Geoff Gilbert* "[The] `problem' of minorities [... is not] susceptible of solution as those of physics and mathematics" (de Azcárate, League of Nations and National Minorities, 1945, p. vii). The grass often appears greener alongside the wrongly chosen path. There may well be legitimate criticisms of existing mechanisms for protection, but the socalled solution from another system may not be a wholly suitable transplant: either it cannot be grafted into the present structures or it does not fully respond to the present criticisms. To use a ridiculous analogy to highlight the problem, assuming surgeons could connect the muscles and nerve endings, could a human being ever take full advantage of a prehensile tail? To an extent, it is the contention of this article that a protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms1 for the protection of minorities is the equivalent of that prehensile tail--undoubtedly, such a protocol could be grafted on to the ECHR, but it would not be a perfect fit and would not respond to all the needs of minority groups in the Council of Europe region. It is beyond question that minority rights are not coterminous with international
European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2013
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