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New Issue: Nordic Journal of Human Rights, Volume 38, Issue 3

The Nordic Journal of Human Rights has published the third issue of Volume 38. The following articles and book reviews can be found in the new issue.


In Pursuit of Clarity: A Critique of Sports Governing Bodies’ Conceptual Inconsistency in Human Rights Work – Hans Erik Næss.

This article argues that the endorsement by sports governing bodies (SGBs) of ideals that enable people to live as free and equal individuals in a non-repressive society may be seen as window-dressing in the absence of a theoretical foundation. The reason is that, although this support is couched by SGBs in terms like ‘human rights’, ‘human dignity’ and ‘non-discrimination’, such terms are often ill-defined and their interconnection not clearly established, reducing the chances of using them legitimately. This article seeks to rationalise the sociological links among these terms in the context of the highly specific power relations in which SGBs are involved. In this way, it constructs an alternative approach which would enable SGBs to promote human rights through sport in a more theoretically consistent way.

Scientific Purpose and Human Rights: Evaluating General Comment No 25 in Light of Major Discussions in the Travaux Préparatoires of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights – Tara Smith

Science and technology play increasingly dominant roles in the lives of individuals around the world, and the extent to which scientific advancements can both support and frustrate the realisation of human rights is becoming more and more evident. General Comment No 25 on the Right to Science, issued by the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in April 2020, suggests that science ought to serve human rights and peace as a priority over all other uses. This suggestion directly challenges the debates held around the drafting of the documents that form the International Bill of Human Rights in the 1940s-1960s. Proposals to include a scientific purpose in these foundational human rights instruments were rejected multiple times for reasons which remain valid to this day. This article evaluates the proposed scientific purpose in General Comment No 25 in light of the discussions recorded in the travaux préparatoires to determine the extent to it will help or hinder the future development and realisation of the right to science.

The Limits to Free Speech on Social Media: On Two Recent Decisions of the Supreme Court of Norway – Iris Nguyên Duy

In January 2020, two persons in Norway were condemned by a unanimous Supreme Court for comments posted on ‘closed’ Facebook groups. With the two decisions, Norway’s Supreme Court confirmed for the first time the boundaries of hateful, racist, and discriminatory speech in the context of online utterances in social media. It also established a new sanctioning standard for hate speech.

Book Reviews

The Concept of Race in International Criminal Law by Carola Lingaas – Caroline Fournet

The Inter-State Application under the European Convention on Human Rights: Between Collective Enforcement of Human Rights and International Dispute Settlement, Book Review of Isabella Risini – Emma Brandon

Sri Lanka, Human Rights and the United Nations: A Scrutiny into the International Human Rights Engagement with a Third World State by Thamil Ananthavinayagan – Iain Atack

Foundations of Global Health and Human Rights, by Lawrence O. Gostin and Benjamin Mason Meier (eds) – Henriette Sinding Aasen

If you are interested in publishing your work in the Nordic Journal of Human Rights, please read the instructions for authors and submit your article, book review or review of legal developments here.

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