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Part III Structural Principles, Ch.16 Sovereignty

Johan D Van Der Vyver

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Human Rights Law

Edited By: Dinah Shelton

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 05 December 2020

Subject(s):
Sovereignty — Self-determination — Secession — States, equality — Territoriality — Territory, dependent — Territory, acquisition and transfer — Boundaries — International peace and security — Aggression

This article examines the impact of the principle of state sovereignty on the enforcement of international human rights law. It contends that while state sovereignty may still be an obstacle to the implementation of human rights and fundamental freedoms within many municipal legal systems, governments that engage in serious violations of the internationally accepted human rights norms will inevitably bear the brunt of their unbecoming laws and practices. This article also argues that state sovereignty is thus no longer an absolute right and that its implementation has become subordinate to the values imbedded in the human rights doctrine.

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