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Themes and Theories$
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Rosalyn Higgins

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780198262350

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262350.001.0001

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The International Court of Justice and Human Rights

The International Court of Justice and Human Rights

Chapter:
(p.639) 5.14 The International Court of Justice and Human Rights
Source:
Themes and Theories
Author(s):

Rosalyn Higgins Dbe Qc

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262350.003.0042

Neither the Permanent Court of International Justice nor the International Court of Justice are human rights courts as such. But their subject matter jurisdiction is without limitation and insofar as the violation of human rights is also a breach of international law the potential exists for human rights litigation in the World Court. It is fair to say that in the early 1920s, and indeed right through the 1930s, the idea of human rights was synonymous with the idea of minority rights. It was the Permanent Court that was called upon to provide the necessary judicial underpinning to the Minority Treaties system. A considerable proportion of its case law arose from this duty. The jurisprudence of the Permanent Court showed a profound insight into what was necessary for the protection of national minorities and its findings contained ideas that have had a lasting importance in human rights law. The task of the Court was to see whether the application of humanitarian law made the threat or use of nuclear weapons unlawful per se.

Keywords:   Permanent Court of International Justice, International Court of Justice, human rights, international law, humanitarian law, minority rights, national minorities, Minority Treaties, nuclear weapons

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