Treaty Bodies, States and the Shaping of Customary Law

Jean d’Aspremont and Sufyan Droubi (eds), International Organizations and the Formation of Customary International Law, Melland Schill Perspectives on International Law (Manchester University Press, 2018)

Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2018/14

20 Pages Posted: 9 May 2018

Date Written: February 06, 2018

Abstract

With the proliferation of international legal actors, each of whom has the potential to contribute to the creation of international law, it is timely to consider the influence of the UN human rights treaty bodies on the development of customary international law. These supervisory mechanisms warrant special attention as several of them enjoy an easily recognised status as the longest continual treaty supervisory mechanisms in the international legal system. The significance of treaty bodies has, in fact, made such an impact on the international community’s understanding of ‘law’ that multiple International Law Commission (ILC) studies have acknowledged the relevance of the human rights treaty bodies. As a starting point, this chapter delivers an account of the treaty bodies as primary interpreters of human rights treaties and contributors to the development of human rights law. Section 3 follows with consideration of the prohibition against torture as a human right that is also recognised as a customary rule of international law. Section 4 will present the interplay between States and the treaty bodies in terms of developing rules of customary international law. Section 5 will offer final comments on how the engagement between States and treaty bodies plays a clear, but often overlooked, role in the identification and development of customary international law.

Keywords: Prohibition against Torture, Customary International Law, Human Rights Treaty Bodies

Suggested Citation

McCall-Smith, Kasey L., Treaty Bodies, States and the Shaping of Customary Law (February 06, 2018). Jean d’Aspremont and Sufyan Droubi (eds), International Organizations and the Formation of Customary International Law, Melland Schill Perspectives on International Law (Manchester University Press, 2018), Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2018/14, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3167194 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3167194

Kasey L. McCall-Smith (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh School of Law ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ed.ac.uk/people/kaseymccallsmith

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