An Affront to the Conscience of Humanity: Enforced disappearance in international human rights law
Title: An Affront to the Conscience of Humanity: Enforced disappearance in international human rights law
Author: KYRIAKOU, Nikolas
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
This PhD thesis takes issue with the practice of enforced disappearance as a multiple and complex human rights violation and covers various topics related to enforced disappearance. The point of departure is the historical development of the UN reaction to enforced disappearance and the creation of special mechanisms within that organization, which were drawn up in order to confront this practice. Linking the main theme with public international law, the thesis continues with the examination of the sources of law, both treaty and customary based, and juxtaposes the definitions of enforced disappearance that are found in international instruments with a view to ascertaining whether any discrepancies exist. In the subsequent chapters, the main methodological tool is the cross-jurisdictional comparative and interpretive assessment of the practice of three different human rights bodies, namely of the Human Rights Committee, the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In this connection, the thesis identifies the areas of convergence and divergence in the work of these bodies. Further, the thesis also engages in the discussion of two significant topics that are directly related to the general theme, namely the right to truth and the phenomenon of extraordinary renditions. With regard to the right to truth, the main focus is on the interplay of this right with amnesty laws. At the same time the latter’s compatibility with international law is examined. As for extraordinary renditions, the argument that is advanced is that this phenomenon is a new form of enforced disappearance and that it must be confronted as such. Overall, the thesis centres on the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances and assess the evolution of human rights protection that this convention brings about.
Defence date: 27 June 2012; Examining Board: Professor Martin Scheinin, European University Institute (Supervisor); Professor Francesco Francioni, European University Institute; Professor Manfred Nowak, (Universität Wien); Professor Olivier de Frouville, (Clare Hall, Cambridge).
Type of Access: openAccess