The universality of the ideology of Human Rights is presently enjoying increased interest inspite of the limited results and disappointing concrete realizations achieved in this area.
At the time of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the universality of the doctrine of Human Rights was only an illusion and the problems raised by the application of subsequent international accords have made evident the political conflicts which are at play behind the human rights debate.
Presently, one may accurately speak of a "geopolitic of human rights". Starting from the precept that the best way to resolve opposing points of view is to begin with reality, the author examines the relative situation of Human Rights in three groups which are each relatively homogeneous : the Atlantic zone regrouping the pluralist constitutional democracies; the totalitarian countries including the Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc countries and the communist countries of Asia and, finally, the zone of non-aligned countries of the "third world".
La force juridique et morale des instruments relatifs aux droits de l'homme dépend en grande partie d'un consensus quant à la signification de ces droits. Sur le plan international, ce consensus est des plus difficiles à réaliser en raison des différences idéologiques, économiques, culturelles et religieuses. Peut-on dans un tel contexte concevoir que les droits de l'homme véhiculent des valeurs universelles ?
Au niveau du droit interne, la classification des droits de l'homme et le degré de protection accordée à chaque catégorie de droits, individuels, collectifs, économiques et sociaux, traduit la nécessité de tenir compte de réalités concrètes spécifiques.
L'auteur examine l'approche canadienne des droits de l'homme et les grandes étapes ayant marqué la reconnaissance de ces droits avant qu'ils ne soient consacrés constitutionnellement. Enfin, l'auteur situe les grandes catégories de droits humains dans le contexte canadien et porte un jugement de valeur quant au degré de protection qui leur est respectivement accordée.
The main conflicts and antagonisms presently plaguing the world are the conflicting interpretations as to the substance of what constitutes human rights.
According to the author, the conflict must be recognized instead of hidden under a list of additional rights which serve only to add heterogeneous requirements. This process is essential and a prerequisite to the search for a rational compromise.
At first glance, national sovereignty and the respect of Human Rights seem, since the first is unachievable without detriment to the second, irréconciliable.
When a country binds itself through an international agreement to respect Human Rights it may still violate these accords with impunity by hiding behind the sacred principle of non-interference, a precept often invoked by other countries to justify their passivity.
For the author, this pessimistic view does not, however, take into consideration the fact that evolution in the safeguards to human rights has only come about with the consent of sovereign nations.
There are few countries in the world today who flagrantly disregard Human Rights without feeling the need to justify themselves. It may now be said that there is a beginning of virtue in the reality of international relations.
There may certainly exist conflict between the exercice of sovereignty and the respect of Human Rights, but in democratic countries, this does not constitute an absolute paradox. It is the responsibility of the people governed to make good their rights by exerting the necessary pressure on their government when it does not have a tendency to liberalize its policies. This is because, in the end, Human Rights do not belong to the State but to the people.
All countries are equally sovereign and the faculty to contract international obligations is precisely an attribute of that sovereignty. Does this imply that when Human Rights are the object of international accords the signing countries abandon a part of their sovereignty ? It depends, of course, on the nature of the obligations that have been contracted.
The author analyses the principal international instruments relating to Human Rights and evaluates the impact of obligations which affect the sovereignty of adhering countries.
L’efficacité des organismes internationaux consacrés aux droits humains
In the area of Human Rights, one of the most important events of the last fourty years has been the adoption of the International Pact concerning civil and political rights including the optional Protocol.
The author examines the functions that the Pact assigns to the Human Rights Committee and remarks on the major role that this Committee assumes in the area of Human Rights' protection and of the strengths and weaknesses of this organism.
Si l'institutionalisation de la protection des droits humains est relativement récente, les auteurs classiques que l'on considère comme les « pères » du droit international reconnaissaient l'existence de ces droits. Leurs écrits sont significatifs sur ce point. Parlant de ces derniers, l'auteur retrace les grandes étapes de la protection institutionnelle des droits humains et fait le bilan des réalisations accomplies d'abord par la Société des nations et ensuite, sous l'égide des Nations unies.
Quebec is the only Canadian Province to have affirmed its rights in the area of immigration by creating in 1968 a Department of Immigration. The Department has as its fundamental mission to provide a framework of support and orientation for immigration in the Province.
The expression "humanitarian immigration" applies to two categories of people : refugees, as defined by the Geneva Convention, and more imposing those persons who, without being refugees, are selected for immigration due to humanitarian reasons. In recent years Quebec has welcomed 12 000 to 20 000 persons who have come to Canada claiming refugee status. The people of Quebec have shown openness and generosity in insuring newcomers with financial support and diverse means of welcome ranging from health care and housing to legal aid.
The Quebec experience inspires thought on the relativity of the generosity and the fundamental contradiction of humanitarian immigration. The solution to the problem posed by the existence in the world of twelve million refugees can not be found only through immigration, but rather for a major part, by the recognition and guarantee of the respect of Human Rights.
The « rule of law » which for a long time was considered as an unwritten part of the Constitution now enjoys full constitutional status. Its enshrining in the preamble of the Canadian Charter sheds considerable light on the manner in which the rights and freedoms of the Charter should be perceived. The author opens his discussion by examining the impact that the constitutionalization of the « rule of law » has had on immigrants and refugees in Canada. As the Immigration Act of 1976 confers numerous discretionary powers which could result in their abusive use, the author analyses how the Human Rights charters applicable in Canada and in Quebec can insure the legal protection of immigrants and refugees.
In the second part of his study, the author discusses the principal international texts ratified by Canada which have as their purpose the protection of the rights of immigrants and refugees. As international law is not « self-enforcing » in Canada, the author shows how the internal legal community conforms to the international obligations contracted by Canada.
Tant l'article 13 de la Déclaration Universelle des droits de l'homme que l'article 12 du Pacte relatif aux droits civils et politiques consacrent la liberté de circulation dans des termes non équivoques.
L'Acte final de la Conférence d'Helsinki contient des références spécifiques à ces deux textes internationaux. Pourtant, le droit à la réunification des familles, corollaire de la liberté de circulation, est cependant perçu en termes différents par l'U.R.S.S. et le Canada, tous deux signataires de cet Acte.
À partir d'un cas concret, celui d'Ida Nudel, l'auteur examine la portée de la liberté de circulation et du droit à la réunification des familles en U. R. S. S. ; il jette ensuite un regard critique sur le droit interne canadien et sur la situation des réfugiés dans ce dernier contexte.
The author begins by presenting the institutional effort for development accomplished by the United Nations, the European Council, the European Community as well as that resulting from the A.C.P. Lomé Accords and the Helsinki Accord. The author then situates the right to development in the third generation of Human Rights, which are those of collective rights and examines the very concept of the right to development including all of its social implications.
Due to the pressures of economic and social development, certains underdeveloped countries choose to interpret in their own way the texts of the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights and give only secondary importance to human rights when they are not perceived as an outright hindrance to development.
The consideration given to the subject of Human Rights by the Organization of African Unity in 1979 resulted in the adoption of an African Charter (Banjul) on Human and People's Rights in 1981 which constitutes a decisive step in the evolution of the attitude of African countries in regard to the problem of Human Rights.
The author examines the characteristics of this Charter and the efforts of Senegal to incorporate the Charter's principles into its internal law. The author uses the example of Senegal to demonstrate that the imperatives of development are compatible with the respect of Human Rights.
La sauvegarde de la sécurité nationale est le prétexte le plus souvent avancé par certains pays pour justifier la militarisation de leur société. Dans nombre de pays en voie de développement, c'est au nom de la sécurité nationale que les droits humains les plus fondamentaux sont bafoués.
La doctrine de la sécurité nationale fournit la base idéologique d'une conception de l'État opposant ce dernier à la collectivité des pouvoirs. La loi martiale engendre sa propre logique inconciliable avec celle qui soutend les droits humains, notamment dans les pays du sud-est asiatique où les droits humains ne sont pas constitutionnalisés.
L'auteur traite de la protection des droits humains dans les États militarisés et plus spécifiquement aux Philippines, où l'arrivée au pouvoir du gouvernement actuel permet d'espérer l'instauration d'une véritable démocratie conciliant les exigences du développement et le respect des droits humains.
This essay undertakes a review of national and international law to demonstrate that law is mainly an ideological and variable instrument of the State and of the United Nations, which is a by-product of the states. In this perspective, the author opposes the pragmatical ideology of resistance against the sovereign state to the juridical legitimation and the behaviour of the States who reluctantly have conceded some civil and political rights. Those rights are endangered by the growing bureaucratization of the state, the inflation of the juridical norms and rules, in addition to the permanent repressive characters of the State. The criticism of the contradiction and the variation of the rule of law when it relates to "human rights" is also extended to international law as well as to the international organizations.