60 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Europe
This publication - born out of co-operation between 41 universities in the 27 EU countries - is a commentary and a narrative concerning the reception and understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in the legal and political order of each country on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the UDHR. In addition, three European regional organizations - the Council of Europe, the European Union, and the Organization of Security and Co-Operation in Europe - contributed to this unique book. The human rights experiences vary, depending on the 'European grouping.' These include: the experience of the original West European countries that created the Council of Europe and later became the European Union * the experience of countries which have been under dictatorship and managed to rid themselves of the yoke of authoritarian rule * the experience of the Central and East European countries that remained so long behind the so-called Iron Curtain * the experience of a number of countries which were placed in a particular historical context in 1948. Each of these counties tells a different story about human rights and democratization, but taken together, this is the 'European Story of Human Rights and Democratization.' This book is unique also from the point of view that it actually compiles a pool of normatively relevant empirical information which is of interest both from the perspective of international law and comparative law. Consequently, the book raises intriguing issues about the binding nature of the UDHR in the domestic legal orders of different countries. Through legal, political, and historical perspectives, all countries and international organizations involved were able to find a suitable methodological approach to the issues raised. The comparisons that can be made on the basis of the different contributions make it possible to state that, from the perspective of today, the European story of human rights is one of diversity within unity.
Publication Date: 4/3/2009