International Law Outline


Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide



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Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide – ICJ advisory opinion – 1951 (70-72)

  1. HR treaties have to be flexible

    1. This treaty is SPECIAL – “humanitarian and civilizing purpose”

  2. it’s ESPECIALLY important to permit reservations to HR & humanitarian treaties – need as many states as possible

  • US Reservations to ICCPR

    1. Didn’t ratify ICCPR until 1992

      1. Has ratified very few

        1. Genocide Convention (1988), CAT/CERD (1994)

      2. Hasn’t ratified ICESCR, or CEDAW (Women), or CRC (right of child)

    2. When ratified ICCPR in 1992 – 5 reservations, 4 understands, 4 declarations (477)

      1. Reservations – limit provisions

        1. War propaganda and hate speech – conflicts with 1st amend

        2. Capital punishment

        3. CI&D treatment – as defined by 5, 8, 14th amend

        4. Reduction of penalties for criminal offenses

        5. Segregation of juveniles and adults

      2. Understandings – state US interpretations of

        1. Nondiscrimination – “other status” worrisome. In US only prohibitions on discrimination for specific statuses, and some exceptions (i.e. discriminating for Age, between citizens and non-citizens, among categories of non-citizens)

        2. Compensation for unlawful arrest

        3. Segregation of accused and convicted persons

        4. Purposes of incarceration

        5. Rights to counsel, compelled witness attendance, prohibition of double jeopardy

        6. Federal-state relations

      3. Declarations – how states implement obligations

        1. Declaration one: Declares articles 1-27 to be NON-SELF execution

          1. Covenant DOES NOT CREATE private cause of action in US courts.

        2. Declaration three: accepts competence of UN HRC to consider claims that states aren’t fulfilling Covenant obligations

      4. Doesn’t matter if R, U, or D – any of them can be considered “reservation”

  • HRC’s crazy grab for power re: ICCPR RUDs


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