Encouraging Human Rights<sup>*</sup>

Rosalyn Higgins Dbe Qc

in Themes and Theories

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198262350
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682322 | DOI:
Encouraging Human Rights*

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The extent to which a human rights provision is effective depends very little on ‘enforcement’ in the normal sense of the term. It depends, like so much of international law generally, on a perceived common interest in its efficacy. To that end, invocation, interpretation, and exhortation all have their role to play. The realisation of human rights depends on many other activities, many of which can be summed up in the phrase ‘encouragement’. Sanctions against individual countries are directed at enforcement. In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. It was felt that all states, regardless of their political philosophies or stage of development, could provide civil rights and political rights to their citizens: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to associate, fair trial, security of the person, freedom from torture — these all require not wealth but good faith. Two other important duties that encourage human rights are the examination of state reports and the processing of legal cases brought by individuals against states which are parties to the Optional Protocol.

Keywords: Universal Declaration on Human Rights; human rights; encouragement; international law; sanctions; political rights; civil rights; state reports; legal cases

Chapter.  5762 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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