Lahore - Research Society of International Law (RSIL) hosted a discussion with Professor Robert Wintemute, an expert on human rights law from King’s College London, who talked possible techniques South Asia could consider applying from the European model.
Professor Wintemute began by laying out the Council of Europe and the European Union as models to which future a regional agreement or court in South Asia could compare. He specifically examined the layout of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and explained that it operates as a court of last resort when all domestic remedies are exhausted. With binding judgments, a future South Asian court of human rights could adopt a similar approach, in which removal of states from the regional association would be a legitimate course of action for punishment as well. This endeavor would require total cooperation from all parties involved both on matters of administration and financing, a difficult task for rivals Pakistan and India as noted by the participants.
Another aspect of the address that resonated deeply with the participants was the Professor’s discussion of the Pakistan-India border. He advocated reaching a point of economic and social integration such that borders between the states would matter less. Professor Wintemute even went so far as to compare his experience at a border crossing to the notorious Berlin Wall. He cited Europe as a former hotbed of border rivalries and the same countries now allow free passage. Professor Wintemute also used Ireland and Britain as an example of open borders despite security concerns.
Spokesman while talking to media on the occasion said that RSIL frequently hosts discussions on matters of international human rights law and international law in general. He said that discussion with Professor Wintemute was an excellent opportunity for RSIL community gathered to understand and analyze practical applications of international law.