Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-8bbf57454-s7xmh Total loading time: 0.233 Render date: 2022-01-25T06:04:08.432Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }
This chapter is part of a book that is no longer available to purchase from Cambridge Core

2 - International human rights law: the normative framework

Ilias Bantekas
Affiliation:
Brunel University
Lutz Oette
Affiliation:
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Get access

Summary

Introduction

The multiple voices making up the field of international human rights are one of its defining characteristics. Diplomats, officials, politicians, social movements, NGOs, academics from various disciplines, commentators and the public at large contribute to debate and practice. They add to, and often complement, the work of (international) lawyers. The interaction of this multitude of actors has stimulated the development of international human rights law. However, it has also increased the scope for misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the law that may be misleading, if not damaging. International human rights law is a normative legal system that has its own rules and methods, which, even if contested, frame the consideration of arising questions. For example, claims that the death penalty is unlawful under international law, while welcome from an advocacy perspective, may be seen as turning what ought to be the law (de lege ferenda) into a statement about what the law is (de lege lata). If such a claim were to be framed as a legal argument, it would have to be developed very carefully with adequate references so as not to risk undermining the (legal) credibility of the person or organisation making it. Such a risk is particularly evident when assertions made – such as that a successor government may not be responsible for the violations committed by the government preceding it (in an NGO report on Iraq) – reveal fundamental misconceptions of international law, in this case the difference between the succession of governments and states.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Boisson de Chazournes, L. and Kohen, M. G. (eds.), International Law and the Quest for its Implementation. Liber amicorum Vera Gowlland-Debbas (Leiden: Brill, 2010).
Boyle, A. and Chinkin, C., The Making of International Law (Oxford University Press, 2007).
Goodman, R., ‘Human Rights Treaties, Invalid Reservations and State Consent’, AJIL 96(3) (2002), 531–60.Google Scholar
Heyns, C. and Viljoen, F., The Impact of the United Nations Treaties on the Domestic Level (The Hague, London, New York: Kluwer Law International, 2002).
Kamminga, M. T. and Scheinin, M. (eds.), The Impact of Human Rights Law on General International Law (Oxford University Press, 2009).
Meron, T., Human Rights and Humanitarian Norms as Customary Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989).
Mutua, M., ‘Standard Setting in Human Rights: Critique and Prognosis’, HRQ 29(3) (2007), 547–630.Google Scholar
Nollkaemper, A., National Courts and the International Rule of Law (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Orakhelashvili, A., Peremptory Norms in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2006).
Symposium: Assessing the Work of the International Law Commission on State Responsibility, EJIL 13(5) (2002), 1053–1257.Google Scholar
Tams, C. J., Enforcing Obligations Erga Omnes in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Dumberry, P., State Succession to International Responsibility (Leiden, Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2007)
Mendelson, M., ‘Practice, Propaganda and Principle in International Law (Inaugural Lecture)’, CLP 42 (1989), 1–19Google Scholar
Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties Arising from the Diversification and Expansion of International Law, UN Doc. A/CN.4/L.682 (13 April 2006)
Kamminga, M. T. and Scheinin, M. (eds.), The Impact of Human Rights Law on General International Law (Oxford University Press, 2009)
General Comment 24: Issues relating to reservations made upon ratification or accession to the Covenant or the Optional Protocols thereto, or in relation to declarations under article 41 of the Covenant, UN Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.6 (4 November 1994)
general comment 26: Continuity of obligations, UN Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.8/Rev.1 (8 December 1997)
Allott, P., Eunomia: New Order for a New World, 2nd edn (Oxford University Press, 2001)
Diggelmann, O. and Altwicker, T., ‘Is there Something like a Constitution of International Law: Critical Analysis of the Debate on World Constitutionalism’, ZaöRV 68 (2008), 623–50Google Scholar
Schutter, O. De, International Human Rights Law (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 53–5
Bell, C., On the Law of Peace, Peace Agreements and the Lex Pacificatoria (Oxford University Press, 2008), 127–43
Aust, A., Modern Treaty Law and Practice, 2nd edn (Cambridge University Press, 2007), 6–31
Lemkin, R., Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation, Analysis of Government, Proposals for Redress (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944), 79–98
Schabas, W., Genocide in International Law: The Crime of Crimes, 2nd edn (Cambridge University Press, 2009), 17–90
Burgers, J. H. and Danelius, H., The United Nations Convention against Torture: A Handbook on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1988), 13–29
Mutua, M., ‘Standard Setting in Human Rights: Critique and Prognosis’, HRQ 29(3) (2007), 547–630Google Scholar
Boyle, A. and Chinkin, C., The Making of International Law, (Oxford University Press, 2007), 166–83
Charnovitz, S., ‘Nongovernmental Organizations and International Law’, AJIL 100(2) (2006), 348–72, at 368–72Google Scholar
Struett, M. J., The Politics of Constructing the International Criminal Court: NGOs, Discourse and Agency (New York, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)
Hathaway, O. A., ‘Do Human Rights Treaties Make a Difference?’, Yale L.J. 118(8) (2002), 1935–2042Google Scholar
Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Advisory opinion, ICJ Reports 1951, 15
Kennedy v. Trinidad and Tobago, UN Doc. CCPR/C/67/D/845/1999 (2 November 1999), para. 6.7
Belilos v. Switzerland, (1988) 10 EHRR 466, paras. 50–60
Loizidou v. Turkey, Preliminary objections, (1995) 20 EHRR 99, paras. 15, 27, 90–98
Kennedy v. Trinidad and Tobago that the reservation entered was invalid. See Kennedy v. Trinidad and Tobago, UN Doc. CCPR/C/74/D/845/1998 (26 March 2002), para. 10
Evans, M. (ed.), International Law, 3rd edn (Oxford University Press, 2010), 95–121
ILA, Final Report of the Committee, Statement of Principles Applicable to the Formation of General Customary International Law, London Conference, 2000
Marks, S. P., ‘The Human Right to Development: between Rhetoric and Reality’, Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 17 (2004), 137–68Google Scholar
Sengupta, Arjun, ‘On the Theory and Practice of the Right to Development’, HRQ (24)4 (2002), 837–89Google Scholar
Henckaerts, J.-M. and Doswald-Beck, L. (eds.), Customary International Humanitarian Law. Vol. I: Rules and vol. II: Practice (ICRC and Cambridge University Press, 2005)
Prosecutor v. Tadic´, Appeals Chamber Decision on the defense motion for interlocutory appeal on jurisdiction (2 October 1995), para. 99
Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), Merits, Judgment, ICJ Reports 1986, 14, paras. 206–9
Baxter, R. R., ‘Multilateral Treaties as Evidence of Customary International Law’, BYIL 41 (1965–6), 275–300Google Scholar
Dumberry, P., ‘Incoherent and Ineffective: the Concept of Persistent Objector Revisited’, ICLQ 59(3) (2010), 779–802Google Scholar
Craven, M., ‘The Problem of State Succession and the Identity of States under International Law’, EJIL 9(1) (1998), 142–63, particularly at 157Google Scholar
Hannum, H., ‘The Status of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in National and International Law’, Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 25 (1/2) (1995–6), 287–397Google Scholar
Simma, B. and Alston, P., ‘The Sources of Human Rights Law: Custom, Jus Cogens and General Principles’, AYIL 12 (1988-9), 82–108Google Scholar
Mechlem, K., ‘Treaty Bodies and the Interpretation of Human Rights’, Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 42(3) (2009), 905–48Google Scholar
Zyberi, G., The Humanitarian Face of the International Court of Justice: Its Contribution to Interpreting and Developing International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Rules and Principles (Antwerp: Intersentia, 2008)
Bedi, S. R. S., The Development of Human Rights Law by the Judges of the International Court of Justice (Oxford: Hart, 2007)
Eboe-Osuji, C. (ed.), Protecting Human Rights: Essays in International Law and Policy in Honour of Navanethem Pillay (Leiden, Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2010)
Case C-60/00, Mary Carpenter v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2002] ECR I-6279 (right of spouse not to be deported)
Mme Hadijatou Mani Koraou v. The Republic of Niger (Judgment of 27 October 2008), ECW/CCJ/JUD/06/08 (prohibition of slavery)
A and Others v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, [2004] UK House of Lords (UKHL) 56
Falk, R., ‘The Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion and the New Jurisprudence of Global Civil Society’, Transnat’l L. & Contemp. Probs. (1997), 333–52, at 340–2Google Scholar
Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro), Judgment, ICJ Reports 2007, 43, paras. 402–6
Knop, K., ‘Here and There: International Law in Domestic Courts’, N.Y.U.J. Int’l L. & Pol. 32 (1999–2000), 501–35Google Scholar
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and Interights v. Arab Republic of Egypt, 334/06 (2011)
Weil, P., ‘Towards Relative Normativity in International Law’, AJIL 77 (1983), 413–42Google Scholar
HRCtee, General Comment 21: Replaces general comment 9 concerning humane treatment of persons deprived of liberty (Art. 10) (1992)
such as in Akwanga v. Cameroon, UN Doc. CCPR/C/101/D/1813/2008 (22 March 2011), para. 7.3
Maastricht Guidelines on Violations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1997
Limburg Principles on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1987
Barelli, M., ‘The Role of Soft Law in the International Legal System: the Case of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’, ICLQ 58(4) (2009), 957–83Google Scholar
d’Aspremont, J., ‘Softness in International Law: a Self-serving Quest for New Legal Materials’, EJIL 19(5) (2008), 1075–93Google Scholar
Muller, S. and Frishman, M. (eds.), The Dynamics of Constitutionalism in the Age of Globalization (The Hague: TMC Asser Press, 2009), pp. 153–80
Charlesworth, H. and Chinkin, C., ‘The Gender of Jus Cogens’, HRQ 15(1) (1993), 63–76Google Scholar
D’Amato, A., ‘It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s jus cogens’, Conn. J. Int’l L. 6(1) (1990), 1–6Google Scholar
Dobois, D., ‘The Authority of Peremptory Norms in International Law: State Consent or Natural Law?’, NJIL 78(2) (2009), 133–75Google Scholar
Barcelona Traction, Light and Power Company, Limited (Spain v. Belgium), Judgment, ICJ Reports 1970, 3, para. 33
Linderfalk, U., ‘Normative Conflict and the Fuzziness of the International ius cogens Regime’, ZaöRV 69 (2009), 961–77Google Scholar
Bedjaoui, M., ‘The Right to Development’, in Bedjaoui (ed.), International Law: Achievements and Prospects (Paris, Dordrecht: UNESCO and Martinus Nijhoff, 1991), 1177–1204
Chowdhury et al. (eds.), The Right to Development in International Law (Dordrecht: Nijhoff, 1992), 7–23, at 21
Bianchi, A., ‘Human Rights and the Magic of jus cogens’, EJIL 19(3) (2008), 491–508Google Scholar
Al-Adsani v. United Kingdom, (2001) 273, para. 61. See also Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy: Greece intervening), ICJ Judgment of 3 February 2012, paras. 92–7
Koskenniemi, M., ‘Solidarity Measures: State Responsibility as a New International Order?’, BYIL 72 (2001), 337–56Google Scholar
Scobbie, I., ‘The Invocation of Responsibility for the Breach of “Obligations under Peremptory Norms of General International Law”’, EJIL 13(5) (2002), 1201–20Google Scholar
Tams, C. J., Enforcing erga omnes Obligations in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2005)
Yearbook of the International Law Commission Vol. II, Part II (United Nations, 2001), 110–16, and 126–7
HRCtee, General Comment 31: The nature of the general legal obligation imposed on states parties to the Covenant, UN Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.13 (26 May 2004)
Meron, T., ‘On a Hierarchy of International Human Rights’, AJIL 80 (1986), 1–23Google Scholar
Byers, M., ‘Conceptualising the Relationship between jus cogens and erga omnes Rules’, NJIL 66 (1997), 211–39 at 237Google Scholar
East Timor (Portugal v. Australia), Judgment, ICJ Reports 1995, 90, para. 29
Mavrommatis Palestine Concessions, Judgment no. 2, 1924
Brownlie, I., Principles of Public International Law (Oxford University Press, 2008), 57–67
Trindade, A. A. Cançado, The Access of Individuals to International Justice (Oxford University Press, 2011), 1–16
Orakhelashvili, A., ‘The Protection of the Individual in International Law’, Cal. W. Int’L L. J. 31 (2001), 241–76Google Scholar
Appeal from a Judgment of the Hungaro/Czechoslovak Mixed Arbitral Tribunal, Judgment (1933) PCIJ Ser. A/B, no. 61, 208, 231
Thornberry, P., International Law and the Rights of Minorities (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991), 113–37
Donnelly, J., Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice, 2nd edn (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, 2003), 208–11
Rajagopal, B., International Law from Below: Development, Social Movements and Third World Resistance (Cambridge University Press, 2007), 216–22
Vasak, K., ‘Le droit international des droits de l’homme’, RdC 140 (1974), 333–415, at 343–5Google Scholar
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, UN Doc. A/Conf.157/23 (12 July 1993), paras. 5 and 18
McCrudden, C., ‘Human Dignity and Judicial Interpretation of Human Rights’, EJIL 19(4) (2008), 655–724Google Scholar
Gross, O. and F. Aoláin, , Law in Times of Crisis: Emergency Powers in Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2006)
Doswald-Beck, L., Human Rights in Times of Conflict and Terrorism (Oxford University Press, 2011)
CESCR, General Comment 3: The nature of States parties obligations (Art. 2, par.1) (14 December 1990), para. 10
Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (focusing on the progressive realisation of ESC rights under international human rights law), UN Doc. E/2007/82 (25 June 2007)
As articulated succinctly in the landmark case of Velásquez-Rodriguez v. Honduras, Merits, Judgment of 29 July 1988, Ser. C no. 4, paras. 172–7
M. C. v. Bulgaria, (2005) 40 EHRR 20, paras. 109–87, and Vertido v. The Philippines, UN Doc. CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008 (16 July 2010), paras. 8.1–8.10
CESCR, The Right to Adequate Food (Art. 11), UN Doc. E/C.12/1999/5 (12 May 1999)
Mowbray, A. R., The Development of Positive Obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights by the European Court of Human Rights (Oxford: Hart, 2004)
Xenos, D., The Positive Obligations of the State under the European Convention on Human Rights (London, New York: Routledge, 2012)
Weissbrodt, D., The Human Rights of Non-Citizens (Oxford University Press, 2008)
Milanovi´c, M., Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties: Law, Principles, and Policy (Oxford University Press, 2011)
Koh, H. H., ‘Why do Nations Obey International Law?’. Yale L.J. 106(8) (1997), 2599–659Google Scholar
Goodman, R. and Jinks, D., ‘Incomplete Internalization and Compliance with Human Rights Law’, EJIL 19(4) (2008), 725–48Google Scholar
Franck, T. M., The Power of Legitimacy Among Nations (Oxford University Press, 1990)
Okafor, O. C., The African Human Rights System, Activist Forces and International Institutions (Cambridge University Press, 2007), 12–62
Heyns, C. and Viljoen, F., The Impact of the United Nations Treaties on the Domestic Level (The Hague, London, New York: Kluwer Law International, 2002), 7–46
C. Harland, ‘The Status of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in the Domestic Law of States Parties: an Initial Global Survey Through UN Human Rights Committee Documents’, HRQ 22(1) (2002), 187–260
Oette, L., ‘Law Reform in Times of Peace Processes and Transitional Justice: the Sudanese Dimension’, in Oette (ed.), Criminal Law Reform and Transitional Justice: Human Rights Perspectives for Sudan (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), 11–31, at 22–9
Kirby, M., ‘Domestic Courts and International Human Rights Law: the Ongoing Judicial Conversation (The Hondis Lecture 2008)’, NQHR 27(2) (2009), 291–307Google Scholar
Jayawickrama, N., The Judicial Application of Human Rights Law: National, Regional and International Jurisprudence (Cambridge University Press, 2002)
Conforti, B. (ed.), Enforcing International Human Rights in Domestic Courts (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1997)
Nollkaemper, A., National Courts and the International Rule of Law (Oxford University Press, 2011)
Singarasa v. Attorney General, S.C. SPL (LA) no. 182/99 (2006)
Farouq Mohamed Ibrahim Al Nour v. (1) Government of Sudan; (2) Legislative Body; Final order by Justice Abdallah Aalmin Albashir President of the Constitutional Court (6 November 2008)
Bingham, T., The Rule of Law (London: Allen Lane, 2010), 133–59
Government of the Republic of South Africa and Others v. Grootboom and Others (CCT11/00) [2000]
Kumar, C. Raj and Chockalingam, K (eds.), Human Rights, Justice and Constitutional Empowerment (Oxford University Press, 2007)
Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions (The Paris Principles), UNGA resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993
NHRIs, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), National Human Rights Institutions: History, Principles, Roles and Responsibilities, Professional Training Series no. 4 (rev. 1) (Geneva and New York: United Nations, 2010)
Murray, R., The Role of National Human Rights Institutions at the International and Regional Levels: The Experience of Africa (Oxford: Hart, 2007)
Lindsnaes, B., Lindholt, L. and Yigen, K. (eds.), National Human Rights Institutions: Articles and Working Papers (Copenhagen: Danish Centre for Human Rights, 2000)
International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP), Assessing the Effectiveness of National Human Rights Institutions (Geneva: ICHRP, 2005)
UHRC, 14th Annual Report, 2011, 14
UHRC, 13th Annual Report, 2010, 134
UHRC, 14th Annual Report, 2011, 50
Ollesen, S., The Impact of the ILC’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, Preliminary Draft (London: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 2007)
Commissioner for Human Rights, Discriminatory Laws and Practices and Acts of Violence Against Individuals Based on their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, UN Doc. A/HR/C/19/41 (17 November 2011)
AI, India: Security Forces Cannot Claim Immunity under AFSPA, Must Face Trial for Violations (7 February 2012)
Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, UN Doc. A/66/254 (3 August 2011)
The treatment of refugees and their ‘rightlessness’ had already been highlighted by Hannah Arendt in her seminal work, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Schocken Books, 1951)
Schain, M. A., ‘The State Strikes Back: Immigration Policy in Europe’, EJIL 20(1) (2009), 93–109Google Scholar
Report of the Independent Expert on the Effect of Economic Reform Policies and Foreign Debt on the Full Enjoyment of all Human Rights, Bernards Mudho, UN Doc. A/HRC/4/10 (3 January 2007), paras. 26–69
Abouharb, M. R. and Cingranelli, D., Human Rights and Structural Adjustment (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
Shore, J., ‘Human Rights Group Challenges Uganda’s Polygamy Laws’, Centre for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, The Human Rights Brief (6 April 2010)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×