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Are international standards for corrections desirable or appropriate?

Whether you support international standards for corrections will depend on whether you think rights are inherent or determined by society, and whether you place more emphasis on group rights or individual rights.

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Your answer to this question will depend on your attitude to the concept of "rights." You can determine this by asking two questions.

1. Do you think rights are inherent, or are they determined by the society in which you live?

2. What is your view on the conflict between...

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Your answer to this question will depend on your attitude to the concept of "rights." You can determine this by asking two questions.

1. Do you think rights are inherent, or are they determined by the society in which you live?

2. What is your view on the conflict between group rights and individual rights?

If you believe in inherent or natural rights, then you will support international standards for corrections. There is no reason for a person to be treated differently merely because they were born in a particular place. Adoption of universal standards for corrections will depend on an international document, such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Also necessary is the abolition of various crimes which are only regarded as criminal in certain jurisdictions.

The conflict between group rights and individual rights has caused problems in multicultural societies, even within the same legal system. For instance, the Archbishop of Canterbury, (the senior Christian cleric in England,) has called for British Muslims to be subject to the jurisdiction of Sharia law since this is what their religion demands.

What is your view on this? Do you think that it is more important for the individual who is born into a Muslim family to receive exactly the same treatment as any other citizen, or for Muslims as a group to be allowed to decide matters based on their collective religion? This will determine whether you think Islamic countries (for instance) should be subject to international standards, or should be able to use their religion as a correctional standard.

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