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Part V Treaty Interpretation, 21 Specialized Rules of Treaty Interpretation: Human Rights

Başak Çalı

From: The Oxford Guide to Treaties (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Duncan B. Hollis

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 20 May 2024

Human rights — Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties — Rules of treaty interpretation

This chapter ask: Is the interpretation of treaties regulating international human rights a specialized regime? It starts by discussing what it means to have specialized rules for treaty interpretation in the field of international human rights treaties. It then turns to the interpretive strategies developed across human rights treaties. It shows that human rights treaty interpretation is specialized in the sense that making these treaties and their provisions ‘effective’ in application animates how human rights interpreters approach treaty interpretation. Next, the chapter considers how the forum for interpretation matters, be it specialized or generalist international bodies or domestic courts. It concludes by emphasising that the relationship between human rights treaty interpretation and general rules of treaty interpretation has a symbiotic relationship. Human rights treaty interpretation has not only produced specialised interpretive canons but has also extorted some influence on our understanding of the general rules of treaty of interpretation.

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