International Human Rights Law

Volume 2

Edited by: Claudia Tofan

Human rights have roots deep in the mists of time, yet the term itself dates back barely 70 years to international discussions preceding the founding of the United Nations. Since 1945, the scope of human rights has been elaborated and the concept now permeates the fabric of international society. Originally, international law was, literally, the law of nations. It was exclusively concerned with the interaction of States, diplomatic relations, and the laws of war. Individuals were considered the property of the State in which they lived. Until recently, the manner in which a State treated its own nationals was thus an issue within the exclusive competence of that State, subject to neither external review nor international regulation. Since time immemorial, customary international law has recognized that some individuals deserved protection, often greater protection than that afforded to the nationals of a State. Similarly, customary international law has decreed the parameters within which wars should be conducted, and the treatment to be accorded to non-combatants. This is now referred to as international humanitarian law. The work of the League of Nations and the provisions of the peace treaties concluded after World War I were crucial in developing this area of law. In each of these areas, custom and practice has been codified and consolidated into a written tabulation of rights. International law has undoubtedly shaped human rights. The legal statement of rights is, in some respects, a codification of the rule of law by lawyers and legal draftsmen. International human rights, however, go beyond the boundaries of general international law. The first step taken by the United Nations with respect to human rights was the affirmation of the existence of a body of international human rights. The articulation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the two subsequent International Covenants of 1966 (on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) form the foundation of international human rights protection, as advocated by the United Nations. Often referred to as the International Bill of Rights, these instruments embrace a truly global membership and remain the starting point of any examination of contemporary international human rights law. This two-volume collection contains the most important documents on human rights law. (Volume I ISBN: 9789058506399; Volume II ISBN: 9789058506405)

844 pages

Publication Date: 3/1/2010
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789058506405