Comparative Study of Three International Human Rights Systems and Their Enforcement Mechanisms
16 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2010
Date Written: December 11, 2009
Human rights law is affected by great compliance and enforcement problems, similar to the ones affecting public international law as a whole. This is due to the states' reluctance to "impose upon themselves binding human rights obligations, and even more so to agree to create institutions with power to oversee compliance with such obligations."
Right now, Human rights law, and international law in general, are being enforced through a treaty system. While there is no 'international police' to make sure states comply with the law, the states take it upon themselves to follow the treaties they have signed. This is hardly a fool-proof system.
But it has evolved over the years with the aid of different types of compliance mechanisms. One such mechanism is international human rights courts. This essay will compare three human rights courts: the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the European Court of Human Rights, and Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Their creation, purpose, enforcement mechanisms and effectiveness will be analyzed. Finally, this comparative study will be put into perspective with the aid of the theory of cultural relativism and the analysis of some of the current issues and possible solutions of human rights law today.
Keywords: international human rights, human rights courts, enforcement, United Nations Human Rights Committee, European Court of Human Rights, Inter-American Court of Human Rights
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