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Vol. 1: Minorities in International Law
Gaetano Pentassuglia
ISBN 10:
Release Date:

Minorities in International Law: An Introductory Study opens ECMI's new Handbook series on Minority Issues. The book offers a comprehensive and critical overview of the issue of minorities in international law with a focus on developments following the end of the Cold War. It outlines the substantive entitlements available to minorities and their members, pointing to the distinctiveness of minority rights as an integral part of the contemporary canon of international human rights, describes the institutional work in the field, and singles out particular problems and contexts where the minority question arises. Separate chapters cover, among others, the definition of minority, the legal protection as developed by the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the European Union, minorities and self-determination, the role of special treaties, the various techniques of supervision, and the relation of international standards to adopted or attempted domestic regimes. A good deal of practice is considered, including the jurisprudence of judicial and quasi-judicial bodies, such as the European Court of Human Rights and the Human Rights Committee.

Addressing many central issues of topical concern, the book will be of appeal to human rights scholars, to students of international law and relations, as well as to non-governmental organisations and other institutions involved in minority issues.

List of abbreviations
Table of cases

Part A. The minority question in context: background and concepts
Chapter I. International concern for minorities in historical perspective
Chapter II. Human rights, minority rights, peoples' rights
Chapter III. Definition of "Minority" and determination of an individual's minority membership

Part B. Substantive entitlements available to minorities and their members: general standards and special regimes
Chapter IV. Existence, equality and non-discrimination
Chapter V. Identity: The UN framework
Chapter VI. Identity: the regional frameworks (Part I)
Chapter VII. Identity: the regional frameworks (Part II)
Chapter VIII. State sovereignty and the self-determination puzzle
Chapter IX. Role of special treaties in modern practice

Part C. Realising protection: international supervision and domestic dimensions
Chapter X. Procedures, prevention and further action
Chapter XI. Europe in country perspective: models, devises and problematic situations

Conclusions: reinforcing the pillars for a coherent architecture
Selected documents at the universal and regional level

Gaetano Pentassuglia, Dottore in Giurisprudenza, Ph.D., currently teaches international law at the University of Munich Law School, and is a Visiting Fellow of the Max Planck Institute for Comperative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Germany. He has lectured in, and cooperated with, several learned centres and universities, including the University of Lund, and was an EU Research Fellow. He completed this book as part of his previous work as a Senior-Non-Resident Research Associate of the European Centre for Minority Issues, Flensburg, Germany. He has published widely on various subjects of international law, particularly minority rights, self-determination and human rights generally.

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