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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: June 2012



The following sections address the substantive rights and freedoms guaranteed by major international human rights and humanitarian instruments. These sections employ extended extracts from the major global and regional instruments, international cases, and advisory opinions. We also have included U.S. and other domestic cases and statutes to provide a comparative analysis as well as to provide other legal sources for establishing customary international law as reflected in domestic practice. We have included extracts from law review articles and monographs as well as our own Questions & Comments in order to illuminate certain overarching themes and to examine the coherence and consistency of the different legal traditions. We have integrated materials addressing international human rights law and international humanitarian law in order to highlight areas in which they overlap and differ.

Fundamental International Human Rights Protections

In this section, we examine those fundamental human rights protections that are associated with jus cogens and norms erga omnes.

Rights to Life and Humane Treatment

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Article 6

  1. Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.

  2. […]

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