UNAIR NEWS – On Monday afternoon, April 27, 2020, UNAIR Faculty of Law invited Prof. Sam Blay, a professor of Sydney City School of Law, for a guest lecture on International Law course online via ZOOM. In the event, he described International Human Rights Law and its principles.
Prof. Blay explained that international human rights were divided into 2 major parts. These are civil and political rights (the right to life, freedom of opinion, choice, religion) and economic, social and cultural rights (health, food, education, public facilities). He said that there were often debates related to which types of rights should be prioritized by a country.
“If we look at developed countries like Australia, civil and political rights are more important because they are related to the guarantee of individual rights. However, if we look at developing countries like Ghana, surely the government will put economic, social and cultural rights first as the way of thinking taken by the government is collective rights that often takes precedence over individual rights, “said the professor from Ghana.
Then Prof. Blay explained the two human rights views, universalism and relativism. The universalist principle believes that human rights must be the same wherever and whenever, in any individual with no exception. While the relativist principle understands that there are some human rights values that must be protected under any circumstances. Some elements of human rights are relatively cultural if applied to each of these places. Blay said that this relativist view departs from the cultural paradigm by defining a society and its fundamental values.
“From the explanation above, we can see points that make sense in each of these views. On one hand, human rights must be the same for everyone because we are all human. But, on the other hand, each country has its own country issues that are clearly different. But of course, with this difference, we cannot change international human rights standards in accordance with international statutes to achieve human welfare, “concluded Sam Blay.
Author: Pradnya Wicaksana
Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia