Nick Shaxson ■ On the human rights of bad guys


Community chestThere’s been a lot of talk recently in the human rights field about tax justice issues – and rightly so. Now a new academic book to add to the collection, considering things from a different angle. It’s called The human rights of bad guys: corruption, asset recovery, and the protection of property in public international law, and the blurb goes:

“In recovering assets that are or that represent the proceeds, objects, or instrumentalities of grand corruption, do states violate the human rights of politically exposed persons, their relatives, or their associates? Radha Ivory asks whether cooperative efforts to confiscate illicit wealth are compatible with rights to property in public international law. She explores the tensions between the goals of controlling high-level, high-value corruption and ensuring equal enjoyment of civil and political rights. Through the jurisprudence of regional human rights tribunals and the literature on confiscation and international cooperation, Ivory shows how asset recovery is a human rights issue and how principles of legality and proportionality have mediated competing interests in analogous matters. In cases of asset recovery, she predicts that property rights will likewise enable questions of individual entitlement to be considered in the context of collective concerns with good governance, global economic inequality, and the suppression of transnational crime.”

Today’s blogger hasn’t read this book, and from the blurb it is not clear how sympathetic to TJN’s positions (essentially, to start from a position of seeking to support the interests of those oppressed by said bad guys) it will be. But it all adds to the debate, which is welcome.

For a shorter document looking at the “human rights of bad guys,” and a few other related issues, take a look at this.

For our web page on human rights and tax justice, click here.

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