From Minority Protection to a Law of Diversity? Reflections on the Evolution of Minority Rights

From Minority Protection to a Law of Diversity? Reflections on the Evolution of Minority Rights and I. MINORITY-PROTECTION LAW BETWEEN COMPLEXITY AND SUBSIDIARITY By its very nature, the law regarding the protection of minorities is always a work in progress. Due to the permanent change in the external context as well as to the internal dynamics of the respective groups, all normative solutions and legal instruments need constant rebalancing, adaptation, and reconsideration. This makes 'one size fits all' and 'once and for all' solutions nearly impossible and counterproductive. Besides, standards are by definition necessarily uniform and thus neither flexible in adjusting to different situations nor easy to agree upon as binding law, e.g. in treaties under international law. As it already becomes clear by the numerous - and in the end futile - attempts to find a legal definition for 'minority' (although the identification of a group in a minority position rarely poses practical difficulties), it seems not only next to impossible to elaborate binding standards and abstract catalogues containing iden- tification criteria and instruments for the protection of minorities,' but also potentially dangerous for the same groups that are to be protected, as these abstract standards might not serve their concrete needs. The experience of the failure with an Additional Protocol to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online Brill

From Minority Protection to a Law of Diversity? Reflections on the Evolution of Minority Rights

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright 2005 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1570-7865
eISSN
2211-6117
D.O.I.
10.1163/221161104X00020
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

and I. MINORITY-PROTECTION LAW BETWEEN COMPLEXITY AND SUBSIDIARITY By its very nature, the law regarding the protection of minorities is always a work in progress. Due to the permanent change in the external context as well as to the internal dynamics of the respective groups, all normative solutions and legal instruments need constant rebalancing, adaptation, and reconsideration. This makes 'one size fits all' and 'once and for all' solutions nearly impossible and counterproductive. Besides, standards are by definition necessarily uniform and thus neither flexible in adjusting to different situations nor easy to agree upon as binding law, e.g. in treaties under international law. As it already becomes clear by the numerous - and in the end futile - attempts to find a legal definition for 'minority' (although the identification of a group in a minority position rarely poses practical difficulties), it seems not only next to impossible to elaborate binding standards and abstract catalogues containing iden- tification criteria and instruments for the protection of minorities,' but also potentially dangerous for the same groups that are to be protected, as these abstract standards might not serve their concrete needs. The experience of the failure with an Additional Protocol to

Journal

European Yearbook of Minority Issues OnlineBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2003

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