Treaty bodies and states: Shaping custom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

With the proliferation of international legal actors, each of whom has the potential to contribute to the creation of international law, it is timely to consider the influence of the UN human rights treaty bodies on the development of customary international law. These supervisory mechanisms warrant special attention as several of them enjoy an easily recognised status as the longest continual treaty supervisory mechanisms in the international legal system. The significance of treaty bodies has, in fact, made such an impact on the international community’s understanding of ‘law’ that multiple International Law Commission (ILC) studies have acknowledged the relevance of the human rights treaty bodies. As a starting point, this chapter delivers an account of the treaty bodies as primary interpreters of human rights treaties and contributors to the development of human rights law. Section 3 follows with consideration of the prohibition against torture as a human right that is also recognised as a customary rule of international law.Section 4 will present the interplay between States and the treaty bodies in terms of developing rules of customary international law. Section 5 will offer final comments on how the engagement between States and treaty bodies plays a clear, but often overlooked, role in the identification and development of customary international law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Organizations, Non-State Actors, and The Formation of Customary International Law
EditorsSufyan Droubi, Jean d'Aspremont
PublisherManchester University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781526134172
ISBN (Print)9781526134158
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameMelland Schill Perspectives on International Law
PublisherManchester University Press

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • customary international law
  • prohibition against torture
  • human rights treaty bodies
  • non-refoulement


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