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2 - The Interpretation and Development of International Human Rights Law by the International Court of Justice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 July 2019

Martin Scheinin
Affiliation:
European University Institute, Florence
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Summary

This chapter analyses the contribution of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to interpreting and developing rules and principles of international human rights law aimed at ensuring basic protection of individuals. First, the chapter puts into perspective the place of the ICJ within the larger framework of international adjudication and enforcement of human rights norms. Then, the chapter turns to the institutional possibilities and limitations of the Court in engaging in the process of interpreting and developing human rights norms, discussing both advisory proceedings and contentious cases. The analysis addresses all three procedural stages in contentious cases, namely preliminary objections, merits and reparations. Third, the chapter analyses the contribution of the Court to clarifying procedural, substantive and institutional issues concerning the understanding and implementation of key human rights norms. In analysing the case law of the Court, it is important to distinguish between cases involving bilateral disputes with human rights aspects and cases involving matters of general concern for the international community as a whole.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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