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Two Doctrinal Constructs

This section considers the doctrinal constructs featuring in a series of General Comments. The Committee’s doctrinal profile has been determined by a broad variety of doctrinal constructs—not all of them specific to CESCR doctrine. At the very minimum, one must reckon with ‘general’ and ‘specific’ obligations, the ‘tripartite classification’ of state obligations (‘respect’, ‘protect’, ‘fulfil’), ‘minimum core obligations’, as well as obligations of ‘conduct’ and ‘outcome’, and violations ‘through act of commission’ or ‘through omission’. Here we single out two doctrinal devices for more detailed analysis: the ‘tripartite classification’ and ‘minimum core obligations’. I believe these devices are particularly instructive in terms of ascertaining how soft law can become a device for reconstituting state obligations, and how it reflects the political context of human rights law. [1] [2] [3]

  • [1] See the Introduction to this volume.
  • [2] 24 Tyrer v. United Kingdom (App. no. 5856/72) (1979—80) 2 EHRR 1, at para. 31.
  • [3] Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969, Art. 31(1).
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