As far as Declarations go, many are usually self-explanatory. For instance, the 1995 Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development.
However, in some cases, a Declaration may require further explanation as to what it is. In this case, the Bangalore Declaration.
If you’re wondering about the Bangalore Declaration, you’re not alone. Many often wonder about this question and its relevance to the law.
This article will inform you of everything you need to know. We’ll go through what it entails and cover the outcome of this declaration.
What Is The Bangalore Declaration?
Between October 23 to 25, 1995, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) gathered in Bangalore, India. The gathering was both a triennial meeting and a conference.
The convention’s goal was to develop a collaborative action plan for economic, social, and cultural rights. And in addition to that, the role of lawyers in promoting these rights.
The conference’s outcome was the Bangalore Declaration, which laid out a roadmap that outlines a series of commitments.
What Is The International Commission Of Jurists?
The International Commission of Jurists is an independent, non-governmental organization that promotes the rule of law and human rights.
It was founded in 1952 to respond to the increasing need for international law and justice.
It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and meets annually to discuss international law and justice.
The Commission comprises sixty lawyers, including prominent judges, attorneys, and academics.
Apart from promoting the rule of law and human rights, the ICJ aims to promote the independence of judges and lawyers.
It ensures that governments globally uphold and respect the law and protect their citizens’ human rights.
One of the main ways the ICJ does this is by providing legal expertise to help protect human rights defenders.
The Commission also engages in education and advocacy work and research and publishes reports on human rights violations.
In addition, it also works to build the capacity of lawyers and judges around the world.
What Was Discussed During The Bangalore Convention Of 1995?
The International Commission of Jurist’s conference in Bangalore, 1995, addressed the following topics:
The Work Of The Commission On Promoting Human Rights
The conference recognized the work of the ICJ in promoting human rights. In particular, they noted the following results from the Commission’s long-standing commitment.
- the Declaration of Delhi 1959
- the Law of Lagos 1961
- the Limburg Principles 1986
- the paper for the World Summit on Social Development 1995
The Limburg Principles
The conference reaffirmed the Limburg principles. They pointed out that since adopting these principles, centrally planned economies in some nations had collapsed. Central and Eastern Europe and Asia were the regions in question.
The Limburg Principles are guidelines promoting the effective implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
The principles were developed in 1986 by a group of experts who gathered at a seminar in Limburg, Netherlands.
The principles reflect a consensus among participants on how we should interpret and implement the ICESCR.
Furthermore, they suggest ways in which States can affect their rights under the Covenant. Several human rights organizations have endorsed these principles, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
The Universality of Human Rights
The Bangalore Declaration reaffirmed the fundamental human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In addition, they called for greater cooperation between governments and civil society to promote and protect human rights.
The conference reaffirmed the objective of the UN World Summit on Social Development that had convened earlier in Copenhagen, Denmark.
It had convened from 6 to March 22, 1995. This Summit addressed the universality of human rights and renewed the global commitment to social development.
They also assessed the progress made since the adoption of the World Declaration on Social Development and Plan of Action.
This conference had convened at the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights two years earlier, in 1993.
The declaration agreed on strategies and measures for promoting social development in the years ahead.
In addition to that, the ICJ participants also remembered the Final Declaration of the Copenhagen Summit. This declaration had encouraged States to ratify and implement the ICESCR.
The Situation Of Women’s Rights
The conference drew attention to women’s severe disadvantages of economic, social, and cultural rights.
It also noted that it was necessary to address the barriers that prevent women from fully realizing such rights.
They noted that jurists should work with women and grassroots organizations to develop specific policies to protect these rights. They brought to attention the Beijing Platform for Action.
The 4th World Conference on Women (the 1995 Beijing Women’s Conference) was the largest UN conference ever convened on women’s rights.
It had representatives from 189 countries. The conference convened from September 4-15, 1995, in Beijing, China.
The Beijing Platform for Action was adopted during the conference and remains the most comprehensive global policy document on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The Platform for Action is a 12-area action plan of commitments to achieve gender equality. Some key takeaways from this action plan were; violence against women, empowerment, the girl child, education, power, and decision making.
The Role Of Financial Institutions On Human Rights
They also acknowledged international financial institutions’ role in promoting and preserving economic, social, and cultural rights.
The Neglect And Doubts In Protecting Some Human Rights
The conference sought to examine why jurists had been less active, many of which were myths. That’s regarding the promotion of economic, social, and cultural rights.
The participants brought forward these reasons;
- That these rights (economic, social, and cultural) aren’t legal rights in the sense that the jurists can’t enforce
- The said rights vary in content, change over time, and are difficult to enforce precisely.
- While such rights are vital, they are not exclusively the field of attorneys.
- These rights typically require large sums of money and other resources to be realized.
- In addition, the jurists should leave the allocation of these rights to the government and not the courts. They reasoned that jurists might lack the necessary expertise or information to make significant economic or social decisions.
- Although realizing civil and political rights has clear economic costs,
it would bring social and political issues. And that’s outside the legal jurisdiction of lawyers.
- There was a clear warning against the temptation of the law, its institutions, and experts for a reason. They could overextend their intended role and competence by “legalizing” matters better resolved outside the courts.
The conference brought to attention widespread ignorance. It highlighted particular people, including; the judiciary, the ICESCR, the community, and the government, who had neglected these rights.
What Was The Resolution Of The Judges’ Neglect And Doubts?
In response to these issues raised by the participants, the conference resolved:
- That the economic, social, and cultural rights remain a vital part of human rights.
- The judiciary, particularly lawyers and judges of countries such as India, plays a vital role in promoting these human rights.
- All jurists should play a larger role in realizing such rights than they had in the past. And they should do so without decreasing the importance of attorneys’ efforts in achieving civil and political rights.
- That impunity is a barrier to enjoying these rights, and we must overcome it. They also raised the issue of corruption by government officials.
- There was a total agreement that the Plan of Action that follows should be made available to all jurists.
- We shouldn’t exclude jurists from more than half of the field of human rights, which is fundamental to humanity.
What Are The Goals Of The Bangalore Declaration?
The declaration set forth specific actions that governments and others can promote economic, social, and civic rights. It includes;
- Establishing national human rights institutions and ratifying international human rights treaties.
- Use of independent agencies such as the Ombudsman to ensure the attainment of standards of treaties.
- Enhance the powers of the Ombudsman
- There should be the adoption of independent public legal aid and legal assistance.
- Judges should refer to the international human rights norms when delivering judgment.
- Bar Association and Law Societies should strive to promote pro bono work
- There should be the empowerment of disadvantaged groups so that they can participate. These include; women, people living with disabilities, and minority groups.
- Governments should reform constitutions and laws to include social, economic, and civic rights.
- NGOs should be allowed to contribute and assist.
- The World Bank should be supported when conducting an inspection
- The Commission should exert pressure specifically on nations in Asia-Pacific and other regions where treaty ratifications are few.
In this article, we have reviewed the Bangalore Declaration. It’s a document that sets out the principles for promoting the universality of economic, civic, and social rights.
By understanding the goals of the Bangalore Declaration, governments and other bodies can work together to improve humanity. We hope this information has been enlightening.
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