Minority Rights in the Middle East

ISBN : 9780199679492

Joshua Castellino; Kathleen A. Cavanaugh
456 ページ
162 x 241 mm

Within the Middle East there are a wide range of minority groups outside the mainstream religious and ethnic culture. This book provides a detailed examination of their rights as minorities within this region, and their changing status throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The rights of minorities in the Middle East are subject to a range of legal frameworks, having developed in part from Islamic law, and in recent years subject to international human rights law and institutional frameworks. The book examines the context in which minority rights operate within this conflicted region, investigating how minorities engage with (or are excluded from) various sites of power and how state practice in dealing with minorities (often ostensibly based on Islamic authority) intersects with and informs modern constitutionalism and international law. The book identifies who exactly can be classed as a minority group, analysing in detail the different religious and ethnic minorities across the region. The book also pays special attention to the plight of minorities who are spread between various states, often as the result of conflict. It assesses the applicable domestic legislative instruments within the three countries investigated as case studies: Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, and highlights key domestic remedies that could serve as models for ensuring greater social cohesion and greater inclusion of minorities in the political life of these countries.


1. The Contemporary Middle East
2. Minority Identities in the Middle East: Religious Minorities
3. Minority Identities in the Middle East: Ethno-National and Other Minorities
4. Minority Rights in Iraq
5. Minority Rights in Syria
6. Minority Rights in Lebanon


Joshua Castellino is Professor of Law and Head of Law at Middlesex University, London, and Adjunct Law Professor of Law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Ireland. He worked as a journalist in India and completed his PhD in International Law in 1998. He has authored six books on issues concerning Global Minority Rights, International and Comparative Law. He was part of the EU-China Experts & Diplomatic Dialogue and the Lawyers for the New Millennium, a project run by the Law Society of England & Wales with the Arab Lawyers Union. He regularly engages with multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, and with Law Societies and NGOs around the world, on issues of human rights advocacy, with a special focus on minorities and indigenous peoples.; Kathleen Cavanaugh is a Lecturer at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway. She has worked for Amnesty International, especially in the context of the organisation's work in the Middle East, in Operation Defensive Shield and the Iraqi operation. She was a key participant in Lawyers for the New Millennium a project run by the Law Society of England & Wales with the Arab Lawyers Union, and is regularly called upon to comment and engage on questions concerning human rights in the region. She has been a part of an IBA project which brings together International and Islamic Legal Scholars to address the interface of Islamic and Human Rights Law. The results of this five year project is an OUP publication on Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law: Searching for Common Ground (2012), to which she is a contributor.