This book aims to prospectively conjecture about what the coming decades may hold for human rights. The authors in this volume discern where current trends are likely to lead and try to make sense of the future they herald.

    Human rights – as a legal, political, and social practice – have experienced significant achievements and successes, some notable setbacks and failures, and numerous unprecedented and unforeseen events and developments. Sceptics even claim that the idea of human rights has failed to deliver on its radical promise of emancipation. The chapters in this volume deal with ways to reimagine the existing human rights framework, the future of the African human rights system, the place of human rights in economic policy-making, reparations for chattel slavery, and the right to free education for all children. The thematic and disciplinary breadth of contributions makes this book a resource for scholars, practitioners, and students alike. In analysing and critically discussing matters of climate change, right to a healthy environment, preventing disasters and building resilience, and resource management it provides timely and important contributions. However, the book does not limit itself to discussing current-day challenges, it also covers issues concerning the regulation of artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision-making, as well as potential paths in the future relationship between the African and the European Human Rights Court.

    Reflections on the Future of Human Rights will be beneficial to students, scholars, and researchers interested in international law, human rights, and politics. Overall, the book is suitable for anyone interested in human rights and their evolution in theory and practice. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Nordic Journal of Human Rights.

    Introduction: The Future of Human Rights

    Gentian Zyberi, Johan Karlsson Schaffer, Carola Lingaas and Eduardo Sánchez Madrigal

    1. Are Human Rights Enough? Exploring Ways to Reimagining Human Rights Law

    Kirtika Kattel

    2. The Future of Human Rights and the African Human Rights System

    Solomon Ayele Dersso

    3. Pushing Boundaries: Building a Community of Practice at the Intersection of Human Rights and Economics

    Allison Corkery, Gilad Isaacs and Carilee Osborne

    4. Reparations for Chattel Slavery: A Call From the ‘Periphery’ to Decolonise International (Human Rights) Law

    Ramona Biholar

    5. It's Time to Expand the Right to Education

    Bede Sheppard

    6. Preventing Disasters and Displacement: How Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Can Advance Local Resilience

    Miriam Cullen and Jane Munro

    7. Gender, Climate Breakdown and Resistance: The Future of Human Rights in the Shadow of Authoritarianism

    Annika Bergman Rosamond and Daria Davitti

    8. The Future is Now: Climate Cases Before the ECtHR

    Helen Keller and Corina Heri

    9. Rural Local Communities as Holders of Human Rights: From Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling to Small-Scale Local Community Whaling?

    Lotta Viikari

    10. International Human Rights, Artificial Intelligence, and the Challenge for the Pondering State: Time to Regulate?

    José-Miguel Bello y Villarino and Ramona Vijeyarasa

    11. How Artificial Intelligence Systems Challenge the Conceptual Foundations of the Human Rights Legal Framework

    Sue Anne Teo

    12. From the Vantage Point of Vulnerability Theory: Algorithmic Decision-Making and Access to the European Court of Human Rights

    Zuzanna Godzimirska, Aysel Küçüksu and Salome Ravn

    13. Two Paths in the Future Relationship of the European Court of Human Rights and the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights

    Martin Lolle Christensen and William Hamilton Byrne


    Gentian Zyberi is Professor of International Law and Human Rights, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo, Norway.

    Johan Karlsson Schaffer is Associate Professor in the School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Carola Lingaas is Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Studies at VID Specialized University, Norway.

    Eduardo Sánchez Madrigal is Research Assistant at the Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies, Norway.