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The development of international standards for the protection of minorities has been slow and fragmented. In the absence of a comprehensive and universal binding set of rules, the development of minority protection has been left to regional agreements and judicial interpretation of wider human rights treaties. Universal Minority Rights brings together, for the first time, the full set of all regional and international jurisprudence from courts and treaty bodies concerned with issues of minority rights.
The commentary is arranged around ten thematic areas of investigation, including religious rights, education, cultural rights, political participation and socio-economic opportunities. Each substantive chapter offers an introduction to the issue at hand and its special relevance to minority communities, a general survey of legal standards addressing the issue, and an examination of specific problems that are being tackled through legal standards and judicial review. Each chapter concludes with an evaluation of the contribution of the case-law reviewed to the development of universal standards of protection.
Throughout, the commentary takes full account of international treaties and their associated bodies, including the ICCPR, the ICESCR, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. In addition, the commentary analyzes the regional standards that have developed through the Council of Europe and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and the African Commission on Human and People's Rights.
Through an exhaustive, comparative analysis of principles and substantive rules, the commentary provides an invaluable reference point for the development of minority protection.