Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Sur - Revista Internacional de Direitos Humanos]]> vol. 3 num. SE lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<B>The Rule of Law in India</B>]]> The author underscores that the patrimonial liberal Rule of Law (ROL) discourse usually disregards alternative traditions. First, it does not permit any reflection on the normative socialist ROL conceptions. Second, it disregards the very existence of other ROL traditions: for example, the pre-colonial, those shaped by the revolt against the Old Empire, or the non-mimetic contributions by the proud judiciaries in some "developing societies". In this context, the author analyses the distinctiveness of the Indian ROL and argues that it offers revisions of the liberal conceptions of rights. The author adds that the Indian ROL stands normatively not just as a sword against State domination, but also as a shield, empowering a "progressive" state intervention in civil society. Finally, the author introduces some current trends in the constitutional jurisprudence and highlights the leadership of the Supreme Court in the development of an extraordinary form of jurisdiction under the rubric of social action litigation. <![CDATA[<B>Inequality and the subversion of the Rule of Law</B>]]> The idea of Rule of Law has become almost unanimously embraced in our days. For human rights advocates, Rule of Law is perceived as an indispensable tool to avoid discrimination, and arbitrary use of force. But, how does profound and persistent social and economic inequality impact the integrity of the Rule of Law? The main objective of this essay is to try to understand the effects of the polarization of poverty and wealth on the legal system, especially in relation to one of the core ideals of the Rule of Law: that people should be treated impartially by the law and by those responsible for its implementation. By revising a substantive and a formalist conception of the Rule of Law, I will try to provide some explanation about why states and people would comply with the Rule of Law standards. The article will also consider the impact of extreme and persistent inequality over the Rule of Law, using my familiarity with the Brazilian experience as an example. In the final section, the focus will be on how even an incomplete Rule of Law system can be employed or challenged to empower the invisible, humanize the demonized, and bring the immune back to the realm of law. This paper will be also published at Thomas Pogge (ed.). A human right to be free from poverty: its role in politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. <![CDATA[<B>Judicialization of politics in Colombia</B>: <B>cases, merits and risks</B>]]> In Colombia, the judicialization of politics has assumed greater proportions than in many other Third World countries where judicial prominence has become mainstream. What can have prompted the development of this phenomenon? What is its impact on the democratization of Colombian society? What are the democratic merits and the risks of judicialization? Besides attempting to provide answers to these questions, I also propose to analyze the Colombian case, through illustrative examples and a theoretical discussion on the evolution of the phenomenon. <![CDATA[<B>Is there equality in inequality? Scope and limits of affirmative actions</B>]]> This paper reflects on the various steps that have been taken in Latin America towards assuring equality between men and women, through the different strategies and affirmative actions that have been applied in various fields (labor relations, family-work reconciliation, social security). The analysis concentrates on the responsibility of the State when it comes to labor regulations, primarily the legal principle of equal treatment and the right to social security. The paper distinguishes between the concepts of discrimination and inequality, and analyzes the principles of gender equality and differences that can be found in labor and social security laws. From there, some public policy proposals shall be presented that promote new institutional frameworks, in particular for the pension system, but also for conciliatory policies and employment in general. <![CDATA[<B>Intermediary services for child witnesses testifying in South African criminal courts</B>]]> Efforts to reduce the trauma in an adversarial court system are complicated by the arguments that the prosecution of sexual abuse cannot take place in disregard of the rights of the alleged perpetrator. The questioning of a child witness is a very specialised task, and the prosecutors and defence counsel are not trained in these methods. Therefore, intermediary services to the child witness in court are important to reduce the trauma experienced by the child. This article aims to highlight that crimes against children and the subsequent criminal proceedings where the child is required to testify as a witness occurs frequently enough to warrant intermediary services to all child witnesses. Practical implications will be highlighted in order to improve the current intermediary process, regionally, provincially and nationally. Firstly, it will reflect on the intermediary services provided for child witnesses in some areas in the western suburbs of Johannesburg; secondly, it will discuss practical experiences and supportive literature, as well as the Bethany House's experience with the project Child in Crisis Foundation (SA). <![CDATA[<B>Brazilian copyright law and how it restricts the efficiency of the human right to education</B>]]> Throughout the 20th century, the development of new technologies gradually narrowed the distance between man, cultural work and intellectual property; this peaked with the advent of the internet in the mid-90s. Access to works from all over the world has enormously increased the possibilities of disseminating knowledge and the materials for education and, at the very least, has also helped form a global community. Nevertheless, the owners of intellectual property - copyrights, brands, patents - may not use them indiscriminately. Therefore, in general terms, what I propose to analyze in this article is how the current copyright structure and the improper use of technology poses a serious threat to the implementation of the human right to education. I shall draw primarily on Brazilian law, although some comments will be useful to understand the system in other countries, as well as to draft the copyright goals that need to be pursued. <![CDATA[<B>Eradicating systemic poverty</B>: <B>brief for a Global Resources Dividend</B>]]> The current appropriation of wealth from our planet is highly uneven. Affluent people use vastly more of the world's resources, and they do so unilaterally, without giving any compensation to the global poor for their disproportionate consumption. Invoking three different grounds of injustice - the effects of shared social institutions, the uncompensated exclusion from the use of natural resources, and the effects of a common and violent history - the author's goal is to show that it may be possible to gather adherents of the dominant strands of Western normative political thought into a coalition focused on eradicating world poverty through the introduction of a Global Resources Dividend or GRD. A previous version of Thomas Pogge, "Eradicating Systemic Poverty: brief for a global resources dividend", was published in the Journal of Human Development (Volume 2, Number 1/January 1, 2001, pages 59-77, published by Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group). The Sur Journal would like to thank Taylor & Francis Ltd. for the permission to reprint this article (permission's reference number: MW/CJHD/N503).