Book Review: The Twilight of Human Rights Law
Eric A. Posner, The Twilight of Human Rights Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) 185 pages.
Author: David Hughes
Late in 2014, Egyptian officials appeared before the United Nation’s Human Rights Council in Geneva to participate in a Periodic Review. This marked the first instance that Egypt had faced the Council’s review mechanism since the captivating events in Tahrir Square had promised political transition towards democratic institutions and human rights protections. In its national report to the Council, Egypt framed this transition as wholly successful. Much of the Council, however, disagreed. During the review exchange, criticism of Egypt’s human rights record was led by the American Ambassador who conveyed Washington’s deep dismay with increased violations of free speech, the absence of due process and the continued use of excessive force against peaceful protestors. The Egyptian Minister for Transitional Justice issued a defiant defence of his country’s record, describing the new Egyptian constitution as “a true victory for human rights and freedoms” and noting that his government remained committed to upholding the international treaties it had signed.
Months earlier, as waves of social unrest gripped the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri following the police shooting of Michael Brown, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry issued a condemnation of events in the American Midwest. In response to US attempts to contain the growing protests, Egyptian officials called on the Americans to abide by international standards. …
David Hughes, Book Review of The Twilight of Human Rights Law by Eric A Posner, (2015) 4:2 Can J Hum Rts 291.