Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Quick, what's the name of the quarterly magazine put out by the American Bar Association's section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities? If you're one of the thousands of members of this section, you'll know: it's Human Rights.
The ABA's IRR section was founded in 1966 with a mission to (1) raise and address often complex and difficult civil rights and civil liberties issues in a changing and diverse society; and (2) ensure that protection of individual rights remains a focus of legal and policy decisions, both within and beyond the ABA. As the topics covered in Human Rights magazine demonstrate, that mission encompasses domestic civil rights, but also includes a growing emphasis on international human rights perspectives.
The current issue of Human Rights magazine, available on-line, is focused on states, including articles on education rights and the freedom to marry. The issue closes with a profile of retired Oregon Supreme Court Justice Hans Linde, a champion of state court use of international norms as persuasive authority; see his majority decision on prison privacy issues in Sterling v. Cupp.
While Human Rights addresses issues from a decidely legal standpoint, with articles contributed by legal experts in their fields and civil rights taking the lead, several other magazines work the human rights beat with a more accessible, journalistic approach and a global reach. Yes! Magazine is specifically focused on human rights, with a slogan of "dignity and freedom for all." Likewise, The MaG has a worldwide focus for its human rights reporting, though unlike Yes!, The MaG is exclusively on-line. And also in the on-line categody is Global Voices, a citizen media forum that includes many stories on human rights from around the world.
As the meaning of human rights continues to broaden within the U.S. legal community, beyond the limits of the term civil rights, Human Rights magazine will also likely continue to evolve and expand its human rights coverage and perspectives.