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Comparative International Law$
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Anthea Roberts, Paul B. Stephan, Pierre-Hugues Verdier, and Mila Versteeg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190697570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190697570.001.0001

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An Asymmetric Comparative International Law Approach to Treaty Interpretation

An Asymmetric Comparative International Law Approach to Treaty Interpretation

The CEDAW Committee’s Tolerance of the Scandinavian States’ Progressive Deviation

Chapter:
(p.419) 20 An Asymmetric Comparative International Law Approach to Treaty Interpretation
Source:
Comparative International Law
Author(s):

Alec Knight

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190697570.003.0020

This chapter illustrates an asymmetric comparative international law approach to treaty interpretation through the example of the CEDAW Committee’s greater willingness to go beyond a margin of appreciation to tolerate progressive deviations rather than regressive deviations in the interpretation of CEDAW’s provisions. Section I examines the interactions between the CEDAW Committee and states parties. Section II discusses how the Committee’s asymmetric approach to treaty interpretation fits within a comparative international law project. Section III provides an introduction to the CEDAW Committee. Section IV illustrates the CEDAW Committee’s inflexible treatment of Muslim states parties’ reservations to the Convention, which constitute regressive deviations. Section V analyzes the Committee’s permissive treatment of the Scandinavian approach to CEDAW. Section VI explores how the asymmetric approach allows states to develop interpretations of treaties. Section VII concludes and describes potential future avenues of research into the asymmetric comparative international law approach to treaty interpretation.

Keywords:   CEDAW, reservations, temporary special measures, margin of appreciation, calibrated obligations

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