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 World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum

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PostSubject: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:46 am

I know that is is possible to be a Stateless Person (not good) but is there any legal status that would approximate to being a World Citizen ?

With globalisation, the whole notion of National Citizenship appears to me to be outmoded. The world financial crisis has a lot of people calling for a world bank and global regulatory systems. Isn't it high time people had the right to some standing in the social, as well as the economic realm ?

I would be interested to know what is the existing law that gives a person some standing, rights and protection above the level of the Nation State, but also how members of the legal forum view the idea of a future option to abandon narrow national chauvinism and become a World Citizen.

Question
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:14 am

No not law, in morality certainly but not law. You have things like the UN Convention on Human Rights but that isn't justiciable before the courts except in very few countries such as The Netherlands. In certain circumstances you have international courts, such as the International Criminal Court, but again these don't really confer global citizenship. Is it really necessary in a legal context though, who would it differentiate you from? But clearly yes there is an argument for it in morality and ethics. You should read Peter Singer's One World, I suspect you would enjoy it, you would pick it up for around a fiver and it is a short read.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:55 am

Very interesting topic CF.

I reckon Johnfás has pretty much summed it up, regarding the law.

I've a good mate who is currently studying to be a barrister. I once had a conversation with him about the law and the definition of the "person." Jesus!

Personally, I consider myself to be a citizen of the world, a sovereign entity with myself as my own State and my own government. I abhor borders. Course, I'd not get very far in a courtroom espousing my philosophy. But sure if I had everything I wanted, I'd be bored.

I'd recommend for reading: anything by Bakunin. He was plagiarised by Marx and Co. Guy had his head screwed on and was banned from entering most 'civilised' countries. Link for anyone interested in learning about Bakunin.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:58 am

Of course the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, fully justiciable following a potential ratification of the Lisbon Treaty (though already drawn upon by the Community Courts) is an excellent example of an international Treaty on Fundamental Rights which is binding on 27 separate sovereign states and can be enforced against them.

But I'm just being inflammatory Razz.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:03 pm

Hmmm....
What is a 'citizen'?
What are 'human rights' and who or what upholds them?
How does one differentiate between 'economic rights' and 'social rights'?
What is 'sovereignty'?
What is national sovereignty and how much must it be eroded to allow world citizenship?
Does the 'world' include the third and fouth world?
How sovereign are individuals?
Where does the 'individual' end and 'society' begin?
How does fluff accumulate in belly buttons?
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:19 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Hmmm....
What is a 'citizen'?
What are 'human rights' and who or what upholds them?
How does one differentiate between 'economic rights' and 'social rights'?
What is 'sovereignty'?
What is national sovereignty and how much must it be eroded to allow world citizenship?
Does the 'world' include the third and fouth world?
How sovereign are individuals?
Where does the 'individual' end and 'society' begin?
How does fluff accumulate in belly buttons?
Why is it always blue?
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:21 pm

You too? Is it FG fluff?
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:22 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
You too? Is it FG fluff?
Could be, it serves no useful function.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:50 pm

It seems that we at MN are not the only people asking the deep questions concerning belly button fluff: LINK.

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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:52 pm

Quote :
Peter Johnson and Geoffrey
B. Scott from the Department of Pathology at the University of
Aberdeen very cleverly observed that "abdominal body hair tends
towards the umbilicus, as roads to Rome. It is our contention
that particles of Lint caught in this bristly trap are cast navelwards
under the influence of body movement
."

Of course, this Hair
Transport Theory would easily explain why there seems to be less
BBL in women that in men - because women have less body hair.
Several readers observed that BBL is not always pure blue in colour,
and appears to be related to the colour of the clothing worn.

It's worth noting that
blue is a very popular clothing colour in our current society.
On most days, most people wear various shades of blue. This might
explain why blue is such a common colour in BBL.
http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/lint/theories.htm
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:14 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Hmmm....
What is a 'citizen'?
What are 'human rights' and who or what upholds them? ...
Challenging questions. Fortunately, there is a musical answer. (You won't be disappointed, I hope.)
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:31 pm

johnfás wrote:
No not law, in morality certainly but not law. You have things like the UN Convention on Human Rights but that isn't justiciable before the courts except in very few countries such as The Netherlands. In certain circumstances you have international courts, such as the International Criminal Court, but again these don't really confer global citizenship. Is it really necessary in a legal context though, who would it differentiate you from? But clearly yes there is an argument for it in morality and ethics. You should read Peter Singer's One World, I suspect you would enjoy it, you would pick it up for around a fiver and it is a short read.

This is relevant all right johnfás, but it is argued from the standpoint of inquiry into abstract ethics - how society "should" be.
Quote :
In One World Peter Singer examines four major issues affecting the world today from a "global ethical viewpoint": the impact of human activity on our atmosphere, international trade regulation (specifically the role of the World Trade Organization), the idea of national sovereignty, and the distribution of aid. Each, he argues, is of great significance in this age of globalization: they require our attention -- and often a change in attitude and approach -- if we are to improve the lot of mankind.
Singer looks at the big picture: one world, as the title has it. He begins with the atmosphere, arguing:

There can be no clearer illustration of the need for human beings to act globally than the issues raised by the impact of human activity on our atmosphere.

Singer is interested in global responsibilities. There is little to suggest that personal or societal responsibilities or ethics have determined anything in history. I'd be more inclined to see it from an evolutionary point of view - as people are more mobile and the law and finance and environmental impacts are more and more international, there is an objective need for an international level of protection of rights along with international responsibilities.

Global warming is a good example. Why should societies that didn't cause global warming have to carry big financial and environmental burdens caused by the rest of us?

You may think this is navel gazing Zhou ( impressive fluff collection Shocked ) but I'm predicting that this is going to become a very big political issue, in the not distant future.


Last edited by cactus flower on Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:32 pm

Legally, as johnfás said, there is no basis for a global citizenship. Some commentators argue that such a citizenship would be impossible, as citizenship was originally an exclusive status defined primarily by contrast to non-citizens, such as slaves. However, it is quite clear that citizenship today is very different to citizenship as it was in the formative stages of the concept. For example, slaves do not (legally) exist any more and citizenship by and large is a more inclusive concept so one might wonder if that argument is not entirely outdated. Citizens of community A can be differentiated from and contrasted to citizens of community B but the difference is one of which society the person has a stake in and not, as was originally the case, whether or not a person had a stake in society at all.

David Held spoke of citizenship in terms of rights, duties, participation and membership (really only two different pillars if you consider that participation is an element of membership and rights are generally seen to correspond to duities). Marshall spoke of citizenship as coming about through the historical development of rights (first civil, then political then social). Regarding rights and their corresponding duties, there is hope there as there is an established international rights movement. As has been pointed out, it faces significant obstacles but the widespread recognition of the existence and importance (if not yet the corresponding legal enforceability) of universal and fundamental human rights provides a platform for future development of these rights which could take us some way towards the fulfillment of Marshal and Held's criteria.

Membership and participation, however, is a bit more difficult a concept. they would seem, by their very nature, to require popular grassroots efforts to actively work against social and customary barriers and thus to create a kind of global community. This seems unlikely to happen on any great scale in the near future. It can, however, be facilitated by certain top-down efforts such as destruction of legal barriers to movement and trade, promotion of multiculturalism and campaigns against xenophobia, and general promotion of good relations between nations. Efforts must also be made to improve the lot of the more disadvantaged nations as a major gap in wealth and opportunity can be a big obstacle to acceptance and integration.

I've recently been studying EU citizenship which is a very interesting thing indeed. It was only brought in in Maastricht though the idea of a Europe of peoples dates back to the formative stages of the EC/EU. You might notice that a lot of what I discussed above has been happening in the EU. The concept of EU citizenship has been criticized because it has been said that the nations of Europe are too diverse to ever fully integrate into a monolithic community that could be said to be the basis of citizenship. That is a very narrow view and I do not agree with it. Within any community there are many diverse groups, some of which are even hostile to each other, but which can all still share citizenship of that commuinity. There does not need to be complete and absolute integration in every aspect of life for there to be sufficient communal spirit to support a common citizenship. EU citizenship has been around for a while and has already proved its legal worth by bestowing upon citizens various rights and entitlements. There are legislative and judicial obstacles to the further development of EU citizenship, and before these obstacles can be removed there must probably be some further integration amongst the peoples of Europe. But we are getting there. There is hope, if not for a global citizenship, then for a meaningful transnational citizenship in the near future.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:44 pm

soubresauts wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Hmmm....
What is a 'citizen'?
What are 'human rights' and who or what upholds them? ...
Challenging questions. Fortunately, there is a musical answer. (You won't be disappointed, I hope.)

I wasn't disappointed Very Happy

evercloserunion: your point that citizenship emerged as the antithesis to slavery is the key point I think. I want to think about that a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:00 pm

Belated happy birthday, ECU...
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:04 pm

cactus flower wrote:
soubresauts wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Hmmm....
What is a 'citizen'?
What are 'human rights' and who or what upholds them? ...
Challenging questions. Fortunately, there is a musical answer. (You won't be disappointed, I hope.)

I wasn't disappointed Very Happy

evercloserunion: your point that citizenship emerged as the antithesis to slavery is the key point I think. I want to think about that a bit.

I'm unsure is 'antithesis' the correct description. The word citizen merely distinguishes that a person is different to a slave. There isn't all that much difference.

I'd categorise the differences as follows


  • A citizen is expected to provide for his own accomodation.
  • A citizen must buy his own food.
All in all the difference is to be found in how the economics apply. Instead of the master providing the essentials directly to the slave, the master now provides the citizen with a pittance to provide for the essentials instead.

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot - the propaganda. The slave is under no illusions as to the fact that he is not free. The citizen is usually convinced that the harder he works, the more free he'll be.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:12 pm

Hermes wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
soubresauts wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Hmmm....
What is a 'citizen'?
What are 'human rights' and who or what upholds them? ...
Challenging questions. Fortunately, there is a musical answer. (You won't be disappointed, I hope.)

I wasn't disappointed Very Happy

evercloserunion: your point that citizenship emerged as the antithesis to slavery is the key point I think. I want to think about that a bit.

I'm unsure is 'antithesis' the correct description. The word citizen merely distinguishes that a person is different to a slave. There isn't all that much difference.

I'd categorise the differences as follows


  • A citizen is expected to provide for his own accomodation.
  • A citizen must buy his own food.
All in all the difference is to be found in how the econmics apply. Instead of the master providing the essentials directly to the slave, the master now provides the citizen with a pittance to provide for the essentials instead.

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot - the propaganda. The slave is under no illusions as to the fact that he is not free. The citizen is usually convinced that the harder he works, the more free he'll be.
The citizen has a vote and of course the citizen can become his/her own master anytime he/she wants to, but without the paid holidays of the citizens who decide to stay as paid slaves.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:19 pm

tonys wrote:
Hermes wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
soubresauts wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Hmmm....
What is a 'citizen'?
What are 'human rights' and who or what upholds them? ...
Challenging questions. Fortunately, there is a musical answer. (You won't be disappointed, I hope.)

I wasn't disappointed Very Happy

evercloserunion: your point that citizenship emerged as the antithesis to slavery is the key point I think. I want to think about that a bit.

I'm unsure is 'antithesis' the correct description. The word citizen merely distinguishes that a person is different to a slave. There isn't all that much difference.

I'd categorise the differences as follows


  • A citizen is expected to provide for his own accomodation.
  • A citizen must buy his own food.
All in all the difference is to be found in how the econmics apply. Instead of the master providing the essentials directly to the slave, the master now provides the citizen with a pittance to provide for the essentials instead.

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot - the propaganda. The slave is under no illusions as to the fact that he is not free. The citizen is usually convinced that the harder he works, the more free he'll be.
The citizen has a vote and of course the citizen can become his/her own master anytime he/she wants to, but without the paid holidays of the citizens who decide to stay as paid slaves.

Ah the vote. Forgot about that.

The citizen's vote is about as much use as the slave's lack of one.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:30 pm

It can be a cold, mean and draughty sort of freedom, if you don't eat.

Citizenship conveys some rights and responsibilities on the holder - the useless vote, right of residency- access to some social services and benefits. Responsibilities are paying tax, military service (sometimes), jury service.

What would the rights of a World Citizen be? Maybe to travel to anywhere one could get work, or a study place, to vote (and pay taxes) anywhere one lived ?
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:53 pm

Hermes wrote:
tonys wrote:
Hermes wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
soubresauts wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Hmmm....
What is a 'citizen'?
What are 'human rights' and who or what upholds them? ...
Challenging questions. Fortunately, there is a musical answer. (You won't be disappointed, I hope.)

I wasn't disappointed Very Happy

evercloserunion: your point that citizenship emerged as the antithesis to slavery is the key point I think. I want to think about that a bit.

I'm unsure is 'antithesis' the correct description. The word citizen merely distinguishes that a person is different to a slave. There isn't all that much difference.

I'd categorise the differences as follows


  • A citizen is expected to provide for his own accomodation.
  • A citizen must buy his own food.

All in all the difference is to be found in how the econmics apply. Instead of the master providing the essentials directly to the slave, the master now provides the citizen with a pittance to provide for the essentials instead.

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot - the propaganda. The slave is under no illusions as to the fact that he is not free. The citizen is usually convinced that the harder he works, the more free he'll be.
The citizen has a vote and of course the citizen can become his/her own master anytime he/she wants to, but without the paid holidays of the citizens who decide to stay as paid slaves.

Ah the vote. Forgot about that.

The citizen's vote is about as much use as the slave's lack of one.
And gets about as much respect from those who don't value it.
Piss on your own vote if you wish, just don't try to do the same to mine.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:08 pm

My instinct is that you cannot have citizenship without a state.
There is no world state therefore there cannot be world "citizenship".
Only a state can guarantee and protect rights because only states own guns and have military and law enforcement capabilities.
Therefore the current approach has been for states to try to promote human rights through treaties.
Human rights attach to all humans whether "citizens" or not.

I don't think the concept of "world citizen" is going to be a politically important concept for the forseeable future. On the other hand, human rights will hopefully continue to be of huge importance the citizens of the various nations of the world.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:47 pm

Quote :
And gets about as much respect from those who don't value it.
Piss on your own vote if you wish, just don't try to do the same to mine.

I won't piss on your vote if you don't piss on me in the way you exercise it.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:24 pm

Hermes wrote:
Quote :
And gets about as much respect from those who don't value it.
Piss on your own vote if you wish, just don't try to do the same to mine.

I won't piss on your vote if you don't piss on me in the way you exercise it.
This would be the major difference between us, in my view, what you do with your vote is your business, nothing to do with me. I don't have the right to express an opinion on how you use your vote much less express a wish as to how you should use your vote. I may not respect your views, but I do respect your vote.

BTW when I said don't try to piss on my vote, I wasn't giving you any options.
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:33 pm

Hermes and tonys - Start a new thread on how effective/ineffective the vote is - it's off topic here.

Go raibh maith agaibh
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PostSubject: Re: World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum   Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:42 pm

Pissing on votes is very unhygienic, and quite uncouth too. Don't do it.
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