This paper examines the possible contribution of genetically modified food to the realisation of the right to adequate food. I argue that innovations such as genetically modified food can be treated as a useful tool to solve diverse global social and economic problems, although they are not an ultimate remedy. This paper will be based on the assumption that threats to food security, along with technological risks, should be defined as a new category of threats to international security. The concept of human security, which is based on the assumption that present-day security studies should take into account the needs of the individual, is the primary analytical approach.
The European Court of Human Rights has for decades struggled with an excessive caseload. Reforms set in motion by the Court and Protocol No. 14 have not solved the problem, leading to the initiation of three High Level Conferences on the Future of the European Court of Human Rights. The outputs of these conferences are the Interlaken, Izmir, and Brighton Declarations. As a measure to reduce the Court’s caseload, the Declarations invite and encourage the Court to keep more distance from questions of facts and law decided by national authorities, giving great prominence to the principle of subsidiarity and margin of appreciation. The article analyses and discusses whether and to what extent these signals have been adopted by the Court. It is argued that there are several changes to be identified in the Court’s interpretation of the Convention which, taken cumulatively, point towards a paradigm shift. This concerns most notably methodological changes, that is, the scope and operationalisation of the principle of subsidiarity and the margin of appreciation. Material changes are also identified, such as relativisation and narrowing down Convention rights. The author argues that the need, motivation and legitimacy for the changes might be questioned and should be further analysed and discussed.
Although working at the country level, national human rights institutions (NHIR) do contribute to the international human rights process. In working within the UN human rights system, national institutions are neither an alternative to NGOs or governments. However, such institutions can potentially play a far more influential role than NGOs due to their official character as state bodies. The position of NGOs in relation to the wider UN system, particularly through the Economic and Social Council consultative status, is well established. Due to states’ politics, the UN has not clarified its ties with national institutions as it did with regard to NGOs. However, with regard to the UN human rights system, NHRIs have acquired a status practically comparable, and sometimes even stronger, than that of NGOs. At the formal level and vis-à-vis the UN system generally, however, NHRIs have yet to reach the status that has been gained by NGOs.
This paper analyses how participation was understood and put in place by the bodies in charge of implementing the Colombian Constitutional Court’s Decision T-760/2008, which ordered extensive reforms of the health system. Following a comprehensive human rights approach, the Court required this process to ensure the participation of the scientific community as well as users of health services. The decision should be seen in the context of Colombian politics, where issues concerning the health system are highly polarised. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse the process of implementation of T- 760/2008 during the three years following the decision. The use of the comprehensive human rights framework, adopted by the Court itself, as an analytical tool brings to the analysis some elements needed to evaluate the extent to which the process was participatory, and to describe the reasons for this.