Midterm Study Guide Political Science (Ethics and Human Rights)

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What is the UN Human Rights Council and how does it work to prevent human rights abuses? Is it effective?

What prevents states taking action on human rights abuses abroad? Should they be deterred?

Compare the Nuremburg and Tokyo Trials after World War II with the International Criminal Court.

How does the International Bill of Rights allow for cultural differences across the world?

Is it ever justifiable to use torture? Should your government use information extracted through torture, which other governments have committed? Why (not)?

What implications does the right to life have for law enforcement officials around the world? How does the war on terror or the war on drugs alter these implications?

How can we speak of a right to liberty when 10 million people are imprisoned across the world? Are there groups of people who have no right to freedom?

What is the role of freedom of speech in a pluralist society? What constraints does a pluralist society put on freedom of speech? To what extent are these constraints justifiable?

What is the principle of proportionality concerning violations of human rights? Discuss its four parts.

‘When a government locks someone up without a fair trial, the victim, the perpetrator and remedy are pretty clear. This clarity seldom applies to social and economic rights.’ Do you agree? Why(not)?

What obligations does the right to food place on governments?

What is progressive realization in the context of a right to health? To what extent does this let poorer states off the hook?

Describe the respect, protect, fulfill framework as it relates to social rights. Would you add or take away from this framework?

How are the rights of trafficked persons complicated by their immigration status?

What is reasonable differentiation in the context of discrimination? Explain using examples.

If imprisonment for a crime following a legal process does not negate a convicted person’s right to freedom, then execution for a crime following a legal process does not negate a convicted person’s right to life. Discuss.

While the death penalty itself is not universally condemned as inhumane, there seems to be widespread agreement on how and on whom it can be carried out. Discuss the agreement and disagreement relating to the death penalty. 

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