Should States Ratify Human Rights Conventions? (completed)

Research Project 2009-10 At the Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

The proliferation of global and regional human rights conventions in recent decades raises intriguing and important questions about their impact and legitimacy. The conventions restrict states’ legislative, executive and judicial powers, earlier seen as sovereign prerogatives. The conventions also establish supervisory organs or courts, and are ‘living instruments’ in that these organs change the interpretation of the conventions over time in response to social changes.

This multi-disciplinary research project brings together legal scholars, social scientists, and normative theorists. It will address three central puzzles in the field of human rights conventions:

  • the motivations of states when they enter into the conventions,
  • the effects of these conventions on states,
  • and, in light of these findings, whether such conventions are normatively legitimate.

Further information

Project Directors

Andreas Føllesdal and Geir Ulfstein

Published Dec. 23, 2009 3:59 PM - Last modified Feb. 24, 2012 11:12 AM