Chapter 4: Modern Development of International Human Rights Law: State Practice Involving Multilateral Treaties and Non-Binding International Documents
Gallant, Kenneth S. THE PRINCIPLE OF LEGALITY IN INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE CRIMINAL LAW, Cambridge University Press, 2009
61 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2007 Last revised: 14 Jun 2011
This is a draft Chapter 4 of The Principle of Legality in International and Comparative Criminal Law (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009).
Chapter 4 covers the international activities of states concerning legality in criminal law in the modern period. It discusses the major international human rights treaties requiring non-retroactivity in criminal law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the regional human rights conventions; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the two Additional Protocols of 1977. The chapter examines the reservations that states have made to these treaties to determine the effect on their obligations concerning non-retroactivity in criminal law. It also considers some of the jurisprudence from international tribunals and commissions interpreting the legality provisions of these documents.
This chapter argues that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the modern treaties have a stronger view of the principle of legality as an international human right than did the Nuremberg Judgment, and subsequent chapters argue that this stronger view has become part of current customary international law.
Keywords: international law, criminal law, international criminal law, treaties, international human rights law, nullum crimen sine lege, nulla poena sine lege, legality, non-retroactivity, international humanitarian law
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