Interim Measures for the Protection of 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:
Interim Measures for the Protection of Human Rights*

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This chapter comments on the scope offered by interim measures for the protection of human rights. A brief chronological survey of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) cases reveals how the law on provisional measures has developed. It also reveals a little-noticed development concerning the right to life and physical security. What was meant by the requirement that interim measures can only be those ‘which ought to be taken to preserve the respective rights of the parties’ was early elaborated by the Permanent Court of International Justice. There were six interim measures cases put before the Permanent Court, most of which had no bearing on human rights but were the vehicle for the development of the jurisprudence on provisional measures. Strikingly, the Court declined to order provisional measures of protection in respect of a variety of other human rights, such as those under the four Geneva Conventions, the customary laws of war, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and certain articles of the United Nations Charter. All of these had been requested by Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Keywords: International Court of Justice; human rights; right to life; physical security; Permanent Court of International Justice; jurisprudence; customary laws of war; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Chapter.  7598 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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