Since the 1990s, a ’human rights clause‘ has been included in all economic and cooperation agreements between the European Community and third countries. On the one hand, this clause aims to confirm that human rights are a topic of common interest, part of the political dialogue between the contracting parties. Thus it provides a basis for the implementation of common programmes. On the other hand, it aims to provide a clear legal basis for restrictive measures – including suspension of the agreement as ultimum remedium – in response to human rights violations or interruptions of the democratic process in one of the contracting parties. Both aspects of the human rights clause are closely linked and equally important: they are the different sides of one and the same coin.
This study focuses on the legal aspects of the use of the human rights clause as a basis for restrictive measures in case of human rights violations by a contracting party. In practice this function of the human rights clause is the most sensitive; from a legal perspective it is the most controversial. In order to establish the legal framework for the practical implementation of the human rights, different fields of law are explored: European Union law, public international law and international human rights law.
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The Human Rights Research Series’ central research theme is the nature and meaning of international standards in the field of human rights, their application and promotion in the national legal order, their interplay with national standards, and the international supervision of such application. Anyone directly involved in the definition, study, implementation, monitoring, or enforcement of human rights will find this series an indispensable reference tool.
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Editorial Board: Prof. dr. Antoine Buyse (Utrecht University), Prof. dr. Fons Coomans (Maastricht University), Prof. dr. Yvonne Donders (Chair - University of Amsterdam), Dr. Antenor Hallo de Wolf (University of Groningen), Prof. dr. Kristin Henrard (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Prof. dr. Nicola Jägers (Tilburg University), Prof. Titia Loenen (Leiden University) Prof. dr. Janne Nijman (T.M.C. Asser Instituut) and Prof. dr. Brigit Toebes (University of Groningen).
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