Showing posts with the label Human Rights

Why The Constitutional Court is Wrong on the Cigarette Case

The latest Constitutional Court decision on the Health Law is very surprising. It holds that public places must provide special places to smoke on the basis that people have the human right to smoke. I find this idea as simply preposterous and I am deeply confused on how come the Constitutional Court could make such decision. There are two main issues regarding the decision. First, whether smoking can be considered as a part of human right that is guaranteed by the constitution. Second, whether private parties can be forced by the state to provide facilities for smokers. Let us begin with the first issue. Smoking is bad for health. No doubt about that. Many countries have already banned the sale of cigarette or heavily taxed the sale, giving less incentives to people to smoke. Even further, many countries have also banned smoking in closed public areas. If you want to smoke, you do it outside, be it in a hot summer or a freezing winter. Even in the United States I can confirm that it

Is The Right to Die Justifiable?

The latest case of an Indonesian law student who burned himself to death in front of the Presidential Palace is indeed an interesting one. At first, I want to disregard the student's motive but then I realize that the question of motive is the essential part in the analysis which will affect our final thoughts in perceiving his decision. So, let's start with the question: do people have the right to die? It's a tricky question which triggers a lot of debates involving significant different views. The comments on the above case can be a good example. Some people consider the action as a foolish one without any benefit to the society, that people will soon forget it and it is harmful to the student's parents and close family members. Other people consider it as a heroic action, that it demonstrated a resistance to a corrupt government, and that the student should be honored because not a lot of people will have the bravery to burn themselves as a form of protest. What