Andrew Byrnes, Dorothea AnthonyFrom: The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and its Optional Protocol: A Commentary (2nd Edition)
Edited By: Patricia Schulz, Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, Beate Rudolf, Marsha A. Freeman
This chapter reviews Article 23 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Article 23 is a savings clause, the purpose of which is to clarify the relationship between the provisions of the Convention and those contained in other treaties or national law. It is intended to ensure that the highest standard for the protection of women’s human rights is observed by a State party, whether the source of that obligation is the Convention, another treaty, or national law. Where a national law provides better protection for women’s equality than the Convention does, Article 23(a) provides that the national provision should prevail. The adoption of any new treaty often gives rise to the question of how the obligations of States parties under that treaty relate to their obligations under other conventions and which standard is to prevail if obligations under two treaties conflict. The matter is further complicated if States parties to the earlier treaty are not the same as the States parties to the later treaty. Article 23(b) addresses this issue.