Article Three

  • group:cid:2:privileges:mods:members


    Article 3
    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

    I would invite members to comment on how we can change this; this could cause potential problems with issues such as assisted suicide and abortion. I felt it necessary to discuss before proceeding to draft a change.

  • Also what does security of person mean here?

    EDIT: I did some digging and it refers to things like having due process and being protected from cruel and unusual punishment.

  • The right to life is a sticky issue. The way I see it, it is the right to be free from deliberate termination of your life. But again, this causes problems with abortion, capital punishment, etc. Perhaps a proposed change could be,

    "All human beings have the right to life, where circumstances and/or national law allows it."

    I know that this can be interpreted in various ways, but I don't see any change that could not.

  • group:cid:2:privileges:mods:members

    Hmmm I find the 'where circumstances and/or national law allows it' part very troubling, a dark cloud, it is like sayign you can live but only if the government says you can.

  • I know, I felt that way too. But its trying to satisfy the concerns with abortion, capital punishment, etc.

  • group:cid:2:privileges:mods:members

    Every European Citizen is born with liberty and security of person?

    that way we avoid abortion, and make it effective to change?

  • Well as article 1 says: Everyone is born with equal rights. It could be interpreted that the right to life doesn't apply to unborn children because of that.

    Also the way I see it in regards to assisted suicide, you have the right to life but that doesn't mean that you don't have the right to decide to terminate your own life. To have a right to life means that you are the ultimate decider of what you wish to do with it. Now of course something like assisted suicide should be heavily regulated and it should be very hard to murder someone and use that as some kind of defense.

    As long as we agree that security of person doesn't extend to economic rights I'm ok with leaving that clause in there.

    Also capital punishment is acceptable on the grounds that your right to life can be taken if you endanger others. If you don't follow your negative obligations there are consequences and punishments. However you can't just give out any old punishment. Due process must be followed and cruel and unusual punishment must be avoided. AKA the punishment must fit the crime. That leaves leeway to individual nations.

  • group:cid:2:privileges:mods:members

    so what would be a good article to place here in your opinion Dr Roebuck?

  • Hmm. How about:

    "Every European Citizen / human being in Europe is born with the right for life, liberty and security of person."

    This would avoid the abortion bear-trap. It also very clearly condemns murder and other forms of destroying life. I'm a bit unsure about the euthanasia aspect, but the "right for life" could also be interpreted as including the right to decide when and where one's own life ends, if one indeed holds the right for one's own life.

    Again, the European Citizen term may be a loophole, as I mentioned with Article II.

  • Actually -- since we are protecting human rights here, and every single one of these articles march over national sovereignty, as they should, we should we not do our best to outlaw capital punishment as well? For isn't the killing of another human being the worst human rights violation of them all (at least without the explicit and uncoerced permission of the human being in question)?

  • Why did I know that this would come up at some point? It is a state's right to implement punishment as they see fit, within reason. I believe that if a person takes away the right to life of another human being, they have rendered their right to life null and void. I understand that not all nations agree with this, and that is perfectly acceptable. However, I will defend Halsberg's right to implement capital punishment for major crimes throughout this process.

  • I have to agree with Councillor Walters. Capital Punishment is a long held right of the sovereign nation and I have no intention of giving that up. Capital punishment can be justifiable in some limited instances in my opinion. Due process and protection from overly cruel punishments make sure capital punishment is only used in the most suitable situations. Is it cruel to use the death penalty on someone who intentionally killed another human being and violated that person's right to life? I think many nations would say no because that person is just getting treated the way they decided to treat others. Furthermore the death penalty can act as a deterrent to some whereas life imprisonment might not.

  • I personally don't support capital punishment, but I also know other nations do use it, and I respect their opinion. However, where do you draw the line? Can you only get capital punishment when you killed someone? Or also torture also a possible? And can rape be seen as torture? And what do you do if there are still doubts about the culprit. It's quite hard to undo a capital punishment, you know.

  • group:cid:2:privileges:mods:members

    My nation is and always will be opposed to Capital Punishment, as is our right as a nation of sovereignty. Yes that old EU wide buzzword!!! We are two sides at odds, how can we compromise? Maybe add in terms of national definition?

  • So your nation is opposed to Capital Punishment. The UDoHR doesn't force your nation to use it.

  • group:cid:2:privileges:mods:members

    Well yeah, Im aware of that, but what im saying is we need a compromise on how to tackle this article. Because actually in the current form which is constitution anyone sentenced to death could take the issue to ECoJ and be granted clemency.

  • The ECoJ has no jurisdiction over crimes that didn't occur in more than one state or crimes that didn't break EU laws. I only seek to protect capital punishment in cases that fall in the sole jurisdiction of a nation state.

  • group:cid:2:privileges:mods:members

    Is there anyway of writing that in as this document could only stand in ECoJ.

  • The unpleasant fact seems to be that this article won't pass if it seeks to decisively ban capital punishment. We may acknowledge it as part of national sovereignty in legislation concerning punishing criminals, and address it in no way in this particular article of the Declaration.

    The good part is that this will still enable an individual to bring a nation (hers, or some other) to the European Court of Justice over the death penalty issue. The bad part is (from my personal point of view) that the Court will almost certainly find the existence of capital punishment in national legislation not against this Declaration.

  • group:cid:2:privileges:mods:members

    Perhaps we can remove this contentious clause?

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