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Part IV The Regimes of the Sources of International Law, s.XX Sources of International Human Rights Law, Ch.39 Sources of International Human Rights Law: How General is General International Law?

Samantha Besson

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Sources of International Law

Edited By: Jean d'Aspremont, Samantha Besson

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 September 2021

Subject(s):
Human rights remedies — General principles of international law — Sources of international law

This chapter discusses the sources of international human rights law (IHRL) in the light of general international law scholarship. It addresses the question of the autonomy of IHRL as a self-contained regime of international law and, accordingly, that of the ‘generality’ of general international law in respect of sources. It argues that there are at least three features of IHRL that account for their specificities in terms of sources and are reflected thereby. These are: their dual moral and legal nature as rights, and the corresponding objectivity that characterize some of their sources; their dual domestic and international legality as legal rights, and the corresponding transnationality of some of their sources; and their universality as moral and legal rights, and the corresponding generality of some of their sources. Finally, the chapter tackles the distinctiveness of the sources of IHRL and draws some implications for the sources of international law in general.

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