Citations (6)


Footnotes (253)



Treaties, Human Rights, and Conditional Consent

Curtis A. Bradley

Duke University School of Law

Jack Landman Goldsmith III

Harvard Law School

May 2000

Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 149

The U.S. treaty-makers have consistently attached conditions to their consent to modern human rights treaties, in the form of reservations, understandings, and declarations ("RUDs"). Through these RUDs, the treatymakers have sought to limit their consent to international obligations that the United States is constitutionally and politically able to comply with, and to ensure that these obligations are implemented in a manner consistent with principles of separation of powers and federalism. The conventional wisdom among scholars is that the RUDs are invalid under international law and U.S. domestic law, and are harmful to the international human rights movement. This Article challenges the conventional wisdom about RUDs. It argues that the RUDs serve as a useful bridge between isolationists who want to preserve the United States' sovereign prerogatives, and internationalists who want the United States to increase its involvement in international institutions -- a political divide that has had a debilitating effect on U.S. participation in international human rights regimes since World War II. In addition, RUDs help reconcile fundamental changes in international law with the requirements of the U.S. constitutional system. The RUDs achieve these ends in ways that are valid under both international and domestic law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 62

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: May 30, 2000  

Suggested Citation

Bradley, Curtis A. and Goldsmith, Jack Landman, Treaties, Human Rights, and Conditional Consent (May 2000). Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 149. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=224298 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.224298

Contact Information

Curtis A. Bradley (Contact Author)
Duke University School of Law ( email )
210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States
Jack Landman Goldsmith III
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 4,708
Downloads: 574
Download Rank: 29,504
Citations:  6
Footnotes:  253

© 2015 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.313 seconds