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The book deals with the complicated relationships between national security and human rights, and between public health and human rights. Its premise is the fact that national security and public health are both included in human rights instruments as ‘exceptions’ to the human rights therein sanctioned, yet they can arguably be considered as human rights themselves and be equally valuable.
The book therefore asks to what extent the protection of the individual could – or should – be overridden to enable the protection of the national security or public health of the general public. Both practice and case law have shown that human rights risk being set aside when they clash with the protection of national security or public health.
Through theoretical analysis and practical examples, the book addresses the conflicts that arise when the concepts of national security and public health are used – and abused – and other rights, including freedom of speech, procedural freedoms, individual health, are violated as a consequence. It provides many interesting findings on the values that states are ready to protect – and forego – to ensure their safety, which can contribute to the ongoing debate on the protection of human rights.
This book was originally published as a special issue of The International Journal of Human Rights.