oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The impact of treaty reservations on establishment of an international human rights regime



In this contribution the impact of treaty reservations on the establishment of an international human rights regime is analysed in view of factors such as the particular status of human rights treaties in public international law, the relevant provisions of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the comments of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations concerning reservations to human rights treaties, the findings of the European Court of Human Rights and the International Court of Justice on reservations to treaties, the responses of individual states to these comments and findings, and the viewpoints of authors dealing with the different aspects of the theme under discussion. As part of the analysis reference is also made to the impact of reservations on the foundations of treaty law, namely the principle of free consent in view of the discussion on the universality and relativity of human rights, the principle of good faith as it relates to the negotiation, interpretation and performance of treaties, and the pacta sunt servanda rule. In conclusion a number of suggestions are made concerning the problems that result from entering reservations to human rights treaties.


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