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Kader Asmal: Reclaiming Human Dignity through International Solidarity

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Chapter Summary

The interconnectedness of law and liberation was Kader Asmal's lifelong theme. He helped inspire in the author, as in so many others, a practical approach to international human rights. As he wrote: "International law has proven to be one of the most effective instruments of liberation available and it played a critical role in the demise of apartheid". The author looks back at Asmal's activist life and touches on three revolutionary aspects of international law. The first is the right to rebel against unjust regimes; the second is the universality of human rights; and the third is environmental justice. All three are rooted in the right of peoples to self-determination. The right to self-determination evolved during the decade of the 1960s from "soft law" to customary international law.

Keywords: international human rights; Kader Asmal; right to self-determination; soft law



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