Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup

How are the roots of modern international human rights reflected in the assigned textbooks for (under)graduate law courses in western countries?

This research aims to examine the representation of the roots of modern international human rights in undergraduate law textbooks used in western countries.

Published onJan 29, 2023
How are the roots of modern international human rights reflected in the assigned textbooks for (under)graduate law courses in western countries?

How are the roots of modern international human rights reflected in the assigned textbooks for (under)graduate law courses in western countries?

Abstract

This research aims to examine the representation of the roots of modern international human rights in undergraduate law textbooks used in western countries, by answering the research question “How are the roots of modern international human rights reflected in the assigned textbooks for (under)graduate law courses in western countries?”. A survey of European law students and lecturers was conducted, and two European law textbooks were analyzed. Additionally, a selection of articles from TWAIL and Latin American scholars were examined. The research compares the portrayal of the origins of human rights in the textbooks and articles with the views of the surveyed individuals. The goal is to understand how human rights are portrayed in these educational materials. Furthemore, the paper focuses greatly on the topics of decolonization, in the context of the research.

Using a dialectal form of thinking, the papers come to the conclusion, that textbooks for (under)graduate law courses in western countries, present a portrayal of human rights mechanisms relevant to the scope of studies, however give the false perception of them being universal and globally applicable, claiming that other historical and geographical events, pertinent to a specific region or period, are irrelevant.

Introduction

Textbooks form the basis for courses and knowledge in university studies, including undergraduate and graduate law courses in Human Rights. Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) scholars and others have noted that the narrative about human rights and its origins often ignores the nexus between human rights, capital and racism. This narrative is used in textbooks and scholarly material about human rights that are used in university curricula. As a result, university curriculums reinforce the systems of oppression and colonialism by making such textbooks required reading for courses in international human rights law.

Textbook narratives are important because they form the basis for our understanding of the world and how we interact with it. The human rights narrative has been consistently overlooked and distorted from the truth, in university curriculums, creating a false perception of the origins of human rights and the systems of oppression and colonialism. This lack of attention to human rights in university curricula perpetuates systemic inequality and injustice. It is therefore essential that university curricula pay attention to this issue in order to create an understanding of the global human rights context that is inclusive and equitable. The Global Citizenship research platform, within a university setting, provides an opportunity to address this issue, by exploring topics related to citizenship, participation, and human rights in an effort to promote an understanding of global human rights that is based on an awareness of the global nature of the development and origins of human rights.

The paper will have the following structure. Firstly it will introduce relevant definitions. This part will be followed by the methodology, which will explain how the research was conducted. Immediately after, the actual research will be conducted, starting with the literature review, followed by the analysis of the survey results, and lastly an analysis of the textbooks. Eventually the conclusion will bring all the findings together, and answer the main research question.

Decolonization

We can find different definitions of the term decolonization, in this context the author will provide three, which were used in the survey that supported this research. Decolonization is a multifaceted and contested concept that has been defined and understood in various ways by different scholars and practitioners. It is important to be aware that these definitions are not exhaustive and may not be accepted by all scholars, furthermore, are all true to some extent. However, they do provide a useful starting point for understanding the concept of decolonization within this particular context. The author will not adopt any of those definitions for this paper, however they are here to show the reader that people have answered the survey with different understandings of this concept. Thus the idea of a decolonized textbook could also be different based on those definitions.

  • An effort to ensure that narratives and stories about history and political institutions also reflect the realities of the lives of people who were enslaved or colonized.

This definition of decolonization was written by Dr. Tamara Lewis for the sake of this paper, and mainly concerns the idea of how it focuses on maintaining the experiences and perspectives of marginalized groups, particularly those who were subjected to enslavement and discrimination by the colonizing countries. It suggests that decolonization involves a concerted effort to ensure that narratives and stories about history and political institutions accurately reflect the lived realities of people who have been oppressed due to their race, ethnicity, or nationality in the goal of expanding the powers of the western oppressors.

This definition further highlights the need of recognizing and acknowledging the ways in which colonizers have shaped and distorted our understanding of history and political systems. It also emphasizes the need to challenge and dismantle the structures and systems of oppression that have been put in place to maintain the dominance of colonizers over colonized peoples.

In this sense, decolonization involves a process of unlearning and reexamining the ways in which we understand and interpret the world around us. It requires us to challenge and critique the dominant narratives and perspectives that have been imposed upon us, and to seek out the voices and experiences of those who have been marginalized and oppressed. By doing so, we can work towards a more just and equitable society that truly reflects the diverse and complex realities of the world we live in, instead of agreeing by ideas considered to be ‘common truths’, which earned that title due to complex power plays, instead of being actually rightful.

  • The action or process of a state withdrawing from a former colony, leaving it independent.1

This definition of decolonization refers to the very complex process by which a state withdraws from a former colony, leaving it independent, in the context of this research it portrays the simplest definition, although still a very important one. Decolonization often involves the transfer of political power and control from the colonizing state to the colonized territory, as well as the restructuring of economic and social systems. It is a multifaceted process that can have significant political, economic, and cultural implications for both the colonized territory and the colonizing state. This may also involve the reassertion of indigenous cultures and values, as colonized peoples seek to reclaim and rebuild their identities and communities after years of colonization, although often, after years of oppression and influence of the colonized party, this process is impossible.

In the context of international law, decolonization has been an important issue, with numerous treaties and resolutions addressing the rights of colonized peoples and the obligations of colonizing states.

  • Decolonization is about “cultural, psychological, and economic freedom” for Indigenous people with the goal of achieving Indigenous sovereignty — the right and ability of Indigenous people to practice self-determination over their land, cultures, and political and economic systems. (Definition from Global Solidarity Localization website)2

This definition of decolonization emphasizes the cultural, psychological, and economic dimensions of the process. It suggests that decolonization is about more than just the transfer of political power from a colonizing state to a colonized territory; it is also about enabling Indigenous people to reclaim control over their land, cultures, and political freedom, without those spheres being enforced by a foreign power.

It further focuses on the restoration of Indigenous sovereignty, or the right and ability of Indigenous people to practice self-determination over their own affairs. This may involve the reassertion of traditional governance structures, the revitalization of Indigenous languages and cultures, and the development of economic systems that support Indigenous self-sufficiency and independence.

TWAIL

TWAIL, its ideas and its writers, play a significant role in this research, it is important to explain what it is, and what its ideas are.

Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) is an academic field that seeks to understand and critique international law from the perspective of formerly colonized nations and peoples.3 TWAIL scholars argue that international law has historically served the interests of colonizing powers, and has been used to justify and reinforce the domination of colonized peoples. As such, they view decolonization as a necessary step towards achieving justice and equality within the international legal system.4

TWAIL scholars are often critical of mainstream approaches to international law, which they argue are based on Eurocentric assumptions and fail to adequately address the experiences and perspectives of colonized people. They argue that international law must be reinterpreted and reevaluated in order to address the ongoing effects of colonialism and to promote the rights and interests of the colonized.5

TWAIL scholars employ a range of interdisciplinary and critical approaches, drawing on fields such as history, sociology, anthropology, and political science, to examine the ways in which international law has shaped and been shaped by the global power dynamics of colonialism.6 They also seek to develop alternative approaches to international law that are more responsive to the needs and interests of colonized peoples.7

TWAIL scholars have played a significant role in promoting decolonization and advancing the rights of colonized peoples within the international legal system. They have argued for the recognition of the sovereignty and self-determination of colonized nations, and have sought to address the ongoing effects of colonialism through the development of alternative approaches to international law.8

Goal of the Research

The goal of the research is to break that stigma and acknowledge that there is a much wider perspective about human rights issues, and the legal history of it goes much further than the Western culture likes to portray. It is an issue that should be analyzed with a global perspective. Its focus is to show the neglect and western perspective which saturated the textbooks in undergraduate, human rights, law studies, resulting in a false picture of the actual development of these issues. Furthermore, it aims at showing the real history behind the development of human rights across the world.

The interests of Dr. Lewis are to find ways to empower lecturers to adopt resources for their courses that will give a broader understanding of human rights and its origins, history and current understanding. The research group concerns itself with the wide issue of global citizenship. Key questions are: how do we determine our responsibility for the world, as human beings and as professionals? Which values do we aspire to? How can we shape these? How much of an activist is a global citizen?

Main Research Question

How are the roots of modern international human rights reflected in the assigned textbooks for (under)graduate law courses in western countries?

Supporting questions

Supporting questions serve as a framework for further analysis. They give a structure to all the coming parts of this research. Whether that concerns the literature review, analysis of the textbooks, or even creating the survey, we can use these questions to frame our thinking in the search of answering the main research question, and know what to seek when analyzing all the information.

  1. What textbooks are assigned for introductory human rights courses in Europe?

To what extent is the topic described in the books? Does it give a very narrow perspective or does dwell more into the topic to offer a global and objective description

  1. What contexts or historical origins are explained for the International Human Rights machinery in those textbooks? 

What is the narrative presented in the different textbooks across universities across different regions? It is always said that the UN Human Rights mechanisms have evolved from the atrocities of WW2, however how much of the history of how these mechanisms were founded is evident in the textbooks, including attempts to include or exclude the participation and contribution of non-western nations in the establishment of its instruments and machinery? Does the topic only focus on the European perspective? Are there any attempts to show and understand how other civilizations have developed their own human rights standards? Is there an understanding that these were existing alongside, or even before, the historical origins of the western understanding of human rights?

Methodology

Information used to research this paper was gathered through a broad, quantitative survey, shared through various online channels among law students and law lecturers in the month of October 2022. Surveys can be defined as “the collection of information from a sample of individuals through their responses to questions”9. The quantitative element of the survey means that it used questionnaires with numerically rated items, instead of for example qualitative research strategies, which use open-ended questions.10

Every person who participated in the survey answered the same questions which resulted in getting consistent data which can easily be compared and analyzed. The channels used were LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. On LinkedIn the author and Dr. Lewis shared the survey on their own profiles, which allowed them to connect with both students and lecturers. Furthermore, the survey was shared on a private LinkedIn group called the “Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM)”, where there are almost 2000 members, unfortunately the groups seem to be inactive for some time now, which resulted in low responses. Dr. Lewis also shared the survey in a Facebook group named “Atlas Group”.11 Since the group’s focus is on the two main topics concerning this research; human rights in the context of international law, it seemed like a suitable place to find people to whom the survey was addressed.

Lastly, the survey was shared on WhatsApp among 4th year law students of The Hague University of Applied Sciences, and among 4th year Law students of the London School of Economics, University of Warsaw, Kozminski University, and 2021 Alumnis of the Law Programme at the University of Maastricht. This wide reach was done through Instagram stories, through which the author has asked his friends who study Law at those universities to share the survey among their peers.

Furthermore, fellow students from other universities were requested to share the survey among their peers, which resulted in answers from universities in the UK, The Netherlands, and Poland. 58 people have responded to the survey, which has been compiled of the following 7 questions:

The first question was aimed at giving a profile of the responders, asking them whether they were a student, a lecturer etc.

  • Are you familiar with the term decolonization?

  • Which answer best fits your definition of decolonization?

  • How much do you agree with the following statement? Law school education reflects western ideologies.

  • How much do you agree with the following statement? Law schools foster critical thinking.

  • How much do you agree with the following statement? Introductory human rights course textbooks in my Law School present de-colonial views on the subject.

  • Please provide the textbook(s) information you used in Human Rights studies (author, title, publication info) and the name of the course you took/taught.

Moreover, the survey results help answer the main and supporting legal questions. They allow the authors to measure the impact that legal textbooks have on students and lecturers. They give a perspective on how law education as a whole is perceived, by these two core groups. By asking questions aimed at determining how they perceive decolonization, how they believe it is portrayed in the textbooks, and their views on whether law schools foster critical thinking, we can get an idea of what they consider those terms to be. Then we can contrast them with the actual facts, determined from the literature review, to measure the impact those textbooks actually have on the students. The survey presented the authors with some very interesting, sometimes even contradicting ways of thinking, but a detailed analysis of the data gathered from the survey will be provided further in this paper.

Furthermore, the quantitative survey was supported by doctrinal research. A simple definition of doctrinal research can be “a critical conceptual analysis of all relevant legislation and case law to reveal a statement of the law relevant to the matter under investigation”12. This means that an objective analysis of sources which are relevant to this research paper, need to be critically assessed in order to come to a legal conclusion on this matter.

In order to find the appropriate sources for this doctrinal research, systematic research review was needed. A number of relevant academics from different schools of thought on the subject have been identified, and to avoid bias, added relevant publications using the technique of snowball sampling, which meant considering the most cited publications and authors on decolonization and other relevant subjects, within our selected sources - and by consulting Dr. Tamara Lewis on the initial literature review.

The doctrinal research consisted of legal, academic sources, which included several articles/books/lectures and other scholarly materials. Those have been chosen and analyzed to answer the questions asked in this research. Two categories of authors have been highlighted to ensure a more biased analysis of the issue at hand. Those consist of TWAIL and Latin American sources. A more detailed analysis of these sources will follow in the Literature Review.

Literature Review

For the literature review, two main types of scholars/thinkers were identified, that focus on the related topics, in order to present a wider perspective on the matters discussed. The two categories are TWAIL and Latin American. The concept of TWAIL was already discussed and explained, however just as a quick recap it stands for Third World Approaches to International Law, and it is a critical school of thinking about international legal scholarship, and a political movement. Their goal is to change the colonial foundations of how international law is taught, where the Third Law is often discriminated against by the West.13

The second school of thought comes from Latin American thinkers who have made significant contributions to the concept of international human rights.

Just like TWAIL thinkers, one of the main ideas advanced by Latin American writers in this context is the concept of "coloniality," more importantly on its ongoing effects of colonialism on the global system of power and knowledge. Many Latin American scholars argue that the modern human rights framework is rooted in a Eurocentric understanding of the world that fails to account for the diverse experiences and histories of marginalized groups, such as indigenous peoples and people of African descent.14

For example, Brazilian philosopher Enrique Dussel argues that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948, reflects a narrow and Eurocentric view of human rights that prioritized the rights of individuals over the rights of communities and ignored the rights of colonized peoples.15

Other Latin American scholars, such as Peruvian sociologist Aníbal Quijano and Argentinean literary critic Walter Mignolo, have also argued that the modern human rights framework is fundamentally flawed because it reflects the interests of the global North and does not adequately address the ongoing impacts of colonialism and imperialism.16

Overall, the ideas of Latin American thinkers on the concept of international human rights highlight the need to move beyond a narrow, Eurocentric understanding of human rights and to recognize the diverse experiences and histories of marginalized groups in the global South.

The ideas of some of those writers will be further discussed in this part, moreover it will serve as a core part of analyzing both the survey results, and the findings from legal textbooks.

TWAIL

Mohsen Al Attar - The Peculiar Double Consciousness of TWAIL

In this article, Al Attar explains how TWAIL scholars think, and how overtime, their interventions towards education, have shifted the perceptions of international law. As said in the article:

Led by an insurgent and irreverent community of scholars, TWAIL pursued varied forms of subversion to liberate international legal scholarship from its Eurocentric straitjacket and use the academic platform to advance the emancipation of Third World peoples.17

Al Attar talks how the birth of TWAIL was transcendental, and brought down the white supremacism that was present in the legal academy.18

Furthermore the scholar asserts how some of TWAIL’s scholars have committed too much, towards defying the norms, and neglect every form of mainstream taught in international law, thus creating an orthodox narrative that appears counter-intuitive, even inconsistent.19 This article uses WEB Du Bois’ concept of double-consciousness to explain this tension.20

What is meant by the subjective record, is a legal education saturated with European and North-American histories, with the aim to propagandize rather than educate21. An example the authors give is how according to the Teaching and Researching International Law in Asia report, asian universities use the same textbooks as european ones, meaning they are taught about situations and history events, which had little to no influence, on how human rights, and other legal disciplines have developed in that particular region.22 When they do rely on local knowledge, it is rarely the original, but rather just a translation.23

From this All Attar we can highlight two important ideas that are relevant to this paper. Firstly, TWAIL’s impact on legal education. The example of Asian universities shows how much still needs to be done24. Secondly, TWAIL’s goal to challenge orthodox education, resulted in an obsession of defying every form of mainstream.25

James Thuo Gathii - The Promise of International Law: A Third World View

In this article, James Thuo Gathii shows he perceives decolonizing the way International Law is taught in general. He gives two main points, which portray his beliefs, and those are challenging the geography of the legal studies, claiming that the discipline of law is characterized by the set of ideas all originating from Geneva, Strasbourg, New York,or Washington, D.C. In this article, Gathii gives a further perspective, into how legal studies are portrayed at universities at the moment, and what we can do to break from those western ideologies.

This limited geography and set of ideas is characterized by the law of Geneva, the law of Strasbourg, the law of New York, and the law of Washington, D.C.26

His claim is that almost all the law presented in university textbooks, presents knowledge originating from these prestigious places, whereas other countries are neglected.27 He gives examples of places like Arusha, Tanzania, which are the locations of two international courts, nevertheless they are disregarded when teaching law28. The main argument he presents is that international law produced in these countries should receive as much attention as law produced in the prestigious cities mentioned before.29 The second point follows the first one, claiming that the often neglected Third World, is in fact just as equal a source for the production and knowledge of Human rights, as the western countries. 30

Vernon Ivan Tava - TWAIL Pedagogy: Legal Education for Emancipation

This article talks a lot about the modern structure of education and ways of teaching, and when it does talk about decolonization it is only in this context. Thus this is an ideal article for this research paper. The following points that Tava mentioned, will be the most important for this paper, and they will be used an present throughout the further analysis:

Decolonisation, which in this context would be the undoing of colonialism, which is the process of imperial nations establishing and dominating foreign territories, often overseas,

  • MILS - Mainstream International Legal Scholarship,

  • Banking method of education - a term used by Paulo Freire in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, to describe the traditional way of teaching. It compares students to containers, to which teachers pour knowledge, which enforces the lack of critical thinking, and focuses on receiving, memorizing and repeating31

  • Co-intentional education - this model relies on a fierce commitment to empowerment – the transformation of the learning narrative from the one fostering unification and agreeing that one subjective idea is applicable in all cases, to the one of emancipation, where students are equipped with the tools to critically reflect on the reality presented to them.

The author explains that both MILS and the banking method of education reduce the objects that are being taught - whether those are students, or even entire populations - to passivity and powerlessness, while fostering subjectivity32. It is this powerlessness that both TWAIL and co-intentional education seek to overcome. The core of this method is that legal education is much more than the technical practice of learning about the law, about learning every concept by hard. It is in fact, a discipline in which the student acquire greater understanding of the world they inhabit, they are taught how to think critically, become more well rounded and intelligent, and are taught the possibilities of transforming it using already existing or entirely new legal mechanisms33.

Following this train of thought, let’s discuss more how MILS is portrayed in the article. MILS’s strict focus is on the international treaties, judicial bodies, customary norms, and other embodiments of international law34. Nevertheless, little is taught on the legitimacy of those bodies of law whatsmore, it is presumed from the get go, just like the power that informs them, which is ignored35. Ideological shortsightedness, transforms law schools from places of learning to places of indoctrination, where lecturers contribute to the circulation of corporate ideology. the celebration of illegitimate powers of classes. In result, students are presented with a false view of the world, saturated with western ideologies.36

Modern education is quickly becoming passive, with students being taught how to receive, remember and repeat information, and rather ironically, discouraged from critical thinking, and constantly challenging the status quo they are presented with37. And here is the funniest part - the secret of banking education - what kind of school would admit to stunting the growth of their students, by teaching them a single doctrine?38

The author further discusses Hunt’s proposal, which while radical in some regards, was aimed at restructuring legal education39. He critiqued the legal studies, for being of limited value, and for creating a reactionary legal system structured to only be available to a privileged and established power elite.40 Thus, he proposed a new educational model with the intent of reforming how law was taught. He constructed the model, with focus on key principles, which included the importance of critique in legal analysis, especially the critique of what he called “eternal verities”41 or in other words truths that were assumed to be certain. This approach focused on multiple theoretical frameworks, which were merged with legal subjects and historical knowledge, supplemented by modern legal history. The method used multiple methods of assigning and critiqued established orthodoxies.42

Arguably, the concepts of this article would be enough to support this entire paper, and they will be used throughout the further analysis.

Latin American Thinkers

Barreto - Decolonial Thinking and the Quest for Decolonising Human Rights

Barreto’s Decolonial Thinking and the Quest for Decolonising Human Rights touches upon key concepts that important for this paper, and a framework for thinking, used to come to the conclusions of this paper:

What does it mean to think decolonially?

Barreto provides his definition of decolonization, of it being about getting rid of the colonial features of human rights, and how those features actually served in boosting imperialism, rather than enhancing education.43

What is the threefold movement of consciousness?

This concept can also be described as a dialectal way of thinking - a process involving a tension between an initial moment, and a second one that makes evident the weaknesses of the first one.44 The second concept becomes a radical criticism of the first one. The third one allows us to contrast the two of them, and come to a reasonable conclusion, with as little bias as possible.

How is it possible to decolonise human rights? - Barreto’s criticism

To make things more clear, here is an example of criticizing Eurocentric or Western thinking. Barreto’s main criticism is that if we look at the theory of human rights, we realize that it is always grounded in some historical or geographical context. This destroys the claim of universality that has been given to the eurocentric perspective. Since it is grounded in the European context it cannot be legitimately universal, as it developed from the context of that certain region. Thus it no longer becomes the theory of human rights; it is just one of the many theories born out of one of the many backgrounds applicable to one of the many mechanisms and contexts of human rights. 45

In his thinking, Barreto moves to the second stage of the process of retrieving a Non-Eurocentric Perspective and Tradition of Human Rights. Since Europe is just one of the many spots where human rights theories evolved, there are many more birthplaces of it we can highlight on the map. Thus, there are many more theories of it, that originate from colonized people, or third world countries.

Finally, we reach the dialogue between the two. For now the European values will be a part of human rights, and this globalization will happen from above. To rework how human rights are perceived and taught, other theories need to be recognised, and acquire local legitimacy. If these contradicting theories are to be recognized, they need to treat each other seriously.

Aníbal Quijano, Michael Ennis - Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America

In their article, titled “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrim, and Latin America”, Anibal Quijan and Michael Ennis, discuss the period of European, global colonization, which has forever changed the affected regions, forcing western ideas upon them. Quijano and Ennis's argument is centered on the concept of "coloniality of power", which refers to the ongoing and pervasive effects of colonialism on the global power structure. This article gives an understanding of how we came to the point where education is so one sided, all around the world.46

In their article, they claim that colonialism has led to the creation and continuation of a racial hierarchy in which European and Western societies are considered superior to non-Western societies, and people of color are considered inferior47. This hierarchy is reflected in the way that knowledge is produced and disseminated, as well as in the distribution of resources and power. They also argue that European colonization gave birth to racism.48

The idea of race, in its modern meaning, does not have a known history before the colonization of America.49

The authors also argue that colonialism has had a similar impact on the black populations of Africa, who have been also subjected to enslavement, exploitation, and oppression.

Those races until then indicated only geographic origin or country of origin, acquired from then on a racial connotation in reference to the new identities. Insofar as the social relations that were being configured became relations of domination. In other words, race and racial identity were established as instruments of basic social classification.50

In other words, color became the emblem of classification of race.

Quijano and Ennis give a simple, yet powerful explanation for this. The conquered civilizations were in a neutral position of dominance and inferiority - thus their look, traits and culture was assigned those exact labels.51 This quickly became the core of the distribution of power in societies.

In this way, race became the fundamental criterion for the distribution of the world population into ranks, places, and roles in the new society’s structure of power.52

They further argue that regions not directly colonized, were still affected by it, for example regions such as Asia, and were simply given the label of “Orient”53, and have been viewed as inferior to the West. This has contributed to the creation of a global racial hierarchy, in which people of color are considered inferior to whites.54

Overall, Quijano and Ennis argue that the legacy of colonialism and the coloniality of power continue to shape global power dynamics and contribute to ongoing racial inequality, and give a perspective of why law is taught the ways it is nowadays.

Literature Review - Conclusion

This literature review allowed us to highlight the ideas of the main thinkers in the concept of TWAIL, decolonization and international human rights. The main thoughts and ideas of those scholars will serve in the further analysis of the textbooks. In the next part of the paper the academic research conducted by those scholars will be met with hard data gathered from the survey.

Analysis of Survey Findings

As one of the professional products for this research, the author conducted a quantitative survey to examine the perspectives of students and lecturers on the teaching of international human rights in (under)graduate law programs. A total of 58 responses were received from individuals representing a range of backgrounds in the legal academic world, including both lecturers and students. The results of this survey will be analyzed in relation to the research objectives, which include understanding the respondents views on the topics covered in this study, such as defining decolonization, as well how the decolonial view is portrayed in their textbooks, but also more broad questions, regarding their opinions on the legal teaching system as a whole, including whether it promotes western ideologies and critical thinking skills. The findings of this survey will provide valuable insights into the current state of international human rights education and the ways in which it may be improved. In this part of the paper the results of the survey will be analyzed question by question.

In this survey, we wanted to ensure that it was only completed by people who are or were law students or lecturers, in order to gather information from these particular groups. By including this question at the beginning of the survey, we were able to screen out respondents who did not fit the desired profile, ensuring that the data they collected was relevant to their research goals, especially taking into account the fact, that due to the wide array of channels used, we would be unsure whether only people with the desired profile answered the questions.

The entirety of the survey analysis can be found in Annex I of this paper. The author strongly recommends getting familiar with it as it will serve as an important part for further research. In the next part, a short summary will be included, to give an idea of the findings that resulted from it.

General Profile of the Surveyed.

To sum up the survey part, a general profile of both a lecturer and a student will be shown.

The purpose of presenting a general profile of both lecturers and students is to gain a better understanding of their perspectives on decolonization and modern legal education, and the other topics relevant to the survey. When we further go on to analyze the textbooks, and reach a conclusion of this paper, it will be easier to analyze all the information based on these profiles.

The general lecturer currently teaches, or has taught a human rights course in the past 3 years. They are familiar with the term colonization, and they believe it is about “cultural, psychological, and economic freedomfor Indigenous people with the goal of achieving Indigenous sovereignty — the right and ability of Indigenous people to practice self-determination over their land, cultures, and political and economic systems.55 They agree with the fact that law schools reflect western ideologies, and they also agree they foster critical thinking. Lastly, they disagree with the statement that introductory human rights course textbooks in their Law School present de-colonial views on the subject.

Furthemore, the general student is very similar. The only things worth highlighting are the fact that they have never taken a human rights course, and they are neutral whether introductory human rights course textbooks in their Law School present de-colonial views on the subject.

This suggests that both of the groups are aware of the issues of decolonization and the lack of this perspective in legal teachings. Their chosen definition of the term confirms that, and shows that they are aware of the deeper meanings behind this problem. Furthemore, by agreeing with the fact that law school reflects western ideologies, it is almost apparent that lecturers and students in western, undergraduate law schools, are aware of how one-sided this education is, and how it omits key events from other regions than Europe and the US. Nevertheless, they still choose to believe that they teach and foster critical thinking at those establishments, regardless of neglecting that statement in every other answer to this survey. This again goes back to Tava’s secret of Banking Education - who would admit to stunting the growth of their students, by teaching them a single doctrine?56

Textbook Analysis

This part of the paper will conclude the research findings, and use them to answer the main and supporting questions. Those research findings will be used to analyze two legal, human rights textbooks, one used by students in the Netherlands, called ‘International Human Rights Law and Practice Third Edition’, by Ilias Bantekas and Lutz Oette, and the other used by polish law students, called “Prawa Człowieka” (“Human Rights”), by Adam Krzywoń, Marcin Wiącek, Wojciech Brzozowski57.

The analysis of each textbook will be divided into two sections - findings and commentary. In the first part the author will attempt to highlight all the important elements from the textbook, referring to the topics concerning this research. By doing so the reader will be able to form their own opinions regarding the matters at hand. In the commentary section, the author will form conclusions based on the findings in the textbooks, and supported by literature and survey findings. This will allow the authors to form a conclusion and answer the main question, in the final part of this paper.

“International Human Rights Law and Practice Third Edition” Ilias Bantekas, Lutz Oette - Findings

We will first begin by analyzing how both of these textbooks portray the origins and development of human rights, starting with the textbook used in the Netherlands. The first major idea that we come across in our analysis of the textbook, is the claim of the authors that “Human rights have an important dual function: they are claims based on particular values or principles and often also legal rights that entail entitlements and freedoms.”.58 Those universal “particular values or principles” are supposed to be defined in the UDHR as “principles of dignity, equality and liberty, and are underpinned by notions of solidarity.”59.

Going further, we see that the authors of this book identify the founding document of international human rights as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was created in 1948.60 They then go on claiming that their attempt of understanding human rights will take into account “a broader socio-political history”.61

Moving into the next section we can see that the authors start to paint a more wide picture of the development of human rights. They start talking about how ancient religions approached the construction of an ethical framework, such as “Hindus, Jains and Buddhists, to the ten commandments of the Old Testament”. These civilizations justified the following of these commandments, by the rewards granted by each religion62. Following that, the authors give descriptions of how different ancient cultures approached the first laws of human rights, showing examples such as Indians or Africans. After this brief acknowledgment of the contribution of these events towards modern human rights, the authors jump forward in history into the late 18th century.

The authors identify two main documents that had a great impact on UDHR, which they consider to be the founding document of international human rights law. Those two documents are The United States (US) Declaration of Independence (1776) (and later the Bill of Rights (1791)) and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789)63. They identify the flaws of these two documents, mainly being how they focus on the rights of the ‘man’, and they predominantly reflect civil and political rights, privileging the interests of certain classes; while at the same time failing to address a number of practices that violate fundamental rights.64 Furthemore, the authors see the irony of how the Americans declared these rights, while at the same time killing and banishing the indigenous tribes of America, while the French continued to oppress women and pursued a policy of imperialism and colonialism65. The authors then teach how the European Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, further developed international human rights.

“International Human Rights Law and Practice Third Edition” Ilias Bantekas, Lutz Oette - Commentary.

In the beginning of our analysis we come across the idea shared by the authors, where they claim that human rights are “based on particular values or principles”. This idea immediately points to the mindset that the authors have regarding the studies of human rights. From the beginning they try to label this vast and complex landscape with ‘particular values or principles’, which results in the idea that there is some universal truth regarding this field, when in fact it results in them choosing the values for themselves and trying to argue that they are universal.

It is important to understand that the recognition and implementation of human rights may vary across different cultures, societies, and historical periods. This means that interpretation of these values and principles differs depending on the geopolitical and historical elements taken into account when determining them, and concluding how they should be applied in practice. Ultimately, it is up to individuals, communities, and states to decide how they will uphold and protect human rights within their own contexts, and although some major ideas are shared among them, it is impossible to determine a universal set of values, applicable to everyone, everywhere.

We can later realize that the authors of this book believe that international human rights began developing in the 20th century, ignoring the thousands of years of human history, which lead to this point, by identifying the founding document of international human rights law is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was created in 1948.66 This definition further leans into the idea of western ignorance in legal teachings. Nevertheless, the authors continue on claiming that they will try to analyze the development in human rights law “in a broader socio-political history”67, regardless of their shallow analysis when it comes to the vast landscape that human rights is.

An interesting sentence forms in the next part of the textbook:

This undertaking is important at a time when the validity of human rights, though seemingly triumphant, is being called into question on account of their association with particular historical and political developments and ideas that are associated with Western secular liberal democracies.68

It appears that they acknowledge that human rights are being critiqued – but by identifying their foundations as non-western, and tracing their historical development, they feel like they are answering to this critique. In some form they seem to be acknowledging their narrow views, and trying to justify it.

In the paragraph titled “Foundations”, the authors begin their analysis with an extremely western thought:

International law governed the relationship between states, which were recognised as its sole subjects. States were considered absolutely sovereign, which meant that the treatment of citizens and other individuals on their territories fell within their exclusive prerogative.69

A sovereign state is a western idea. Here we can see a statement relevant only to the European landscape being treated as an absolute - which we know to be simply not true. We know that not all states had absolute power, nevertheless the authors frame their entire thinking, about the foundations of human rights, around this core structure of a state.

This habit of generalization is very common in western education, where ideas locally correct for a given period or place are given the status of an absolute and universal truth. In his article on decolonial thinking, Barreto explains the wrongfulness of this phenomenon.

What it is called “the” theory of human rights is an understanding that is assumed to be the only one, or the unique elaboration with universal validity. However,(...)the hegemonic theory of human rights is the progeny of a perspective grounded in a particular historical and geographical context, that of Europe. Unveiling the linkage to the site of emergence of knowledge weakens or destroys the legitimacy of claims to universality. The dominant theory is no longer “the” theory of human rights; it is just a theory(...)70

Following the ideas of the sovereign state the authors appear to be making two contradicting claims, which leads to an unknown conclusion of their idea of the origins of human rights.

While certain human rights concerns, such as religious persecution, were at times raised, individual or collective rights as understood today did not form part of the corpus of international law.71

At first they claim that although certain ideas, such as religious persecution, were raised in human history, we cannot consider them to form the corpus of international law as we know today. As the author understands this, they claim that any ideas that form modern international law that were already present, or started forming in different cultures before the 18th century, should not be considered as having an influence on the modern human rights, meaning that the UDHR, was a result of completely original ideas, which formed in the French Revolution, and are universal around the entire world, and no past events had any influence on it. This seems to be a very bold, and simply false idea, which as we will see in a moment, the authors confirm themselves.

This explains why international human rights law, when emerging with considerable force following World War II, drew heavily on ethical imperatives, concepts of rights and historical sources, as well as national declarations and constitutions. This was evident in the preparatory work to the UDHR, which was informed by the views of a number of philosophers and intellectuals about the nature and content of human rights and borrowed substantially from national rights declarations.72

In the following sentence, the authors suddenly claim that the UDHR, in their mind one of the founding textbooks of international human rights, drew heavily on ethical imperatives, historical sources and legislation from other countries, following World War II. At first they say that although some imperatives resembling modern human rights were raised throughout history, they had no impact on the modern corpus. Then they claim that the UDHR, the core of our human rights as we know today, drew heavily from those exact events. the author thinks that these two extracts perfectly summarize the perspective that the authors want to portray, and the attempt to on the one hand completely ignore any influence other cultures may have had on the western formation of human rights, while on the other showing an attempt to give a more wider view on the issue, in order to avoid criticism. It seems that the authors acknowledge that past historical events had an impact on the modern human rights, but in order to support their western narrative, they try to label these events as being something other than actual “human rights”, and by dismissing them as being capable of bearing this term, they assign all the praise to the events following the 18th century in Europe.

While notions of individual autonomy and rights were known in some societies, the question of how human beings treat each other and how best to exercise power in a polis was frequently framed as a matter of virtuous conduct and justice in conformity with reason, religious or customary commands.73

Jumping a bit forward in the text we can finally see the authors identifying the events described previously as notions of individual autonomy. They suggest that because these societies called their rights virtues, they are not human rights, as for the authors, the core element of human rights is about individual autonomy. Because those notions were not based on individual autonomy, and not based on virtuous conduct, we cannot consider them as human rights. Nevertheless middle aged European societies were also like this – our own origins are the same, yet they are not mentioned in this context. This abstract definition seems like a made up explanation to support the previous claims which serve to justify the universality of the European system.

The authors then move on to identifying the influence of different, ancient religions onto international human rights. We can see that this textbook does attempt to acknowledge the impact that those civilizations from different parts of the world had, nevertheless let's keep in mind that the authors do consider this irrelevant compared to what occurred closer to the 20th century. Furthemore, after this brief acknowledgement, we jump forward to the 18th century. It seems strange how little credit is given to thousands of years of human history. It is commonly agreed that ancient Rome and Greece are stepping stones of any legal studies as we know the today 74, yet somehow, when considering international human rights studies, we are given a perspective as if all that happened before the French Revolution, was a period of some dark, barbaric ages, where the human race had no respect for the rights of others humans, and failed to identify any sort of moral code in governing their relations and rights.

The principal concern was therefore the creation of a harmonious and just society rather than the protection of the rights of individuals.75

Finally, the authors come to the conclusion that in order for certain laws and principles to be considered human rights, their goal must be the protection of the rights of individuals, rather than as in the case of virtues of historical civilization, where their goals in establishing similar rights, was the creation of a harmonious and just society. It is fair to say that only the authors can distinguish these two concepts, as it seems pretty obvious that both of them overlap to serve the same purpose. Nevertheless this stretched and illogical concept, was enough to consider the so called notions irrelevant in light of what the mighty, european civilizations managed to achieve. And this ignorance is present in the entirety of the chapter, clearly aimed at serving the western narrative - conveniently omitting the facts that show the darker side of the truth.

It is not accurate to suggest that the authors of this textbook completely disregard the contributions of ancient civilizations to the development of human rights. However they do place a greater emphasis on more recent historical events, and it is important to recognize that the history of human rights is multifaceted and complex, and that it is not possible to fully understand the evolution of human rights without considering the contributions of various cultures and civilizations throughout history. The perspective we get in this textbook is applicable and relevant to European history, however it is definitely not universal. Furthermore the contribution of other civilizations is described in the narrowest context possible, merely to serve the claims of universality of the European system.

“Prawa Człowieka”(“Human Rights”), Wojciech Brzozowski, Adam Krzywoń, Marcin Wiącek - Findings

The second textbook that will be discussed is one that is commonly used in Polish universities, for introductory human rights courses, such as the University of Warsaw or the Kozminski University(ALK). The book almost strictly focuses on the polish and european human rights legislations, having only 2 pages dedicated to the american and african systems, Although we do have to remember that the main focus on this book is national law, it does have an entire chapter strictly allocated to international human rights law, where still the almost entire focus is on european law.

Similarly to what was described in the previous textbook, the authors seem to follow the western studies to analyze and generalize human rights. They follow the studies of a french lawyer, Karel Vasak(1929-2015), who based on the French Revolution, identified three types of human rights:

  1. The first generation are the political and personal freedoms.76

  2. The second generation are the economical freedoms.77

  3. And the third generation are the general rights to development in conditions where basic human needs are met, such as the right to peace, natural resources, or a sustainable environment.78

The authors further go on to say that this structure has made a big impact on human rights studies, and until this day is present in legal education. They further go on to claim that this structure of categorizing human rights, has had a lasting historical impact as it has been established in the 1993 World Human Rights Conference in Vienna.79

The authors continue their narrative of the origins of modern human rights dwelling from the french Declaration of the rights of man and citizen (Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen), portraying it as a milestone in the development of the ideas of human rights.80

They further go on describing how the systems that were developed in Europe after World War II, became the leading international standards, which later shaped the human rights standards in other regions.81

The rest of this chapter is strictly dedicated to European Law, and its impact on the Polish legislation, however we can find in the last two pages, that the authors go on describing the inter-American and african systems. They begin with stating that the development of human rights in other regions is thanks to the success of the European Strasburg system, which was later replicated there. 82

They describe how the inter-American system of human rights is based on the American Convention on Human Rights, which was adopted by the Organization of American States in 1969. This treaty establishes the rights of individuals in the Americas and provides a mechanism for individuals to seek redress if their rights are violated. The system also includes the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the treaty.

Furthemore, the African system of human rights is based on the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, which was adopted by the Organization of African Unity in 1981. This treaty establishes the rights of individuals in Africa and provides a mechanism for individuals to seek redress if their rights are violated. The system also includes the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, which is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the treaty.

“Prawa Człowieka”(“Human Rights”), Wojciech Brzozowski, Adam Krzywoń, Marcin Wiącek - Commentary

The authors start by identifying the french Declaration of the rights of man and citizen (Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen), as the key milestone in the development of international human rights.83 While it is true that the modern concept of human rights has its roots in European history and philosophy, it seems like the authors omit any other resources or events, that had an impact on human rights developments, during the thousands of years of human civilization, and that happened in any other region and time than modern Europe. It is important to recognize that the idea of protecting the fundamental rights of individuals existed in various forms throughout human civilization. For example, ancient civilizations such as those in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and India had codes of conduct that protected the rights of individuals, and the concept of natural rights can be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman philosophers.84

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that human rights are not limited to Europe and the modern era. In fact, the protection of human rights has become a global concern and is enshrined in international treaties and agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

It is also worth noting that the struggle for human rights has been a global one, with individuals and groups from all corners of the world fighting for their rights and the rights of others. This includes individuals from non-European countries and regions who have made significant contributions to the development of the human rights movement.

It seems strange that authors forget all these events in analyzing the roots of modern human rights studies and education, and assign its main structure to a French academic, basing his work on one, although impactful, event in the long lasting development of human rights. They further go on to claim that this structure of categorizing human rights, has had a lasting historical impact as it has been established in the 1993 World Human Rights Conference in Vienna.85 Again, we can see that a theory established in recent history, originating from a narrow geographical perspective, is projected onto the entire human rights development.

While it is true that the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen was an important milestone in the development of human rights in Europe, we must not forget that it is not the only event or document that has contributed to the development of human rights. As mentioned earlier, the idea of protecting the fundamental rights of individuals has existed in various forms throughout human history, and has been a global concern.

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that the French Declaration was a product of its time and was not intended to be a universal document that applied to all people around the world. The rights outlined in the Declaration were specific to the political context of 18th century France, and were not necessarily applicable to people living in other countries or regions.

While it would be simply false to consider the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen an unimportant event in the development of human rights in Europe, and forgetting about its enormous impact would be ignorant, it is not the only event or document that has contributed to the development of human rights. The protection of human rights has been a global concern throughout human history, and there have been many individuals and groups from different countries and regions who have fought for the rights of others, and assigning such prestige to one document, developed from a very specific region and political landscape, gives a very narrow perspective of the actual mechanisms that stand behind international human rights.

Moreover, it is understandable that a Polish textbook on human rights law would focus on European law and its developments, but it still often fails to recognize that human rights law is not limited to Europe. We can especially notice it in the introductory paragraph of this chapter, where the authors claim that the most effective adoption of human rights mechanism originated in europe, coming from the aftermath of the Second World War, but also the events leading up to it in certain countries, and obviously the innumerable violations that occurred during the war. It further claims that the systems that were developed in Europe after World War II, became the leading international standards, which later shaped the human rights standards in other regions.86

Just like in the International Human Rights Law and Practice Third Edition, we can see how the authors tend to generalize how events in Europe apparently had the same impact all around the world. Again, we can see Barreto's claims being true, where one of many theories of human rights is being considered as “the” theory of human rights.87

Later the authors touch upon the inter-American and African legal systems. Unfortunately this is the only information we can find in the textbook regarding human rights mechanisms from regions other than Europe. The author fails to describe the mechanism behind these conventions in more detail. They merely describe the leading legislation in these regions, that originated after WWII, and give the dates of their creation.

To conclude this section, it is important to highlight that the main focus of this textbook is the current human rights law in Poland, and international law is only mentioned to give students a better understanding of these topics. Thus it is completely reasonable that in the context of international law, mainly European law is described and other regions are merely mentioned to give students an idea of other legislation in other regions. That being said, the authors still paint a very narrow perspective of the overall development of modern human rights, assigning its origins to the 18th century, and centering its origins in Europe. Furthermore, what is not reasonable, is assigning those events the value of universality. While they do mention the inter-American and African systems of human rights, they do not provide a detailed analysis of these systems and their mechanisms for protecting human rights. Furthermore, the authors portray the development of human rights law in these regions as being a result of the success of the European Strasbourg system, which is a narrow perspective that fails to recognize the unique historical and cultural context of the Americas and Africa.

In conclusion, while it is understandable that a textbook focused on human rights law in Poland would have a main focus on European law, it fails to acknowledge that human rights is a global phenomenon, not only limited to Europe. It is important for students to have a comprehensive understanding of the development of human rights law in order to fully appreciate its global nature.

Textbook analysis - conclusion

This part of the paper gave us a lot of insight into how human rights are actually taught in law schools. It allowed the author to get a great grasp of what kind of information is being presented there, and will further us into developing a conclusion in the next part, in order to answer the main research paper.

Conclusion

This will be the final section of the paper and will bring together all the findings that were accumulated from the literature review, survey findings, and textbook review. It will find the answer to the main research question:

How are the roots of modern international human rights reflected in the assigned textbooks for (under)graduate law courses in western countries?

And the supporting question(the first question, about the textbooks has already been answered at this points and does not need to be expanded further):

What contexts or historical origins are explained for the International Human Rights machinery in those textbooks? 

This conclusion will serve as a summary of all the elements of the paper that touched upon this issue. Those are, the literature review, the survey analysis and the contents of the assigned textbooks. By supporting the findings from the academic sources with the survey findings, we will be able to ground those conclusions in practical reality. Furthermore, Barreto’s threefold movement of consciousness, or in other words the dialectal framework of thinking88will be used in order to answer the main research question, as the literature review and the textbook review give us two contradicting ideas of international human rights, where the survey findings allow us to come to a balanced conclusion with support of hard facts.

Threefold movement of consciousness

In order to draw a conclusion of how human rights mechanisms actually developed we can use Barreto’s threefold movement of consciousness, or in other words the dialectal way of thinking. A process involving a tension between an initial moment or side of a concept, and a second one that makes evident the weaknesses of the first one.89 The second concept becomes a radical criticism of the first one. The third one allows us to contrast the two of them, and come to a reasonable conclusion, with as little bias as possible.

For the first concept we will take the perspectives from the textbooks. Both textbooks argue that the founding documents of human rights are The United States Declaration of Independence (1776) and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789)90. Those documents indeed are crucial and important for modern international human rights in Europe and America. But here is the entire issue. They are trying to assign universal values to events relevant only in those two regions91.

The second concept will come from the literature review. Fueled by the realization of the false perception presented by western scholars, TWAIL and Latin American writers lean into the ideas that everything taught in those textbooks is false, the most radical example of that being Quijano and Ennis92. They try to neglect every form of mainstream legal education93, which leads them to the rabbit hole of denying everything considered orthodox.94

Finally Barreto leads to the third and final conclusion - the middle ground between the two95. The western perspective is important for the development of human rights, and it had a great impact on other regions, whether through force or inspiration. But it is still just that. A European perspective. In result it no longer becomes THE universal and only theory, but one of many, born out of one of the many backgrounds applicable to one of the many mechanisms and contexts of human rights. Sure, it is important. But only in a specific geographical and historical context. Is it wrong that European textbooks focus strictly on it? No. Is it right that they assign it the status of being the most impactful and important, and considering all the other ideas as not important? Certainly not. Scholars from TWAIL and Latin America teach on different mechanisms and events that lead to the development of human rights in other regions, and we must consider them equal to what is presented in the legal textbooks. Furthemore, the survey findings shows us that the legal communities are indeed aware of the contexts presented, unlike some TWAIL authors like to portray.96

For now the European values will be a part of human rights, and this globalization will happen from above. To rework how human rights are perceived and taught, other theories need to be recognised, and acquire local legitimacy. If these contradicting theories are to be recognized, they need to treat each other seriously.

It seems that we can conclude this paper with the following statement.

The roots of modern international human rights in the assigned textbooks for (under)graduate law courses in western countries, provide a limited, geographically and historically bound, perspective of modern international human rights, which is relevant to the scope of teachings as being geographically and historically relevant, however is falsely represented as a universally applicable set of truths. This fails to capture the complexity of the underlying mechanisms of international human rights. Moreover, both students and lecturers, in European and British universities, appear to be aware of this, yet deny the fact that universities are not teaching them to think critically.

Bibliography

Books:

Ilias Bantekas and Lutz Oette, International Human Rights Law and Practice (2020)

Wojciech Brzozowski, Adam Krzywoń and Marcin Wiącek, Prawa Człowieka(Human Rights) (3rd edn, Wolters Kluwer 2018)

Boaventura de Sousa Santos, If God Were a Human Activist (2015)

Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Decolonising the University: The Challenge of Deep Cognitive Justice (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2020).

Joseph Check and Russel K. Schutt, Research Methods in Education (SAGE Publications, Inc 2017) <https://books.google.pl/books?hl=pl&lr=&id=nSWYAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&ots=U9kvSWWNnf&sig=QBSVH79Zsqo9scBvHkALI3n0bzw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false> accessed 7 November 2022

Articles:

Dr Mohsen al Attar, ‘THE PECULIAR DOUBLE-CONSCIOUSNESS OF TWAIL’ [2022] University of Warwick 1 <https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4071948> accessed 7 November 2022.

James Thuo Gathii, ‘Promise of International Law: A Third World View (Including a TWAIL Bibliography 1996–2019 as an Appendix)’ (2020) 114 Proceedings of the ASIL Annual Meeting 165 <https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S0272503721000872/type/journal_article>accessed 7 November 2022.

Mohsen al Attar and Vernon Tava, ‘TWAIL Pedagogy – Legal Education for Emancipation’ (2009) 15 The Palestine Yearbook of International Law Online 7 <https://brill.com/view/journals/pyio/15/1/article-p7_3.xml> accessed 7 November 2022.

José-Manuel Barreto, ‘Decolonial Thinking and the Quest for Decolonising Human Rights’ (2018) 46 Asian Journal of Social Science 484 <https://brill.com/view/journals/ajss/46/4-5/article-p484_6.xml> accessed 7 November 2022.

Walter Mignolo, The Politics of Decolonial Investigations (Duke University Press 2021)

Anibal Quijano, Michael Ennis, ‘Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America’ (2000) 1 Duke University Press 533 <https://edisciplinas.usp.br/pluginfile.php/347342/mod_resource/content/1/Quijano%20(2000)%20Colinality%20of%20power.pdf> accessed 7 November 2022.

Dr Mohsen al Attar, Decolonisation, Africa, and International Law: Two Frames of Epistemic Violence (2022) <https://youtu.be/sMwpMXgPBP8> accessed 7 November 2022.

Boaventura de Sousa Santos, The Pluriverse of Human Rights: The Diversity of Struggles for Dignity (1st edn, Routledge 2021) <http://www.boaventuradesousasantos.pt/media/Human%20Rights%20Democracy%20and%20Development.pdf> accessed 7 November 2022.

Jose-Manuel Barreto, ‘Eurocentric and Third-World Histories of Human Rights’ (Critical Perspectives on Human Rights 2018) <https://www.academia.edu/40542795/Eurocentric_and_Third_World_Histories_of_Human_Rights> accessed 7 November 2022.

José-Manuel Barreto, ‘Decolonial Strategies and Dialogue in the Human Rights Field: A Manifesto’ (2012) 3 Transnational Legal Theory 1 <https://doi.org/10.5235/TLT.3.1.1> accessed 7 November 2022.

Aníbal Quijano, ‘COLONIALITY AND MODERNITY/RATIONALITY’ [2007] Routledge 168

Tendayi Achiume, ‘Critical Race Theory Meets Third World Approaches to International Law’ [2021] UCLA School of Law <https://ssrn.com/abstract=3773735> accessed 7 November 2022.

Terry Hutchinson, ‘The Doctrinal Method: Incorporating Methods in Reforming The Law’ [2015] Erasmus Law Review 130

Julie Ponto, ‘Understanding and Evaluating Survey Research’ [2015] J Adv Pract Oncol 168 <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4601897/#A3> accessed 7 November 2022

E. Belfi and N. Sandiford, ‘What Is Decolonization, Why Is It Important, and How Can We Practice It?’ (Interdependence: Global Solidarity and Local Actions, 2021) <https://globalsolidaritylocalaction.sites.haverford.edu/what-is-decolonization-why-is-it-important/>

Mutua Makau and Anthony Anghie, ‘What Is TWAIL?’ 94 Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (American Society of International Law) 31 <https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/25659346.pdf> accessed 12 January 2023

Enrique Dussel, Ethics of Liberation: In the Age of Globalization and Exclusion (Duke University Press 2012).

Walter D. Mignolo, ‘THE GLOBAL SOUTH AND WORLD DIS/ORDER’ 67 Journal of Anthropological Research 165 <https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/41303282.pdf>

‘Banking Model of Education’ (Wikipedia) <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banking_model_of_education> accessed 12 November 2022

Geraldine Heng, ‘Race and Racism in the European Middle Ages’ University of Texas at Austin <https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/outcasts/downloads/heng_race_racism.pdf>

Michael Steinberg, ‘The Twelve Tables and Their Origins: An Eighteenth-Century Debate’ (1982) 43 Journal of the History of Ideas 379 <https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2709429.pdf>

Samuel B. Payne, Jr, ‘The Iroquois League, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution’ (1996) 53 The William and Mary Quarterly <https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2947207.pdf>

Try Widiyono and Hamdan Azhar Siregar, ‘The Relationship Between Human Basic (Human) Obligations and Human Rights’ [2019] Atlantis Press.

Other:

‘Decolonization’ (Wikipedia) <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decolonization> accessed 14 October 2022.

‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ <G.A. Res. 217 A (III) Dec. 10, 1948>

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, ‘Declaration of Independence’ (Britannica) <https://www.britannica.com/topic/Declaration-of-Independence>

Marc Leepson, ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen’ (Britannica) <https://www.britannica.com/topic/Declaration-of-the-Rights-of-Man-and-of-the-Citizen>

‘World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, 1993’ (United Nations) <https://www.ohchr.org/en/about-us/history/vienna-declaration>

Comments
0
comment
No comments here
Why not start the discussion?