The Utility of Regional Jus Cogens
16 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2009 Last revised: 1 Sep 2013
Date Written: 2012
This article examines a regionalized set of international legal norms and values, and expunges whether they can be reconstituted as regional jus cogens norms. An analysis of the Brezhnev Doctrine, juvenile executions in the Americas, and Islamic human rights will be instructive in this manner. The practical utility of regional jus cogens norms will also be highlighted. Steeped in a positivist stance, the article suggests that a set of higher laws of overriding importance can assist in accomplishing certain political tasks that are deemed acceptable within a specific time-period by a group of nation-states. Moreover, regional jus cogens norms can be replaced by another super-norm, or eliminated entirely by the passing of their usefulness. The implications for the existence and practice of regional jus cogens norms will be considered, notably their effect on sovereign equality and the promotion of differential treatment. Given a current international community of nation-states characterized by unprecedented heterogeneity, this article will argue that the use of regional jus cogens norms are demanded in limited situations.
Winner of the Society for the Study of Social Problems' Alfred R. Lindesmith Award.
Keywords: jus cogens, regionalisation, sovereign equality, differential treatment
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation