Academic freedom and its protection in the law of European states: measuring an international human right

Beiter, Klaus and Karran, Terence and Appiagyei-Atua, Kwadwo (2016) Academic freedom and its protection in the law of European states: measuring an international human right. European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance, 3 (3). pp. 254-345. ISSN 2213-4506

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Abstract

Focusing on those countries that are members of the European Union, it may be noted that these countries are bound under international human rights agreements, such as the International Covenants on Civil and Political, and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights or the European Convention on Human Rights, to safeguard academic freedom
under provisions providing for the right to freedom of expression, the right to education,
and respect for ‘the freedom indispensable for scientific research.’ UNESCO’s Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel, a ‘soft-law’ document of 1997, concretises international human rights requirements to be complied with to make the protection of the right to academic freedom effective. Relying on a set of human rights indicators, the present article assesses the extent to which the constitutions, laws on higher education, and other relevant legislation of eu states implement the Recommendation’s criteria. The situation of academic freedom in practice will not be assessed here. The results for the various countries have been quantified and countries ranked in accordance with ‘their performance.’ The assessment demonstrates that, overall, the state of the protection of the right to academic freedom in the law of European states is one of ‘ill-health.’ Institutional autonomy is being misconstrued as exhausting the concept of academic freedom, self-governance in higher education institutions sacrificed for ‘executive-style’ management, and employment security abrogated to cater for ‘changing employment needs’ in higher education

Additional Information:Special Issue: Comparing Human Rights Cultures, 2016
Keywords:academic freedom, institutional autonomy, self-governance, tenure, international human rights law, UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel of 1997, legal protection of academic freedom in eu states, NotOAChecked
Subjects:X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
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ID Code:24013
Deposited On:07 Oct 2016 08:04

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