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The International Human Rights MovementA History$
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Aryeh Neier

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691135151

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691135151.001.0001

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International Human Rights Law

International Human Rights Law

(p.93) 4 International Human Rights Law
The International Human Rights Movement

Aryeh Neier

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the two sources of international law: custom and treaties. Customary international law is the term used to describe rules that are so widely accepted and so deeply held that they help to define what it means to belong to a civilized society. The question of whether customary international law is binding on the United States came before the U.S. Supreme Court as long ago as 1900 in a case called Paquete Habana. Whereas treaty law often covers the same ground as customary international law. Torture is forbidden by customary international law, for example, and prohibitions against torture are also set forth in several multilateral treaties. The effect is to reinforce recognition that a particular norm set forth in a treaty has the status of customary law.

Keywords:   international law, customary international law, treaty law, civilized society, U.S. Supreme Court, Paquete Habana, multilateral treaties

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