Research Proposal on the Linkage between International Economic Law and Human Rights
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International Economic Law
This paper discusses in detail the research proposal on the linkage between international economic law and human rights. In particular, the research will focus on the questions: “What are the related factors international economic law and human rights and degree of their relationship?” In this research proposal, the background, context and theme of the study are presented; the objectives of the study and the research statements are formulated. Here, vital concepts, questions and assumptions are stated. Finally, the scope and limitation of the study, methodology to be used and the significance of the research are discussed. Further, this paper briefly reviews related literature.
PROBLEM TO BE INVESTIGATED
Purpose of the Study
Generally, the purpose of the research is to conduct an experimental study to determine the relationship of international economic law to human rights. The research will specifically identify the different factors related to international economic law in accordance to human rights. Moreover, this proposed study will review relevant literature on the same topic. Based on the preliminary review of literature, the researcher assumed that international economic law has an effect to human rights.
Research Question and Null Hypothesis
The focus of this problem statement is to establish and determine the relationship between international economic law and human rights. Currently, there are no studies that provide a definitive answer regarding the negative and positive influence of international economic law to human rights and degree of their relationship. The researcher is hopeful that the proposed research will yield a significant result in terms of both positive and negative impact of international economic law to human rights. Thus, the study will work on the following hypothesis: “There is a significant relationship between international economic and human rights.”
This study will attempt to answer the following questions:
1. What are the positive factors in international economic law that has a significant effect to human rights?
2. What are the negative factors in international economic law that has a significant effect to human rights?
3. What is the degree of relationship of international economic law and human rights?
Definition of Terms
Brief Overview of the Study
The proposed study will attempt to prove that there is a significant relationship between international economic law and human rights. A comparison of policies in international economic law and human rights, using experimental research method, will be made to investors, business group leaders and consumers.
The study will be divided into five sections. The first section will introduce the topic and the background and nature of the problem. The second section will present a review of literature. The third section will discuss the methodologies that will be used for the study. The forth chapter will be presenting the results and findings. And the final section will present the conclusion.
BACKGROUND AND REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The linkage between international economic law and human rights has been a perplexing policy issue for decades. A project to study the links between trade law and policy on the one hand, and international human rights law on the other hand, has been started under the umbrella of the American Society of International Law, with the cooperation of two other institutions, including the Max Planck Institute at Heidelberg, Germany (Prof. Dr. Jochen Frowein) and the new World Trade Institute at Bern, Switzerland (Prof. Dr. Thomas Cottier).
Gibson, 1991 stated that political communities have always sought to preserve their identity and uniqueness. They have also found it imperative in time and place to relate in varying degrees with other political communities for their common good. Sovereignty is still a powerful force today as shown in the manifestation of desire for political independence and territorial integrity in the wording of Article 2 of the U.N. Charter. The condition of sovereignty, however, is difficult to sustain when security and well-being require increasingly enhanced measures of dependence on other states, often within the domain of international law and organization. This is the essential theme of Part I of our study on the evolution of international organizations and how states construct and expand their mission of "harmonizing the action of nations in the attainment of [the] common ends" of shared security and progressive well-being, as stated in Article I of the U.N. Charter.
Evolution of International Law
There was little scope for an international law in the period of ancient and medieval empires, and its modern beginnings coincide, therefore, with the rise of national states after the Middle Ages. Rules of maritime intercourse and rules respecting diplomatic soon came into existence. At the beginning of the 17th cent., the great multitude of small independent states, which were finding international lawlessness intolerable, prepared the way for the favorable reception given to the De jure belli ac pacis [concerning the law of war and peace] (1625) of Hugo Grotius , the first comprehensive formulation of international law. Though not formally accepted by any nation, his opinions and observations were afterward regularly consulted, and they often served as a basis for reaching agreement in international disputes. The most significant principle he enunciated was the notion of sovereignty and legal equality of all states. Other important writers on international law were Cornelius van Bynkershoek , Georg F. von Martens , Christian von Wolff , and Emerich Vattel . (Bynkershoek C. 1737) proposed the "three-mile limit" rule, which states that a nation may claim sovereignty over territorial waters to a distance of 3 mi (4.8 km) from shore.
Universal rights held to belong to individuals by virtue of their being human, encompassing civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights and freedoms, and based on the notion of personal human dignity and worth. Conceptually derived from the theory of natural law and originating in Greco-Roman doctrines, the idea of human rights appears in some early Christian writers' works and is reflected in the Magna Carta (1215). The concept winds as a philosophical thread through 17th- and 18th-century European and American thought, including the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789). The UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) reasserted the concept after the horrors of World War II, and human rights have since become a universally espoused yet widely disregarded concept. Organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch promote human rights and denounce human-rights abuses. In addition, such abuses around the world are monitored and documented by independent investigators ("special rapporteurs") appointed by the UN Human Rights Commission, which, in turn, rebukes cited nations for their human-rights failures.
(Cerna C.M.1997) stated that the effectiveness of an intergovernmental human rights mechanism can be analyzed from a number of different angles. First, using a practical approach, one could ask how many lives have been saved, how many prisoners and detainees have been released from detention, and how many individuals have been saved from torture due to the timely intervention of the mechanism in question. A more theoretical approach might examine how the mechanism has contributed to the evolving global culture of human rights by asking: What new rights have been added to the growing number of rights protected by the international community? What new international instruments have been adopted with the assistance of this mechanism? How has this mechanism served to increase an awareness of human rights among individuals and groups by means of educational and promotional activities? Finally, one might ask what kind of law this international human rights mechanism has created?
This last approach, which is the subject of this article, views human rights instruments as systems which generate legal obligations on the part of states. The issues which must be addressed in determining the success of these instruments is how effectively the member states enforce their obligations under the agreement.
Sovereignty Versus International Jurisdiction
The United Nations was organized in 1945 on the principle set forth in the U.N. Charter of the "sovereign equality" of all member states.(1) Only states could aspire to membership in regional or international organizations and only states were the subjects of international law. The international order institutionalized the principle of sovereignty by affording membership exclusively to states.(2) Sovereignty is the freedom of a state from control by foreign powers.(3) It was considered revolutionary in the 1950s to give the individual rights vis a vis the state under international human rights law, which allowed for the first time the right of the individual to petition against the state. Human rights activists today seek to give the individual autonomous standing before international law. Currently most international human rights instruments provide that an individual's rights can be enforced only through the intermediary of states and between states on the individual's behalf.(4) The state, by taking up the individual's case, is in reality asserting its own rights, ensuring respect for the rules of international law in the person of its subjects.(5) The U.N. Charter provides, in relevant part, that "[n]othing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state."(6) Historically, sovereignty meant the power to command, and the sovereign was one "who, after God, acknowledges] no one greater than himself."(7) Today, sovereignty generally means there is no authority higher than the state.(8) Similarly, the decisions of a state's highest than are generally final and not subject to appeal. Consequently, any attempt by a regional or international organization to exercise jurisdiction over the state's action will meet with resistance. Infringements on a state's sovereignty may be brought about by contractual obligations entered into bilaterally or multilaterally.(9) Thus, when a state becomes a party to an international human rights treaty, many consider this tantamount to ceding sovereignty to an international jurisdiction body.
The United States ratified the U.N.'s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(10) on June 8, 1992.(11) It was unwilling, however, to undertake any new obligations, and limited itself to guaranteeing the protections afforded under the U.S. Constitution.(12) In presenting its first report to the U.N. Committee on Human Rights, the organization which supervises compliance with this international instrument, the United States declared that: as a matter of domestic law, treaties as well as statutes must conform to the requirements of the Constitution .... Thus, the United States is unable to accept a treaty obligation which limits constitutionally protected rights, as in the case of Article 20 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which infringes upon freedom of speech and association guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution.
In 1988, the Government of Columbia requested an advisory opinion on the "normative status" of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Court).(39) The Court requested written observations on the question from all the member states of the OAS and from the organs listed in Articles 51 and 52 of the OAS Charter.(40) The wide disparity of views in the responses to this request is evidence of the prevailing confusion on this issue.
Description of the Research Design
There are three kinds of research methods, correlational, experimental and descriptive. (Walliman and Baiche, 2001) The correlational kind of research method is used due to ethical problems with experiments. It is also used due to practical problems with experiments. Moreover, inferring causality from correlation not actually impossible, but very difficult. This mode of study is widely applicable, cheap, and usually ethical. Nonetheless, there exist some "third variable" issues and measurement problems.
The correlational research refers to studies in which the purpose is to discover relationships between variables through the use of correlational statistics (r). The square of a correlation coefficient yields the explained variance (r-squared). A correlational relationship between two variables is occasionally the result of an outside source, so we have to be careful and remember that correlation does not necessarily tell us about cause and effect. If a strong relationship is found between two variables, using an experimental approach can test causality.
In the descriptive method, it is possible that the study will be cheap and quick. It can also suggest unanticipated hypotheses. Nonetheless, this method will be very hard to rule out alternative explanations and especially infer causations. This descriptive type of research utilizes observations in the study. To illustrate the descriptive type of research, Creswell (1994) states that the descriptive method of research is to gather information about the present existing condition.
In this study, the experimental method will be used; it is the only method that can be used to establish cause-and-effect relationships (Creswell, 1994). That is, it is the only one that can be used to explain the bases of behaviour and mental processes. In this method, the subjects are split into two (or more) groups. One group, called the experimental group gets the treatment that the researcher believes will cause something to happen (this treatment is formally called the independent variable). The experimental and control groups are compared on some variable that is presumed to reflect the effects of the treatment, or outcome. This is formally referred to as the dependent variable.
To come up with pertinent findings and to provide credible recommendations, this study will utilize two sources of research: primary and secondary. Primary research data will be obtained through this new research study. The secondary research data will be obtained from previous studies on the same topic.
This research will base its findings partially through quantitative research methods because this permits a flexible and iterative approach. During data gathering the choice and design of methods will be constantly modified, based on ongoing analysis. This will allow investigation of important new issues about single parenting and questions as they arise, and allow the researcher to drop unproductive areas of research from the original research plan.
This study will also employ qualitative research method because it intends to find and build theories that will explain the relationship of one variable with another variable through qualitative elements in research. Through this method, qualitative elements that do not have standard measures such as behavior, attitudes, opinions, and beliefs will be analyzed.
Furthermore qualitative research is multimethod in focus, involving an interpretative, naturalistic approach to its subject matter. This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. Accordingly, qualitative researchers deploy a wide range of interconnected methods, hoping always to get a better fix on the subject matter at hand.
For this research design, the researcher will gather data, collate published studies from different local and foreign universities and articles from books and journals; and will make a content analysis of the collected documentary and verbal material. Afterwards, the researcher will summarize all the information and make a conclusion based on the hypotheses posited.
Description of the Sample
The population for this study will be investors, business organization leaders and consumers. Samples will compose of sixty (60) respondents from different business sectors. Stratified random sampling business establishments will be used to ensure a sample representative of all socioeconomic levels in the business system. Ten (10) samples will be randomly selected from each business organization.
The samples will be divided into two groups- Treatment and no Treatment. Investors and business leaders will belong Treatment group and the other set of samples will belong to the other group. The design is a randomized pretest/posttest control group design. There will be an intervention of some type with the Treatment group. The other group will receive some type of instruction but not the same. This will be done for the purpose of comparison. Therefore, it is called a comparison group because a true control group receives nothing.
Description of the Instruments
To determine what perception of the respondents pertaining to human rights and international economic law, the researcher will prepare a questionnaire and a set of guide questions for the interview that will be asked to the intended respondents. Questionnaires will be of a non-threatening nature that can be completed within 30 minutes. The respondents will grade each statement in the survey-questionnaire using a Likert scale with a five-response scale wherein respondents will be given five response choices. The equivalent weights for the answers will be:
4.50 – 5.00 Strongly Agree
3.50 – 4.00 Agree
2.50 – 3.49 Uncertain
1.50 – 2.49 Disagree
0.00 – 1.49 Strongly Disagree
Moreover, the researcher will also conduct interview with the respondents. The interview shall be using a semi-structured interview. It shall consist of a list of specific questions and the interviewer, at times, does deviate from the list or inject any extra remarks into the interview process. The interviewer may encourage the interviewee to clarify vague statements or to further elaborate on brief comments. Otherwise, the interviewer attempts to be objective and tries not to influence the interviewer's statements. The interviewer does not share his/her own beliefs and opinions. The structured interview is mostly a "question and answer" session.
For validation purposes, the researcher will initially submit a sample of the set of survey questionnaires and after approval; the survey will be conducted to five respondents. After the questions were answered, the researcher will ask the respondents for any suggestions or any necessary corrections to ensure further improvement and validity of the instrument. The researcher will again examine the content of the interview questions to find out the reliability of the instrument. The researchers will exclude irrelevant questions and will change words that would be deemed difficult by the respondents, to much simpler terms. The researcher will exclude the five respondents who will be initially used for the validation of the instrument.
Explanation of Procedures
The project procedure will be broken down into five key stages; problem definition, research design, data collection, analysis of results and presentation findings and recommendations.
The original idea for the research project is developed by the project owner. The idea is discussed with the supervisor and other students. The project supervisor then provided guidance on developing the hypotheses and key reference material that would be needed for the project. After the approval of this research proposal, the researcher will review literature pertaining to the topic.
Afterwards, significant issues and problems will be identified. The researcher will then start determining the population for the study, following the sampling. For this study, the researcher will focus on (city or state). The researcher will ask the consent of the investors and business leaders and consumers. They will be ensured that their response to the survey and interview will be handled with high confidentiality. The procedures in data gathering will cover three months.
The researcher will collate, tally and tabulate the results. A preliminary analysis will be done before submitting the final draft to the supervisor.
Discussion of External Validity
The researcher will attempt to make the sample as representative to the population as possible. The population will be investors, business leaders and consumers, although more emphasis will be attributed to the consumers. The study will only cover the city/state of ____. Different business organizations will be selected through stratified random sampling so as to have a representative sample in relation to socioeconomic backgrounds. In each organization, ten respondents will be selected through a systematic random sampling.
Discussion of Internal Validity
The researcher will make sure to rule out any threats to the internal validity of the study. The researcher will consider events that occur during the course of the program that might impact the final outcome. In the testing part, the researcher will make sure that the content of the testing instrument used in pretest does not duplicate the posttest. Instead, the researcher will make the content of the posttest reflective of the pretest. Moreover, the researcher is hoping that participants will not drop out from the program. In presenting the findings of the study, the researcher will ask the help of a statistician in interpreting the results of survey and tests.
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