Multilateralism, human rights and the 1970s: insights from Ireland's role in the development of the human rights field

O'Sullivan, Aisling and Fazaeli, Roja (2018) Multilateralism, human rights and the 1970s: insights from Ireland's role in the development of the human rights field. Irish Studies in International Affairs, 29. pp. 181-197. ISSN 0332-1460

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Abstract

The Ireland v United Kingdom case concerns the treatment of detainees by British security forces in Northern Ireland and the implementation of internment or detention without trial, introduced in Northern Ireland in 1971. By reading human rights ‘as a language’ and ‘an endless semantic battlefield’, we explore how the Irish Government in the Ireland v United Kingdom case sought to use the European Convention of Human Rights strategically to secure its own political assessment towards internment and the controversial interrogation methods as a legal outcome before a regional human rights institution. In this sense, the Irish legal team re-described and reframed the Irish Government’s political position on the use of internment and of interrogation methods in the language of Convention and according to concepts developed within the European Commission of Human Rights jurisprudence. We focus on two strategic moves that the Irish legal team pursued at the admissibility and merits stages of the European Commission of Human Rights proceedings, namely, submitting a wider range of allegations, alongside article 3 allegations, as an administrative practice and advocating for the hearing of expert testimony on the use of the interrogation methods (the ‘five techniques’). We explore these strategic moves in order to illustrate the semantic battlefield in operation and the potential limits of the strategic use of human rights as a language.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Ireland v United Kingdom, Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights, Strategic Use
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Research Centres and Groups: Crime Research Centre
Sussex Centre for Human Rights Research
Subjects: K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Depositing User: Aisling O'Sullivan
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2018 14:19
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2019 11:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/57158

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