Human Rights (Constitutional Amendment Bill) Act 2017



  • Councillors,

    The Councillor from Aalen, Mr John Oliver and myself put to the Council, the following amendment to Article V, Section I of the Constitution.

    Original Text

    Section I – Preamble

    I. This Declaration defines the rights to which every citizen of the European Union is entitled.

    II. These rights are inalienable, and every citizen may use this Declaration in a court of law against any infringement on these rights that they may face.

    III. As the past has taught us many lessons that we cannot avoid, we look to a future where individuality creates the core of human experience. From gender to religion, race to sexuality, and the choices we individually make about our state of being, this document seeks to protect the right to make such choices.

    IV. All member states of the European Union are charged with upholding this Declaration.

    Amendment to read

    This Declaration defines the rights to which every person is entitled. These rights are inalienable,
    and every person may use this Declaration in a court of law against any infringement on these rights that they may face.

    The past has taught us many lessons we cannot avoid, however, we look to a future where individuality creates the core of
    human experience. From gender to religion, race to sexuality, nationality to creed, and the choices we individually make about our state of being, this Declaration seeks to protect those rights.

    It is the responsibility of all Member States of the European Union to uphold this Declaration, but it is also their responsibility to protect those from people who infringe on it, and prosecute those who defy it.


    Debating Begins: 16 APR 17 00:00 GMT
    Submission of Amendments Begins: 20 APR 17 00:00 GMT
    Voting Begins: 22 APR 17 00:00 GMT


  • Moderator

    I think this is a fantastic amendment, and one that is very much needed in light of the egregious ruling made by the European Court of Justice. The ruling made by the ECoJ absolutely pains me, and I can't imagine what the friends and relatives of the victims must be feeling right now, knowing that their loved ones were viciously attacked and forever taken away from them, and that no justice has been served. My heart aches for the victims and their loved ones. My heart also aches for the European Union, as all the values, goodness and spirit of our Union has been dashed away. We are all accountable. By allowing this ruling in our institutions makes us all culpable to the actions that were taken.

    This amendment has my full support, as we clearly need to emphasize that this is indeed a truly universal declaration of human rights. It is absurd to think that these rights are only for Europeans, and that therefore only Europeans have rights. This is totally false. We all have humans rights, whether we are members of the European Union or not.

    With that said, I would like to propose two amendments.

    The first is that this amendment requires a bit of housekeeping. Remember, our laws are passed quite literally, including with format. The preamble is Section I of our UDoHR, and it should be proposed as such, otherwise it wouldn't make sense as Section II follows just after. Also, because it is a section, the following text needs to be put in clauses. Thus, I propose to amend the entire amendment to this:

    Amendment I

    Section I - Preamble
    I. This Declaration defines the rights to which every person is entitled. These rights are inalienable,
    and every person may use this Declaration in a court of law against any infringement on these rights that they may face.
    II. The past has taught us many lessons we cannot avoid, however, we look to a future where individuality creates the core of
    human experience. From gender to religion, race to sexuality, nationality to creed, and the choices we individually make about our state of being, this Declaration seeks to protect those rights.
    III. It is the responsibility of all Member States of the European Union to uphold this Declaration, but it is also their responsibility to protect those from people who infringe on it, and prosecute those who defy it.

    Secondly, while I support what this amendment ought to remedy, I have major concerns that it could pave the way to major conflict, interventionism, and make all member states culpable to all illiberal actions performed outside of our Union. What I'm referring to specifically is to the sentence that is proposed at the very end. "Responsibility to protect"? Oh my worries. Anyone vaguely familiar with that phrase knows it's used to by states to intervene in other states. It's a neoliberal foreign policy dream. Should any state find that Angleter's unequal marriage laws to be in conflict with the UDoHR, would then have the responsibility to force Angleter to make changes. Furthermore, because this amendment seeks to make the UDoHR truly universal, we need to keep that in mind. "Prosecute those who defy it"? It implies that we have to prosecute anyone outside of the EU's jurisdiction. Of course, while we seek to extend these rights universally, the expectation should be that only EU member states can be prosecuted, as our Courts can only act within our own jurisdiction. Thus, I propose to keep it to the original, because that was fine:

    Amendment II

    III. All member states of the European Union are charged with upholding this Declaration.

    Edward Firoux,

    Councillor of Inquista


  • Commission

    I, as a representative of the people of the United Kingdom and of His Majesty's Government, cannot support the amendment until the Declaration of Human Rights is reformed.

    The rights that are currently protected under this document are both basic human rights and extend further than basic human rights. For example, what is basic about:

    Section XXI

    I. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, in conditions that ensure the health and wellbeing of employees.

    That is not a basic human right. That is the European Union telling everyone that they have the right to work in whatever country they choose. As it is written right now, in a court of law anyone could sue His Majesty's Government for denying that person a visa that would allow them to work. It isn't specific enough and it isn't a basic human right. I agree that what follows it is a basic human right but not Section XXI, item 1.

    I think that there is a danger that people who oppose this amendment will be viewed as xenophobic, due to the timeliness and coincidence of this, the Pravoslaviya decision and the torpedoing of refugees. I am not and His Majesty's Government is not. We simply see that in order for us to support this issue, what is defined as basic human rights needs more thought. We separately believe that it is in the interests of the region to put all matters dealing with the rights of refugees in a separate piece of legislation pertaining to the rules of war.

    Julia Hartley-Brewer

    Councillor for the United Kingdom of Great Britain



  • My fellow Councillor from the United Kingdom failed to provide the full quotation of that section of the UDoHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights); given how the United Kingdom's opposition seems to stem from a closed minded ideal set of what each section can do in a court of law, so allow me to alleviate some of your concerns, and then state mine for the record of the Council.

    "Section XXI – Right to Working Conditions

    I. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, in conditions that ensure the health and wellbeing of employees.

    II. Everyone has the right not to face discrimination in the workplace on the basis of gender, sexuality, race, or religion. "

    This is not the EU telling everyone that they have the right to work in whatever country they choose, funnily enough given the UK's visa program its astonishing that no one has used this legal logic yet from countries who have more restricted visa allotted to get into the UK. Oh yes, is not astonishing because the clearly stated intent of the section is that this is a right to a working condition. Do I see the works guaranteed work at all used in the section? No, because the intent of section is that whoever wants to work can, but they are not guaranteed work. Any judge would see this, citing only one section helps to paint part of the picture, however having the whole picture really does convey a thousand words in my opinion. For someone who loves specifics, it does seem that their arguments convey a need for some specifics in the section to support them.

    Unto the rest of your comments, I do not believe anyone will be viewed as xenophobic; what I believe is that they might be viewed as people who stand in the way of providing protections to people who are not just refugees, but visitors from across the globe. The way this currently stands, Aalen can literally torture someone for being of Asian descent just because the border and customs official did not like the way the tourist looked at them. Millions of people are without basic legal protections, for a region who tries to pride itself on furthering human rights, this is not an issue of reform of an ever evolution document that should be constantly checked as times evolve. No instead, this is an issue of blind politicians who refuse to accept that they need to provide basic rights to everyone, and will cherry pick any section they use to further their arguments.

    I find the Court's verdict to be completely shell shocking, however it opens the door for this region to truly visit its regional conventions on war, human rights, and many other aspects of this region that were either before nonexistent, or half-baked. If the Cllr. from the United Kingdom wishes to promote road blocks by stating this must come in one big bloc of reform, then the Cllr. from the United Kingdom is promoting an agenda that will take years to take place. This amendment promotes an easy fix to a glaring issue, it does not guarantee working visas to refugees, it does not guarantee UK citizenship to anyone who wishes it....this guarantee basic protections that every person on this planet deserves.

    Cllr. Firoux offers very thoughtful ideas that I believe will help bring this amendment to its truly stated goals far more easily. Though my question stems in the form that since both amendments are amending the same areas, it therefore can not supersede each other. It might be easier to lump the two into one major amendment if there is enough support for it.

    In short, while this amendment may be spurred by the recent Refugee related events in our Union, its effects go beyond refugees; they go beyond to protect everyone in the European Union, not just citizens."

    -Speaker John Oliver



  • Moderator

    What's astonishing here is that I must agree with Speaker Oliver's words. Truly an Easter miracle. This will probably be the first and last time.

    Everyone does, and should have, the right to work. Despite this, the right to work doesn't mean you should or have to be employed, nor does it mean that member states are not allowed to add conditionality before obtaining work.

    As for my amendments, the reason why I proposed them separately was because I thought that while nobody would object to the housekeeping changes, I thought some would object to my latter suggestion. As amendment II is the second amendment, following the first one, it should supersede it, so there shouldn't be any conflictual issues. But, to be safe, I WITHDRAW both my proposed amendments, and propose this:

    Amendment I

    Section I - Preamble
    I. This Declaration defines the rights to which every person is entitled. These rights are inalienable, and every person may use this Declaration in a court of law against any infringement on these rights that they may face.
    II. The past has taught us many lessons we cannot avoid, however, we look to a future where individuality creates the core of human experience. From gender to religion, race to sexuality, nationality to creed, and the choices we individually make about our state of being, this Declaration seeks to protect those rights
    III. All member states of the European Union are charged with upholding this Declaration.

    Edward Firoux,

    Councillor of Inquista



  • There are some things the Constitution can do, and some it cannot. It can put limits upon national governments, and it may well be able to confer rights and freedoms upon the citizens of the member states. It cannot, however, confer rights upon people with nothing to do with the European Union.

    The current wording of this amendment, that ‘this Declaration defines the rights to which every person is entitled. These rights are inalienable, and every person may use this Declaration in a court of law against any infringement on these rights that they may face,’ is absurd. It gives the various rights in the UDoHR to Kaasians, as well as to people from much further afield. Indeed, it suggests that these people could sue a non-EU entity for breaching these rights in the European Court of Justice or, indeed, any other court.

    Clearly, what we should be talking about is giving these rights to every person within the borders of the European Union, or perhaps demanding that all EU member states not infringe upon these universal rights. Not expanding the Constitution’s jurisdiction to where it becomes a joke.

    I’d like to thank Cllr Firoux for his proposed amendment, which does improve what remains a deeply flawed proposal. However, I would agree with Cllr Hartley-Brewer that these changes should only follow a more fundamental reform of the UDoHR. Some parts of the UDoHR should be universal. Some parts might be better suited to citizens only – where does Section XV come into this, for instance? – and some parts might need revision or removal from the UDoHR altogether.

    Gisela Stuart


  • Moderator

    Butterflies filled Firoux's stomach as he gazed at Councillor Stuart. Despite all these many months since Firoux saw her speak in the chamber for the first time, he still found beauty in the way she spoke and the way she eloquently delivered her conviction. As Councillor Stuart stood, Firoux studied her very carefully, analyzing the way her lips moved as she spoke. Everything around him froze and the words that came out of Councillor Stuart's mouth echoed softly around him. Firoux has found a mischievous pleasure in the way that he and Councillor Stuart do not often see eye-to-eye. Firoux enjoyed this because it often gave him the chance to address her directly. He also enjoyed to rile her up. He liked chasing her, no matter how often she would shut him down. The tension between them would often make things very interesting, certainly in rooms outside of the Council...

    While I definitely agree with the sentiment that Gisella, err, I mean, Councillor Stuart, has expressed concerning extending these rights into jurisdictions that we don't belong, hence my amendment, I would advise against shutting down this progress until we have more extensive UDoHR reform. I agree, the UDoHR ought to be reformed, because it isn't extensive enough. I can already see that such reform will be tedious, and there will be a lot of disagreement. I will be pleasantly surprised if we are able to reform the UDoHR in a sensible amount of time. That alone is reason enough why we can't allow progress to fall through the cracks and deliver absolutely no relief to those who have had terrible injustices inflicted upon them. We need something in place to make sure we don't fail to protect the vulnerable as we currently have. We are responsible for every injustice that may be inflicted to any further victims, whether it be Kaasian refugees or anybody else, until we have a more extensive and universal declaration of rights. Despite this, It would be utterly monstrous for us to deny these rights until a better UDoHR is drafted. Who knows how many more will be adversely affected until we get that done.


    Councillor Firoux,

    Councillor of Inquista



  • Councillors,

    Need I remind you all that regardless of the body of government, be it local, national or regional, has no right to determine who can or cannot exercise the most basic of human rights.

    Would it be beneficial to propose that the UDoHR be removed from the constitution and then enacted as a seperate piece of legislation. Because all I am hearing at the moment is governments trying to remove themselves from the responsibility they hold, to preserve and protect those within our regions borders.

    For example, the Kaasians, they came seeking shelter and they ended up getting torpedoed. If our government was in a position to take the Kaasian refugees, we would have. Who are we to say no? As I understand what the responding members are saying is, that as Europeans we should only care about Europeans and those who are recognised as citizens of a EU member country. This is unacceptable. The idea of excluding those from the rights that ALL PEOPLE are free to exercise is sickening and absolutely disgraceful.

    We all need to wake up to ourselves and think, if ourselves, our people were placed in a situation like that Kaasians, declared as stateless by the ECoJ would we expect other nations to lend us the hand of friendship and assist us where they could? I for one, would expect that.



  • Dear collegues,

    I have to say that I have, behalf of the government of Turkmenbaijan, some concerns and doubts. More specially with the added sentence at the end: It is the responsibility of all Member States of the European Union to uphold this Declaration, but it is also their responsibility to protect those from people who infringe on it, and prosecute those who defy it.

    And I ask you to look closer to the last part of it.
    Proscute those who defy it... I support the councillor of Inquista when he says that it implies that we have to prosecute anyone outside of the EU's jurisdiction.
    So indeed, it seems logical and correct to me that only EU member states can be prosecuted, as our Courts can only act within our own jurisdiction if we aggree the proposals added in the amendment.

    I believe the sections we have as discribed in the UDoHR as it is now are good and does not have to questioned by adding obligations for member states as the 3th section of the proposed ammendment does. As well, I do not believe in a reform of the UDoHR as the UDoHR has to be a basic principal and not a completly developed document in which every single probable situation as refugees, as non-EU citizens,... is taken into. For those questions and the applies and conditions for it we may develop a charter which accompaign the UDoHR.

    The UDoHR is a basic document, a base to build on. Not an elaborated code.

    Mr. Öztürk Bakamayyéw
    Councillor for Turkmenbaijan


  • Moderator

    Following my former amendment to the Constitution, voting stages should only be 48 hours, unless it has been prolonged by the Speaker. As such, the timetable provided underneath the bill is incorrect. Unless the Speaker would like to extend the discussion, which I don't imagine he intents to, then we ought to go to the next step and vote on proposed amendments.


    On behalf of the Microstate of Inquista, I vote FOR my proposed amendment.


    Edward Firoux,

    Councillor of Inquista



  • The State Turkmenbaijan votes AGAINST this proposal.




  • The Federal Republic of Derecta votes FOR this amendment.

    Julian Maverick,

    Derectan Councillor


  • Commission

    I, Julia Hartley-Brewer, on behalf of The United Kingdom of Great Britain vote AGAINST the legislation.


  • Moderator

    We're still voting on amendments for this amendment, not the proposal itself. I call for the Speaker to restart voting on this, and clarify the current situation.


    Edward Firoux,

    Councillor of Inquista



  • REMINDER TO ALL COUNCIL MEMBERS, this is not the time for voting on the proposal as a whole; due to the proposal for amendments by Councillor Firoux, we have an additional 48 hours added unto the proposal just for voting on these amendments. The Amendment is as follows:

    AMENDMENT ONE:

    Section I - Preamble
    I. This Declaration defines the rights to which every person is entitled. These rights are inalienable, and every person may use this Declaration in a court of law against any infringement on these rights that they may face.
    II. The past has taught us many lessons we cannot avoid, however, we look to a future where individuality creates the core of human experience. From gender to religion, race to sexuality, nationality to creed, and the choices we individually make about our state of being, this Declaration seeks to protect those rights
    III. All member states of the European Union are charged with upholding this Declaration.

    Voting begins now on the amendment to the proposed legislation, 0425 GMT April 19th, and will end 0425 GMT April 21st



  • I vote FOR Cllr Firoux's proposed amendment


  • Moderator

    I vote FOR my proposed amendment.


    Edward Firoux,

    Councillor of Inquista



  • I vote AGAINST the proposed amendment


  • Moderator

    My proposed amendment passes 2 to 1.

    I call for the Speaker to provide a new timetable for final voting, as the deadline has technically passed.


    Edward Firoux,

    Councillor of Inquista


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