Rule of Law and Respect for Right

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We, the People of France and Europe, have been under a lot of uncertainty in recent months. It is nothing new that all these uncertainties, as well as our fears regarding what should be done to ensure respect for human rights around the world, have led us into many states of confusion as to what should be done, and which one should be prioritized in terms of doing so. At this crucial juncture, we should take one more thing to heart; namely, as citizens of the European Union (EU), we must also know each other’s names. In order to properly understand the importance of this rule of law issue, we need to begin with an explanation by explaining some history behind how we came to be there.

One word: Freedom.

The French Revolution took place when the National Assembly was no longer meeting its constitutional functions, thus paving the way for the creation of another government – The National Constituent Assembly. When the Constitution was being drafted for The Constitutional Convention, the First Committee of Members comprised of 25 representatives from three major parties agreed upon the main idea, which consisted of guaranteeing freedom of the press (from the right to operate the “press”). This convention was signed on August 28, 1789, by several members of the Second Constitutional Convention (the delegates of the Delegation) who had participated in the first Constitutional Convention to draft a constitution for themselves. That convention also included three delegates, including Benjamin Franklin, Aaron Burr Lewis, William Pitt, and Edmund Randolph Davis, who was then working as judges at the Court of Justice in Westminster. After the signing of the Second Convening, The Constitution of France was completed on October 26, 1790.

The First Article of Confederation stipulates that the King can dissolve the National Constituent Assembly only by “public resolution.” What does it mean by public resolution? If I look up the definition provided by Webster’s Dictionary, the simple answer would be “public resolution” or “public decision”, but if you read it as mentioned above (a public resolution to amend a public document in accordance with a set of pre-determined instructions), it might not seem very much different from saying in English (and is not necessarily limited to just parliamentary sessions) “public”; in French, however, it would be slightly different. According to Wikipedia, it is defined as “the act of bringing together a group of people to consider the matter before them, usually through a collective body or assembly.” So, according to Webster’s dictionary, “public resolution” means a “public agreement to amend or modify something, especially something of public interest”. A public resolution, therefore, is essentially the act of amending a constitutional document to the extent necessary in compliance with the current legislative processes. Therefore, without the consent of the majority of citizens of France, a presidential election could be held without the consent of a significant number of citizens of France; that’s where the rules of engagement come in.

There is an argument in favor of the fact that we do not have such restrictions today, given that there are laws passed by Parliament that cover certain aspects of our daily lives that the Constitution itself does not cover. However, as it is clear by now, it is not possible to implement these constraints, even if we want to. Therefore, it is important for all of us, regardless of political affiliation, whether from left or right, to be conscious of what’s at stake when speaking about respecting and protecting individuals’ rights.

Actions Taken To Protect Democracy

In order to protect democracy and respect for fundamental universal human rights, Article 8 of The Charter of Fundamental Rights has been ratified by our country. We could not afford to have a democratic society when we don’t know the limits of our freedoms and what they truly mean for the future of our country. Let’s face it, there are currently too many things going wrong, both politically and socially in France in the form of discrimination.

In 2015, we saw firsthand how difficult it becomes for any community to continue functioning in a state where injustice is rampant and discrimination is rife. As a result, many measures and suggestions have been put forward by various civil societies (non-governmental organizations). These various initiatives include the formation of numerous organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc. to defend human rights in France. Alongside them, certain international agencies and bodies such as UNDP, EU, UN, World Bank, and others have also tried their best to combat discrimination. Most recently, in 2018, a bill was introduced in the National Assembly called the Civil Code Amendment Bill (which was later voted down), which addressed the discrimination against women in particular, namely, domestic violence. In 2016, Minister of Equality, Frédipe Gouvèx said that a “significant proportion” of violence against women is due to gender-based discrimination, with 86,6% of perpetrators being men. Due to a large amount of hate speech, online attacks, and discriminatory images, around half of victims of domestic violence are men. In addition, due to abuse in marriages, over 90% of children living in abusive families are girls, while 60% of victims were girls in 2019. These figures show the severity of how deeply France is still struggling to get better. In 2020, after years of work by our parliamentarians, lawyers, civil society activists, and journalists, we finally saw a substantial step taken towards addressing cases such as domestic violence. Not only is it true that we are making progress towards eradicating the existence of domestic violence, but we also feel safer, and our communities are closer thanks to such initiatives. Our elected leaders have now officially acknowledged the problem and are pushing governments to make policies for combating it. Although the United States remains one of the most powerful countries in Europe when it comes to domestic violence, the U.S. has still failed in implementing stricter legislation and policy-making in accordance with domestic abuse. All of our efforts towards promoting equality of representation, diversity, and social justice for all are surely paying off! Nevertheless, we cannot deny that France is no exception. There have been multiple times since 2010 that our nation has faced issues with racism and discrimination, and although progress seems to be slowly picking up, this issue is still far from resolved. Furthermore, there is a great deal of unfairness, unjust discrimination, and segregation all over our cities and towns. How many times in your life did you see yourself treated unfairly? No wonder why the lack of trust with the opposite sex is at an all-time high. Since March 2016, our government has enacted a series of laws that will soon lead us towards equal treatment for everyone, everywhere. Such laws have been created to protect citizens from discrimination and encourage fairness and will encourage a higher sense of self-respect, which will ultimately contribute to a greater sense of unity. While we are making strides toward the next level of development, we need to remember this is an evolving process; and this change may not happen overnight, especially with regard to the legal system. Hence, as part of our efforts to protect democracy, we need to work hard on creating laws and policies in line with modern-day developments to effectively end discrimination in every area of our society. One of such areas in which discrimination exists is in employment. We have seen countless examples where a person who is qualified for his job does not make the same effort or does it worse. An example can be found in the case of Ms. Yamao Homaizumi of Montpellier, who was hired as an accountant for the Eiffel Tower during her graduation as she studied abroad in London but is still unemployed. In her last job, a few days ago, she was told to turn in an unpaid notice. This was despite the fact that she never showed up herself for interviews. This is what happened to her. Despite having the knowledge to work as an accountant, since the age of eighteen, she is not allowed to drive. Because she is female, she is not allowed to receive an education on computers, let alone become a doctor. She is also denied access to any kind of social media such as Facebook. Yet being an accountant may not seem like a prestigious profession at first glance. But in truth, you could call yourself anything you want. You could even say that you are quite mediocre at dealing with money. That is why she is constantly asked to work extra hours to justify herself, gain more experience, and impress her colleagues. Yes, we have seen several cases of people being discriminated against and not receiving paid leave. But these numbers can change drastically in a short period of time. As an average salary earner such as Ms. Yamao, who is legally entitled to the right to choose her own workplace, she just received less than half of her previous salary. Why do we keep seeing this? Do we still want to be here? This question goes to prove the point perfectly. Although Ms. Yamao does not yet have another permanent position, it doesn’t mean she will eventually find another job. Even if you think otherwise and wish to go against this system, how long will it take, even six months, for employers to realize everything is not right? More importantly, how much longer until it actually happens? Unfortunately, we do not know. Many employers could also say that Ms. Yamao has chosen the wrong path and should be ashamed of themselves. Another instance is Mr. Bernard Castellini of Montpellier. He is an Italian national and works as a chef in New York City. His wife and two daughters also live in America, but he feels lonely because he cannot visit them often enough. Given the size of his family, he decided to move back home to Italy so that he could spend more quality time with his family. With this in mind, he left his restaurant job to start his own business, and it

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