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Type: Journal article
Title: Realising rights in low quality democracies: instructive Asian cases
Author: Rosser, A.
Citation: Asian Studies Review, 2015; 39(2):180-193
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1035-7823
Statement of
Andrew Rosser
Abstract: Do justiciable legal frameworks for the protection of human rights (JLFPHR) promote the realisation of human rights in countries with low quality democracies? If so, under what conditions? And what do answers to these questions imply for activists ’ strategies for promoting human rights? This essay considers these questions drawing on the papers published here on Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia and Timor Leste. It suggests that while rights agendas encounter serious political, social and institutional obstacles in low quality democracies, JLFPHR make a positive contribution to rights realisation by: (i) aiding political mobilisation by poor and marginalised groups and their supporters in the NGO movement and (ii) providing a legal basis for these groups to challenge rights breaches through the courts, at least where viable legal pathways for such efforts exist and these groups can muster the financial, organisational and technical resources required to launch and sustain court cases. In terms of strategy, the paper thus suggests that, in addition to constructing JLFPHR, rights activists should focus on facilitating political mobilisation around rights issues, constructing legal pathways that are likely to be receptive to rights causes, and creating support structures to enable citizens to exploit these pathways.
Keywords: Law; politics; human rights; justiciability; democracy; Indonesia; Timor Leste; Nepal; Malaysia
Rights: © 2015 Asian Studies Association of Australia
DOI: 10.1080/10357823.2015.1024099
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Appears in Collections:Anthropology & Development Studies publications
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