HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCILThis should make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside about the wonderful "One World" that's coming up! Remember, don't pester the men with machetes when they come for you! And please, step quietly and orderly onto the railroad cars for the trip north; you'll just love the scenery!
Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
Item 6 of the provisional agenda
SPECIFIC HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES
Prevention of human rights violations committed with small arms and light weapons
Final report submitted by Barbara Frey, Special Rapporteur,
in accordance with Sub-Commission resolution 2002/25**
A. Self-defence as an exemption to criminal responsibility, not a human right
20. Self-defence is a widely recognized, yet legally proscribed, exception to the universal duty to respect the right to life of others. Self-defence is a basis for exemption from criminal responsibility that can be raised by any State agent or non-State actor. Self-defence is sometimes designated as a “right”. There is inadequate legal support for such an interpretation. Self-defence is more properly characterized as a means of protecting the right to life and, as such, a basis for avoiding responsibility for violating the rights of another.
21. No international human right of self-defence is expressly set forth in the primary sources of international law: treaties, customary law, or general principles. While the right to life is recognized in virtually every major international human rights treaty, the principle of self-defence is expressly recognized in only one, the Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights), article 2.15 Self-defence, however, is not recognized as a right in the European Convention on Human Rights. According to one commentator, “The function of this provision is simply to remove from the scope of application of article 2 (1) killings necessary to defend against unlawful violence. It does not provide a right that must be secured by the State”.16
Read Arms & the Law's excellent commentary.