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Race and Law in Fortress Europe

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The universality of human rights is undermined by the principle of territorial supremacy. This allows member states of the EU to discriminate against those who are not citizens of the Union. Moreover, the European Convention on Human Rights and the EC Race Directive are incapable of redressing collective racial or ethnic disadvantage because they do not provide for the enforcement of positive social, economic and cultural obligations. These limitations are assessed in the light of current political and legal developments, using as the main illustration the case of the European Roma. An analysis is provided of obligations to respect, to protect and to fulfil social rights, which could be used when challenging the actions of public authorities and securing access for individuals to public facilities and services. An inclusionary approach would emphasise that equality is central to human rights, and that ‘outsiders’ such as migrant workers and asylum-seekers have human rights.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: *QC, FBA. Emeritus Master of Clare College and Emeritus Professor of Law in the University of Cambridge; Chair of the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC)

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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