Human Rights by Sarmiento Reviewer
Human Rights by Rene V. Sarmiento Reviewer
INTRODUCTION Human Rights law – branch of public law that deals with the body of laws, rules, procedures, and institutions designed to respect, promote and protect human rights and the national, regional and international levels UN Charter o reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of the nations large and small o to promote social programs and better standards of life in larger freedom 1987 Constitution Article 2 Sec 11 o State value the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights 1984 Universal Declaration of Human Rights o basic source of human rights CHAPTER 1 THE NATURE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Definition aggregate of privileges, claim, benefits, entitlements and moral guarantees that pertain to man because of his humanity system of values or elements which are inherent to human dignity why does man have rights? human person possesses rights because of the very fact that it is a person, a whole, master of itself and of its acts and which consequently is not merely a reason to an end but an end which must be treated as such connection between a human person and his possession of his rights any human society if it is to be well ordered and productive must lay down as a foundation the principle that ever human being is a person, and that his nature is endowed with intelligence and full will. By virtue of this he has rights and duties flowing directly and simultaneously from his very nature legal and moral entitlements that have evolved as a basis for constructing how state power is used and particularly to limit its use against the rights of citizens Kinds/ Generation of Rights Karl Vask’s division follows the French Revolutions slogans – Liberty Equality Fraternity 1st Gen of Civil and Political Rights aka 1st gen of liberty rights o individual rights against the state and are partly seen as negative o due to the development of democratic society o serves as the protection of the individuals form arbitrary exercise of police power o examples right to life, liberty and security of person right against torture right to equal protection against discrimination right against arbitrary arrest and detention right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty right to privacy, freedom of opinion and expression
2nd Gen of Economic, Social and Cultural rights aka 2nd generation of equality rights o people realized that possession of first generation of liberty rights would be valueless without the enjoyment if economic, social and cultural rights o struggle against Comlonialism, Socialism and encyclicals of the Pope o ex right to work right to social security right to form and to join trade unions right to education right to rest and leisure right to health right to shelter 3rd Gen Solidarity or Collective rights aka 3rd generation of solidarity rights o benefits individuals, groups and people o realization will need global cooperation based on international solidarity o examples right to peace right to development environmental rights right of self determination right to food rights of women rights of children right to humanitarian disaster relief right to water
Principles Universality o rights belong to and are to be enjoyed by all human beings without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex or language, religion, political and other opinion, national or social origin, property , birth or other stature o HR belongs to everyone wherever they are because they are human beings endowed with dignity o Internationally recognized human rights are the basic core minimum to be observed everywhere without regional differences o HR belongs to everyone, everywhere by virtue of being human o no one, no group, no place in the world should be denied the enjoyment of human rights Indivisibility and Interdependence o first generation of liberty rights and second generation of equality rights are inter related and are co equal in importance o forms an indivisible whole and only if these rights are guaranteed that an individual can live decently and in dignity o international community must treat human rights in equal manner, same footing and same emphasis o we cannot enjoy civil and political rights unless we enjoy economic, cultural and social rights must enjoy economic cultural and social rights (equality) to be able to enjoy civil and political rights (liberty)
Characteristics Inherent o rights are the birthright of all human beings o exists independently of the will of either individual human being or group o not obtained and granted through any human action or intervention o when one is born, he carries with them these rights, they cannot be separated or detached from him Inalienable o no person can deprive any person these rights and no person can repudiate these rights by himself o rights cannot be subject of the commerce of man Universal o rights belong to every human being no matter what he or she is like o promotion and protection are the duty of all states, regardless of cultural, economic or political systems Stages Idealization o notions about human rights have started in the realm of ideas that reflect a consciousness against oppression, dehumanization or inadequate performance by the state Positivization o support for the ideas become strong o stage is set to incorporate them in o some legal instrument, whether domestic or international law Realization o last stage where these rights are enjoyed by citizens of the state by transformation of the social economic and political order Three Obligations of Stage Parties to International Covenants Respect - art 2(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights o indicates that the negative character of civil and political rights o commands State Parties to refrain from restricting the exercise of these rights where such is not expressly allowed ex. Act 7 of ICCPR – prohibits torture in absolute terms under all circumstances provisions which prohibit only arbitrary interference Art 6(1) right to life Art 17 right to privacy provisions which authorize the state parties to impose restrictions political freedoms in Art. 18 – 22 Ensure – art 2(1) o positive character of civil and political rights and economic social and cultural rights o state parties must be proactive to enable individuals to enjoy their rights o obligation to adopt executive, judicial and legislative measures to provide an effective remedy to victims of human rights violators under
safeguard certain rights by means of procedural guarantees and legal institutions
Protect o preventing private individuals, groups or entities from interfering with the individuals civil and political rights o horizontal efforts (application of human rights between individuals or other private subjects) depend on the wording of such rights o ex. of provisions which apply on the horizontal level prohibition of slavery prohibition of advocacy of racial hatred right to protection of law - need to take positive means to protect children, family and rights to life liberty and equality
Powers and functions of the Commission under the 1987 Constitution Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court; Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection; Exercise visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities; Establish a continuing program of research, education, and information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights; Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families Monitor the Philippine Government's compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights; Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority; Request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions; Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law; and Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law. CHR is not a quasi- judicial body not meant by fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may investigate, receive evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and political rights. fact finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or official.
CHR’s investigative power
Section 18, Article XIII, of the 1987 Constitution - empowers the Commission on Human Rights to "investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights"
Application to the case
what are sought to be demolished are the stalls, sari sari sotres and carinderias as well as temporary shanties, erected by private respondents on a land which is planned to be developed into a "People's Park". the land adjoins the North EDSA of Quezon City which is a busy national highway. The order for the demolition of the stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia of the private respondents do not fall within the compartment of "human rights violations involving civil and political rights" intended by the Constitution.
CHR Contempt powers
constitutionally authorized to "adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court." CHR acted within its authority in providing in its revised rules, its power "to cite or hold any person in direct or indirect contempt, and to impose the appropriate penalties in accordance with the procedure and sanctions provided for in the Rules of Court." That power to cite for contempt should apply only to violations of its adopted operational guidelines and rules of procedure essential to carry out its investigatorial powers. power to cite for contempt could be exercised against persons who refuse to cooperate with the said body, or who unduly withhold relevant information, or who decline to honor summons, and the like, in pursuing its investigative work.
CHR cannot issue an order to desist
not investigatorial in character but prescinds from an adjudicative power that it does not possess. The constitutional provision directing the CHR to "provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection" may not be construed to confer jurisdiction on the Commission to issue a restraining order or writ of "preventive measures and legal aid services" mentioned in the Constitution refer to extrajudicial and judicial remedies which the CHR may seek from proper courts on behalf of the victims of human rights violations. CHR has no jurisdiction to issue the writ o may only be issued "by the judge of any court in which the action is pending
Commission does have legal standing to indorse, for appropriate action, its findings and recommendations to any appropriate agency of government.
Human Rights basic rights which inhere in man by virtue of his humanity same in all parts of the world, include civil rights, o such as the right to life, liberty, and property; freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, academic freedom, and the rights of the accused to due process of law; political rights, o such as the right to elect public officials, to be elected to public office, and to form political associations and engage in politics; social rights, o such as the right to an education, employment, and social services. entitlement that inhere in the individual person from the sheer fact of his humanity. not granted by the State but can only be recognized and protected by it. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. o International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and o International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, part of his natural birth, right, innate and inalienable. Civil Rights
belong to every citizen of the state or country, or, in wider sense, to all its inhabitants, and are not connected with the organization or administration of the government. rights of property, marriage, equal protection of the laws, freedom of contract, etc rights appertaining to a person by virtue of his citizenship in a state or community. rights capable of being enforced or redressed in a civil action. guarantees against involuntary servitude, religious persecution, unreasonable searches and seizures, and imprisonment for debt.
right to participate, directly or indirectly, in the establishment or administration of government, right of suffrage, right to hold public office, right of petition and, rights appurtenant to citizenship vis-a-vis the management of government.
3. OPOSA V. FACTORAN 224 SCRA 792 1993 - ALEX
Facts: The principal plaintiffs are minors duly represented and joined by their parents. They are joined by Philippine Ecological Network Inc. Plaintiffs are instituting this taxpayer’s class suit “representing their generation as well as generations yet unborn” for the sake of the Virgin tropical rainforests. They hope to cancel all existing timber license agreements in the country and cease and desist from approving the same in the future. They aver that in order to maintain a balanced and healthful ecology, the country must maintain a ration of 54% of forest cover. Without it, the resulting environmental tragedies will include water shortage, salinization of water table, massive erosion, global warming, drought spells…etc. Plaintiffs make these claims on their constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology and on the premise that the timber license agreements (TLA) are contrary to public policy, violative of their rights to self-preservation, and to conserve and promote the nation’s cultural heritage and resources. Issues: Is the complaint presented judicially actionable or does it raise political questions?
Held: It is actionable. The Court finds enough cause of action to show a violation of the claimed rights. They may thus be granted the reliefs prayed for. What is involved here is the enforcement of a right vis-à-vis policies already formulated and expressed in legislation. Their personality to sue in behalf of the succeeding generations can only be based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned. This right carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the environment. It is the DENR’s duty to protect and advance said right. What is considered here is the “rhythm and harmony of nature”, indispensably including the judicious disposition, utilization, management, renewal and conservation of the country’s forest, mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore areas and other natural resources to the end that their exploration, development and utilization be equitably accessible to the present and future generations. Even the nonimpairment clause for the effectivity of TLAs must yield to the police power of the state.