The end of the second world conflict has set the beginning of the institutionalization of Human Rights at a world scale: the previous events have indeed made most of the country think about a way to reach a world consensus about basic rights that each single human being could expect to be given at its birth. Thus, even before the end of the war, the Allies' proposals of Dumbarton Oaks in 1944 mentioned Human Rights once as being a common goal to be reached. The creation of the United Nations and the texts following it have been the beginning of what can be called the development of Human Rights law: year after year the world context and its ideologies have evolved, bringing new ideas to be added or changed, making this international law more and more efficient and recognized.
This dissertation aims at explaining these developments, showing how diverse they have been.
[...] Indeed, it did away with two major obstructions of Human Rights which prevented international enforcement in the past. First, it dealt with the problem of states' sovereignty in the implementation of Human Rights: the most effective way for this process is the incorporation of the Declarations in national laws, which some states find difficult to accept, as it affects their full legislative sovereignty. The same problem arises with the International Court of Justice, which is the judicial body with the power to enforce International Law upon states. [...]
[...] Through the evolution of Human Rights, the war crimes trials, the Geneva Convention on humanitarian law, and some international human rights treaties, notably the Genocide Convention, established individual international criminal responsibility for some of the most egregious violations of Human Rights, such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The main reasons for this shift are that in recent years governments have been found sometimes unable to protect those rights within their jurisdiction. Indeed, some powerful groups (including terrorists, criminal organizations and the military establishment) are able to engage in large- scale violations of Human Rights while enjoying immunity from prosecution for what in theory are at least criminal acts under the law of the state in which they are perpetrated. [...]
[...] Even if it can be argued that International Human Rights law has only become a “documental reality, the enforcement of these documents has in parallel been developed in a positive way. The importance of this process was emphasized by Nagendra Singh, the former president of the international Court of Justice when he said: the legal link of enforcement is missing the word of law would degenerate to a moral recommendation to be ignored at will. Human Rights are in the same position and without the string of enforcement they would stand denuded of all value”. [...]
[...] In order to support the argument of this part, which states that through the evolution of Human Rights law a tendency towards consensus about some controversial rights has progressively been set through legal instruments, one particular point has to be studied deeply. The right of minorities has been one of the most controversial and changing topics: the question of how people deal with each other, with otherness, with difference. We can still observe today the resurgence of nationalism, racism, xenophobia, religious fanaticism and intolerance. [...]
[...] However, some others points should have had been taken into account more deeply: the different actors (increasing role of NGOs) and the legal instruments offered by the United Nations (state and individual complaints Thus, the enforcement of Human Rights can be stated as one of the main developments of Human Rights in relation to the Dumbarton Oaks proposals: from a single mention, a flourishing system based on institutions, norms and above all moral legitimacy. All these instruments have been set to give Human Rights their status as a legal right: legal right must have a remedy in the event of its breach”. [...]
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