In Defence of Principles: NGOs and Human Rights in Canada - Law and Society (Paperback)Andrew Thompson (author)
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Since 9/11 and the onset of the "war on terror," the principal challenge confronting liberal democracies has been to balance freedom with security and individual with collective rights. This book sheds new light on the evolution of human rights norms in liberal democracies by charting the activism of four Canadian NGOs on issues of refugee rights, hate speech, and the death penalty, including their use of difficult, often controversial legal cases as platforms to assert human rights principles and shape judicial policy-making. The struggles of these NGOs reveal not only the fragility but also the resilience of ideas about rights in liberal democracies.
Publisher: University of British Columbia Press
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 13 mm
In Defence of Principles is a comprehensive survey of three groundbreaking Charter cases and the NGOs that plunged into the heart of these controversies. Thompson's book ultimately reminds readers of the fragility of NGOs' gains in the field of human rights, as the experiences of AI Canada in Kindler and of the CCC in Singh both show. Thompson's work also describes how NGO intervention is not without its costs. The CCLA and AI Canada, for instance, paid a substantial price in the form of adverse publicity and decreased donations, respectively, for being seen to side with odious individuals (whether a virulent racist or two violent criminals). In spite of these setbacks, the persistence of Singh, Keegstra, and Kindler in current debates on refugees, free expression, and capital punishment remains a legacy of the intervention and bold ideas of Canada's NGOs. -- Stephen Hsia * Osgoode Hall Law Journal Vol 49, No 2 *