Enforceability of Treaty Obligations Obligations Memorandum

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This memorandum addresses the extent to which ratification and accession of human rights treaties obliges a state to comply with all treaty obligations including those not incorporated into domestic laws. This memorandum is designed to provide a practical and theoretical guide for those writing letters to state parties demanding adherence to human rights obligations.

This memorandum will address this issue in three parts:

  • Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties – an overview of key articles of the Vienna Convention which pertain to obligations resulting from treaty ratification and accession
  • Important clauses in key international agreements – a survey of language pertaining to obligations and enforcement across several key international human rights agreements
  • Role of customary international law – a brief summary of key human rights concepts in customary international law and examples of ways in which they have been recognized by national legislatures and courts