The Normative Value of a Treaty as Opposed to a Declaration: Reflections from the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
William & Mary Law School; Harvard Law School
February 22, 2010
IMPLEMENTING THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT: THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 27, Stephen P. Marks, ed., 2008
William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-35
When the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by consensus on December 13, 2006, it culminated a 20-some year process that transformed disability-based protections from resolutions and declarations into core human rights obligations. With consideration currently being given to a convention to formalize the Right to Development (RTD), this chapter offers a few thoughts regarding the normative value of a treaty from the perspective of two participants in the drafting of the CRPD.
Our reflections address the progression from soft laws to treaty obligations, the necessity of building the content of existing rights over time, the opportunity that a convention provides for establishing national benchmarks for implementation, and the role that non-State actors can play as normative change agents. We conclude with a few words on the transcendent value of a State’s commitment to human rights norms regardless of whether they are embedded in soft instruments or legally binding treaties.
Keywords: disability, human rights, development, international cooperation, povertyAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 9, 2010 ; Last revised: February 23, 2010
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