Why is Wackenheim v France (2002) a good illustration of how human rights can conflict

Home, - How human rights can conflict

Question: (a) Why is Wackenheim v France (2002) a good illustration of how human rights can conflict?

In the case of Wackenheim v France, Communication was filed by Mr. Manuel Wackenheim who was a French citizen and claims to be victim of violations by France. He suffered from dwarfism and therefore appeared in the dwarf tossing Events which were organised by Societe Fun-productions. On 27 November 1991, a circular was issued by the French ministry which banned certain public events, particularly dwarf tossing based on Article 3 of ‘The European convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms'. Following the circular, Manuel applied to the court to annul the order banning dwarf tossing.

The administrative court of Marseille negated the decision on grounds that the action was not of the nature which would affront human dignity. This ruling was again overturned by the council of state, following which, Societe fun-productions stopped engaging in dwarf tossing activity. This led to Manuel becoming unemployed.

After consideration of admissibility and merits, the committee ruled in favour of the State that ban on dwarf tossing was based on an objective and reasonable criteria and such ban was not discriminatory.

The state ruled out the ban on dwarf tossing to protect human rights. However, such ban proved to be a hindrance in the employment of Manuel Wackenheim which is a classic example of how human rights can conflict.

Question (b) How would you best describe the social contract and how it relates to natural rights? Case studies and authorities should be cited in answering this question.

The theory of social contract was conceptualised by Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseuau and John Locke. It has an opinion that the society was formed as a means to protect men against the consequences of his own nature and that all men are free and equitable. A man in the natural state was currently enjoying liberty from all rules and regulations. He was a noble savage in the state of nature and lead a primitive and simplistic life with perfect freedom and equality.

However, with increase in population and establishment of families and properties such human equality ended and men became selfish. To combat this by way of a social contract, everyone could unite himself to all and remain free like before. By way of such a contract, security and certainty of life and property could be insured where in, society would submit their natural rights to one person or a few persons with authority by way of a mutual agreement. This contract would be binding on the entire society where men protected himself from the evil consequences of his own nature in order to live in peace with all the society fellows. Thus, social contract theory was created to restore natural rights.

Leave a comment


Related :-