Respect for Human Rights: Law and History

23 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2016  

Adam S. Chilton

University of Chicago - Law School

Eric A. Posner

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: July 25, 2016

Abstract

Several recent studies have found a positive, statistically significant correlation between ratification of human rights treaties and respect for human rights. Some commentators have interpreted these results as evidence of the causal effect of international human rights law on human rights outcomes. We revisit this debate and present evidence that for two treaties — the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention Against Torture — these results disappear once time trends are taken into account. Our evidence suggests that recent improvements in human rights are attributable to long running trends that pre-date the emergence of the relevant treaty regimes.

Keywords: Human Rights, International Law, Treaties, Women’s Rights, Torture

Suggested Citation

Chilton, Adam S. and Posner, Eric A., Respect for Human Rights: Law and History (July 25, 2016). University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 770. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2815272

Adam S. Chilton (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.adamchilton.org

Eric A. Posner

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0425 (Phone)
773-702-0730 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/posner-e/

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