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Attempts at Framing Violence against Women as Hard Law

The straightforward language adopted by the CEDAW Committee in its general recommendations but especially in General Recommendation 19 leads to a proposition that the prohibition of violence against women has perhaps achieved the transition from soft to hard law or has even become hard law without ever passing through the soft law stage. This section examines this proposition in light of subsequent developments in the practice of the Committee and states’ reactions to it. However, before examining the practice of the Committee, some remarks [1]

about the attitude towards violence against women in general human rights law are required.59 The understanding of the overall reaction of general human rights law to the approach of the Committee is necessary for an adequate interpretation of the subsequent developments within the CEDAW. It is equally important to highlight that developments related to the issue of violence against women in general human rights law are a consequence of the efforts of the CEDAW Committee described above and broader efforts leading to the adoption of the CEDAW itself.

  • [1] General Recommendation 19, para. 4.
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