The Legal Nature of International Human Rights

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The role and influence human rights in society has been enhanced by its association with international law and yet despite this legal springboard, the scope of its legal nature remains uncertain. By analysing the work of international human rights courts and treaty bodies alongside a brief historical review, this book assesses the distinctive legal dimension of human rights. It concludes that the legalisation of human rights is an unplanned and evolving social construct that continues under the managerial oversight of international human rights courts and treaty bodies which employ the primary tool of treaty interpretation. These characteristics of the legal environment of human rights in international law provide a good appreciation of the law itself and its limits.
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Biographical Note

Michael K. Addo teaches and researches international law and human rights law at the University of Exeter. He is editor of International Law of Human Rights (Ashgate, 2006) and Human Rights Standards and the Responsibility of Transnational Corporations (Kluwer, 1999).

Table of contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Table of Treaties and Other International Instruments
List of Cases; Introduction;
Chapter 1 – The Indeterminacy of Human Rights
I. Introduction
II. Human Rights and International Law
III. Basis of human rights indeterminacy
IV. Reactions
V. A Way Forward
Chapter 2 – The Evolution of human rights in international Law
I. Introduction
II. The Facilitation Stage
III. The Legalisation Stage
IV. Critique of Scholarship
V. Concluding Remarks
Chapter 3 – Human Rights and the Rule of Law
I. Introduction
II. Transformation and Trasubstantiation
III. Effects of Legalisation
IV. Concluding Remarks
Chapter 4 – The United Nations Human Rights Treaties
I. Introduction
II. Law in Treaty Texts
III. Human Rights Law and Cultural Diversity
IV. Effectiveness
V. Concluding Remarks
Chapter 5 – The European Convention on Human Rights
I. Introduction
II. Law in the Convention
III. The Power of Interpretation
IV. Redress
V. Limits to Transformative Interpretation
VI. Concluding Remarks
Chapter 6 – The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
I. Introduction
II. Law in the Charter
III. Interpreting the Charter
IV. The Charter in National Practice
V. Concluding Remarks
Chapter 7 – The American Convention on Human Rights
I. Introduction
II. Textual Indicators and the Rule of Law
III. Approaches to Interpretation
IV. Enforced Disappearances
V. Cultural Diversity
VI. Concluding Remarks
Chapter 8 – Conclusions and Implications of Legalisation: A Special Regime?
I. Introduction
II. Broad Conclusions
III. Special Regime
IV. The Opinion on The Genocide Convention
V. The European Convention on Human Rights
VI. The American Convention on Human Rights
VII. The Human Rights Committee General Comment Number 24
VIII. Consequences of Human Rights Treaty Practice
IX. Lessons on ‘Special’ Character
Bibliography; Index

Readership

Students and researchers in all aspects of human rights, practitioners in international organisations and government legal advisors. Modern historians and political scientists (especially international relations).

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