Archive for the ‘ Freedom of Speech and Press ’ Category

What the Snowden scenario offers us from an international affairs perspective

Edward Snowden’s pursuit for political asylum is captivating from many international affairs perspectives. One that particularly has my attention is to what extent U.S. exceptionalism will attempt to buck not only other states’ sovereignty, but also international rule of law.

Where’s Snowden? Credity: heavy.com

Indeed, this could turn out to be a fascinating showdown indicating which holds more pertinence: the cumulated efforts among international organizations, the relevance of international law, and assistance from human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International versus the once highly favored, yet still proven counterweight, U.S.

Snowden’s claiming under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that he is entitled to political asylum, and that it is the sovereignty of a host nation (in this case Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and potentially Russia) to grant him. Somebody should probably point out the irony in the United States’ prolific reluctance to sign and ratify international treaties, yet still deny rights granted in treaties that they not only signed and ratified, but its former First Lady also championed and authored.

Such duplicity is nothing new coming from the U.S., but the organization and cooperation in the international community could pose a threat that the U.S., especially given its waning clout, is not used to facing.

Rule of Law Index and the WJP

Internationalcomparison.org is proud to announce the launching of a new page. Based on a report from the World Justice Project, The Rule of Law page is an indication to what extent individual countries have been able to provide coherent laws and regulations. With ten different factors being assessed, The World Justice Project focuses on the relevance, just application, and accessibility to each country’s laws. The index also accounts for extra-governmental influences such as media as well as emphasizing the importance of limiting corruption. This is the first of such a report from the World Justice Project which aspires to release a new Rule of Law Index annually. The findings of the Rule of Law index have the United States ranking last in seven out of the ten factors among the countries on internationalcomparison.org. Sweden and the Netherlands have ranked the highest.