of the non-heterosexual community and its demands. The resulting dispute between the supporters and opponents of the LGBT movement and its professed ideas has placed the issue on the agenda of the Polish political parties.

  • The Principle of Judicial Discretion and the Death Penalty in Singapore-Constitutional Approach

    Any discussion of human rights in post-colonial countries of Asia conducted from the perspective of Western civilization faces many obstacles, particularly related to existing differences, or even cultural barriers and different traditions. Postcolonial states, despite the remaining remnants of the colonial era-visible in their legal systems, that still contain normative acts adopted before obtaining sovereignty – very firmly resist to the adoption of the universal catalog of human rights set out in the UN Covenants, as well as the use of standards in their observance that are compatible with those made within the United Nations. Both – the so-called ideology of Asian values, as well as the concept of the ASEAN community is not conducive to the creation of international binding legal framework and does not allow (or even leading in the future) to create a universal system of human rights protection. On the contrary – it leads to the deepening ideological differences or even philosophical, in the further development of democracy among Western countries and Asia. From the perspective of European constitutional law, it may be interesting to see the arguments of post-colonial Asia judges on the issue of the division of power in the context of judicial activism and the protection of constitutional values. The purpose of this publication is to present the views of Singapore’s judiciary in connection with the reforms introduced in 2013 that abolish the mandatory death penalty for certain crimes together with the possibility of replacing it by a court decision with life imprisonment and flogging.

  • The Proclamation of the Hungarian Republic in 1946

    The paper is dealing with the constitutional and historical importance of Act I. of 1946. In 1946 Hungary has changed its form of government. The passage of Act I of 1946 has defined Hungary’s form of government as a republic. In addition to the creation of a republic, the legislation provided powers for the president of the Hungarian Republic. Moreover, the Preamble of Act I. of 1946 was the first document in the Hungarian constitutional history which summarized and declared the most important natural and inalienable rights of the citizens.

  • Samospaleńcy jako nowy ruch społeczny? Próba systematyzacji zjawiska w ujęciu integralnym i systemowym

    Self-immolators as a new social movement? An attempt to systemize phenomenon in integral and system conceptualization

    In this paper an author highlight that political self-immolation has been occurring for nearly two thousand years and the main center of this phenomenon is in Asia. Unification of attitudes and globalization are factors that in a flash spread information around the world. This means that about self-immolation everyone, potentially, know in a minute after it occur. Against common knowledge self-immolation are done because of socio-political reasons, deeply altruistic and not because of psychological reasons or unadjustedness of self-immolators as proposed by representatives of nondemocratic regimes. Self-immolation phenomenon is worth of permanent observation by political scientists as they may lead to political changes of great importance as it was in Tunisia (2010). Those who have power and authority by breaking human rights are responsible for self-immolation acts.

  • Chiński system prawny a ochrona życia – zarys problemu

    Chinese legal system and protection of life – outline of the problem

    The article entitled The Chinese legal system and the protection of life – the outline of the problem presents the basic issues related to the basics of Asian philosophical and religious trends that had an impact on Chinese law and the analysis of Chinese criminal laws relating to the lawful protection of life. Regarding the criminal law protection of life, it should be pointed out that the basic difference to Western legal orders is the statutory threat of crime against the death penalty. We should also mention the method of building regulations, which is far from that based on Roman law, which only confirms another way of thinking Asians about law. However, the purpose of the provisions – punishing the perpetrator remains the same, the same are also punishable acts. There are no diametric differences in the catalog of crimes, it seems that it does not differ from the provisions of Western legal systems.

  • Dysfunkcyjność państw afrykańskich a poziom bezpieczeństwa zdrowotnego ich mieszkańców. Próba analizy zależności

    Bardzo często, kiedy w dyskursie publicznym analizie poddaje się poziom i skalę bezpieczeństwa człowieka, na plan pierwszy wysuwa się „bezpieczeństwo zdrowotne” tegoż. Wynika to przede wszystkim z faktu, że na wszelkiego rodzaju rozwój (zarówno w skali globalnej, kontynentalnej, państwowej, regionalnej czy jednostkowej) diametralny wpływ ma właśnie zdrowie człowieka. Niestety wpływ na nie ma nierzadko szereg czynników niezależnych od niego samego. Warunków, zarówno jego zagwarantowania, jak i niedostatku szukać należy w przyczynach politycznych, ekonomicznych, społecznych, kulturowych, demograficznych, czy też stanu środowiska naturalnego. Jakość i poziom zdrowia człowieka, zarówno w kontekście społecznym, jak i publicznym, uzależnione będą w takim samym stopniu od postępujących stale procesów globalizacyjnych, które przenikają dzisiaj do każdej płaszczyzny życia jednostki, jak i od sytuacji państwa, w którym dana jednostka funkcjonuje.
    W poniższym artykule autorka podejmuje próbę analizy zależności pomiędzy skalą dysfunkcyjności państwa a poziomem bezpieczeństwa zdrowotnego jego obywateli. W jej opinii, słabość administracji państwowej, korupcja, nepotyzm, ubóstwo, analfabetyzm, bezrobocie etc., tak charakterystyczne dla państw „dysfunkcyjnych – wrażliwych”, to główne przyczyny problemów „bezpieczeństwa zdrowotnego”. Obszar badań stanowić będzie kontynent afrykański, ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem Afryki Subsaharyjskiej, ponieważ skupia on w swoim regionie najwięcej państw dysfunkcyjnych w skali globu.

  • Argumentation of the Court of Strasbourg’s Jurisprudence regarding the discrimination against Roma

    While the Court has, to some degree, started to protect against discrimination based on birth or nationality, the protection against discrimination on the basis of race until 2005 has been very poor and dubious. Upon reviewing the case law of the ECHR, we find that since the case “Relating to certain aspects of the laws on the use of language in education in Belgium” v. Belgium in 1968, the Court has decided to opt in favor of the original English version of art. 14, which underscores that the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms must be assured “without discrimination” and defends the concept that equality should be interpreted as non-discrimination, while clarifying that this disposition does not prohibit preferential treatment, such that, in the eyes of the Court, this principle is only violated when preferential treatment implies “a discriminatory treatment”, so the task for us is to determine in detail when the two are correlated. The cited decision is an essential reference as it provides the pointers needed to discern whether or not a violation of art. 14 exists, as in a “test” of equality that entails: (1) whether the distinction in treatment lacks objective justification; (2) whether the difference in treatment results in conformity with the objective of the effects of the measure examined attendant to the principles that generally prevail in democratic societies; (3) whether there exists a reasonable relationship between the means used and the end sought. Despite this interpretational recognition of art. 14, if we analyze in detail the Court’s jurisprudence, how the Court has approached the topic of discrimination on the basis of racial or ethnic origin is somewhat disappointing. The fact that during decades plaintiffs were required to provide proof beyond the shadow of a doubt has restricted the Court’s influence on discriminatory actions based on race or ethnicity; for this reason, it is not unexpected that in time critical dissidence arose, even within the Court itself. A good example of this is given by Judge Bonello in the decision Anguelova vs Bulgaria (2002). Here we analyze how the jurisprudence of the Court of Strasbourg has evolved in the context of discrimination against Roma, so as to ascertain the challenges that remain in this area.

  • Aktywność Komisji Weneckiej na rzecz poprawy standardów demokratycznych w prawodawstwie Czarnogóry w latach 2011–2014

    Niniejsza praca jest próbą ukazania aktywności Komisji Weneckiej względem Czarnogóry w latach 2011–2014. Komisja na rzecz Demokracji przez Prawo skupia swoją działalność przede wszystkim na prawie konstytucyjnym, analizując nie tylko projekty zmian w ustawach zasadniczych, ale także wszelkie poprawki do konstytucji oraz inne akty prawne związane z zasadniczym porządkiem ustrojowym. Opisywane w tekście działania Komisji odnoszą się do Czarnogóry, będącą demokracją parlamentarną, której ustrój polityczny reguluje Konstytucja z 2007 r. Państwo to ubiega się o członkostwo w Unii Europejskiej, która rozpoczęła negocjacje akcesyjne w czerwcu 2012 r. Jednak w kwestii dostępowania do standardów europejskich jest jeszcze wiele kwestii, które wymagają znacznej uwagi, by osiągnąć pożądany stan, zgodny z normami funkcjonującymi na Zachodzie Europy.
    Pierwsza część tekstu to wprowadzenie do tematyki działalności Komisji Weneckiej. Druga część dotyczy aktywności Komisji w kwestiach pomocy prawnej i jej misji na rzecz poprawy standardów demokratycznych i ochrony praw człowieka. Trzecia część tekstu to próba zaprezentowania wpływu Komisji Weneckiej, poprzez jej opinie i zalecenia, na proces prawodawczy Czarnogóry. Skoncentrowano się w nim na aktywności Komisji oraz jej ewentualnego wpływu na poprawę przestrzegania standardów demokratycznych w Czarnogórze. Myśl końcowa stanowi z kolei próbę wyciągnięcia wniosków z przeanalizowanego materiału.

  • Interwencja humanitarna: między ideą suwerenności państw a uniwersalnym wymiarem praw człowieka

    Interwencja humanitarna jako działania podmiotów międzynarodowych wobec państw to akt, wobec którego idea suwerenności państw i wymogi powszechnie obowiązujących praw człowieka wchodzą w niejednoznaczne relacje. W artykule przedstawiono analizę idei suwerenności w kontekście interwencji humanitarnej i praw człowieka jako jej moralnego uzasadnienia. Okazuje się, że analiza tych relacji przynosi możliwość przedefiniowania pojęcia suwerenności i praw człowieka. Ukazane zostaje ponowne określenie ról tych idei, które mogą być przeprowadzone w oparciu o analizy tych związków.

  • Human Dignity in the European Perspective and the Proportionality Principle

    The fundamental human right to dignity is the cornerstone of European legal culture. The right has been provided for in international, European, and national legal instruments. Its role as a benchmark reference for all other human rights has developed into a self-standing and self-executing right, especially under the new EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This evolution from the traditional role of the right to dignity is analysed in case study based on a real case before the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic in 2015. The analysis brings forward a reflection about the need to respect the concept of dignity and how it actually is observed in the European context.

  • Problem praw człowieka z perspektywy azjatyckiej

    The question of human rights from an Asian perspective

    The concept of human rights from the very beginning was involved in political struggle and up to now is manipulated by governments, politicians and various groupings for their purposes. Being deeply rooted in the Christian intellectual tradition its universal implementation faces various difficulties in the countries that belong to other traditions, in particular Confucian and Buddhist. Among the principal problems in the Asia-Pacific region the author points out a collectivist notion of an individual and different interpretation of “freedom”, as well as absence of the legal tradition and the emphasis on obligations rather than on rights. Therefore, in the Asia-Pacific region two elements, crucial to “human rights”, are lacking: an autonomous individual as a subject and the recognition of innate rights. Moreover, the Confucian political tradition elaborated a different concept and structure of state. Under historical tradition and circumstances political aspirations of the people were very low and the movement for human rights could not be born. It was initiated only recently under the Western impact. The author analyses potential scenarios of the future evolution and indicates that the economic development and social transformations in course will increase autonomy of an individual and strengthen legal order, as well as stimulate further democratization initiated in the region merely at the end of the 1980s. However, in order to introduce the concept of human rights to social and political practice a profound transformation of East Asian civilization is required.

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