Reservations to Human Rights Treaties and the Vienna Convention Regime

Conflict, Harmony or Reconciliation


Editor: Ineta Ziemele
There has always been some discomfort about reservations in relation to international obligations of States applicable to individuals. This apprehension was once again brought to the forefront of the international normative process with General Comment No. 24 of the Human Rights Committee and the work of the International Law Commission on reservations to treaties.
This book is a contribution to the debate on reservations to human rights treaties. Several key questions are addressed. Can the reservations' regime, as codified in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, adequately address human rights relationships? Is there a danger of further fragmentation of international law if human rights treaties were to be treated differently as concerns the reservations'regime applicable to these treaties? Should the distinction be made between the validity of a reservation and the effects of a reservation found to be invalid? These and other questions continue to generate a variety of answers.

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'Excellent contributions by well-known experts provide a detailed overview of the legal situation regarding reservations in respect of each of the most relevant present day human rights treaties. .. It is a timely contribution to the on-going debate on harmony between human rights treaties and international law.' Luzius Wildhaber, President of the European Court of Human Rights.
Foreword by Luzius Wildhaber; Editor’s Preface Ineta Ziemele; Table of Cases; Introduction: Opening of the Conference on Reservations to Human Rights Treaties Percy Maclean; Reservations to Human Rights Treaties – Setting the Stage: Wishful Thinking or Prospects for Development Göran Melander. Part I. Elements of Practice of Human Rights Monitoring Bodies, Reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: An Unresolved Issue or (No) New Developments? Hanna Beate Schöpp-Schilling; Reservations by States under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Its Optional Protocols, and the Practice of the Human Rights Committee Martin Scheinin; A Comment on the Issue of Reservations to the Provisions of the Covenant Representing (Peremptory) Rules of General International Law Eckart Klein; Approaches to Reservations by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Morten Kjærum; The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – Limitations, Restrictions and Reservations Bent Sørensen and Paul Dalton; Collective Responsibility and Reservations in a Common European Human Rights Area Jörg Polakiewicz; Declarations to the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities: Practice of the Advisory Committee Rainer Hofmann; Part II. Elements of Doctrinal Debate, On Human Rights Treaties, Contractual Conceptions and Reservations Jan Klabbers; The Potentials of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties with Respect to Reservations to Human Rights Treaties Anja Seibert-Fohr; Reservations to Treaties and Norms of Jus Cogens – A Comment on Human Rights Committee General Comment No. 24 Ulf Linderfalk; Annex 1 Excerpts from the Second Report on Reservations to Treaties prepared by Alain Pellet, Special Rapporteur on the International Law Commission; Annex 2 List of Participants of the Conference; List of Contributors; Index.