Law of Peace(making) and the Right to have Rights

Introducing a three part stream of working papers by Sarah M. Field (sarah@rights-streams.com) born of a probe of peace processes from a juristic and human rights perspective. 

RttohaveRts.H.Arendt..001.jpeg

Law of Peace(making) and the Right to have Rights, July, 2017, [V. 1: General]. 

International law’s affirmation of the right to have rights, as crystallised by Hannah Arendt, came into being through international peacemaking processes. The law as developed affirms everyone’s international legal standing as subjects of human rights. There is a concomitant international legal obligation on states to affirm the same and make those rights effective in and  through their law-based organising frameworks. It is this deprivation that often undergirds the broader rights deprivation that typifies the emergent context for peacemaking. Claims to have rights thus continue to drive the legal and layered human rights transformation at the epicentre of peacemaking. These may be sourced in the plurality of legalities that regulate and constitute peacemaking, in particular, international law. The human rights transformation begins with the  process.The transformation is often partial, however. Or in other words, the self constituting process transforms and silences. This paper aims to probe the applicability and performativity of the right to take part in the sui generis lawmaking process as a particular expression of the right to have rights, and thereby support the process of deepening  its ‘radical progressive potential’ as imagined by Christine Bell. 


A6 (Equal Rec. Bef. Law), UDHR.jpg

Law of Peace(making) and the Right to have Rights, July 2017, [V. 2: On findings of v.1 for Women]. 

International law’s affirmation of the right to have rights, as crystallised by Hannah Arendt, came into being through international peacemaking processes. The law as developed affirms everyone’s international legal standing and agency as subjects of human rights. Claims to have rights, in particular, to belong to a political community that makes rights effective in and  through its law-based organising framework, continues to drive the legal and layered human rights transformation at the epicentre of peacemaking. The process transforms and silences, however. Women’s international legal standing and agency as subjects of human rights is often trebly negated: partially fulfilled, if at all; eclipsed by bodily and sexualised harm; and subject to pacification. Is this justified from the perspective of the pursuance of peace?  Or is it revealing of broader subjugation? This paper interrogates these two questions by probing the applicability and performativity of the right to have rights in the successive processes that constitute peacemaking more generally. 

UN Picture (of Art. 6. UDHR), Yacine Ait Kaci (Yak)


Photo.Chris-Linag.Flickr.jpg

Law of Peace(making) and Children's Right to have Rights, June 2017. 

Held within the staged process of peacemaking is a promise of a new beginning. It is latent within its sui generis legal form, and the often layered human rights transformation at its substantive epicentre. For the most part, children are invisible in the successive agreements that constitute peacemaking. Yet there is an international legal obligation to affirm children’s legal standing as subjects of human rights in relation to the successive processes, and makes those rights effective ‘in’ and ‘through’ the resultant agreements. The paper aims to support the process of seizing ‘the radical progressive potential of peace processes’ for children. Towards this aim it draws on and distills the findings of connected probes of peace processes from a child rights perspective and develops them with regard to broader scholarship on human rights and children’s rights. It offers six suppositions as to why children are mostly invisible in peacemaking and concludes by inverting these into six principles for giving effect to children’s rights in and through peacemaking.

Flickr Picture, Chris Linag