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International Law

International human rights law lays down obligations which States are bound to respect. By becoming parties to international treaties, States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights. The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses. The obligation to fulfil means that States must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights.

Through ratification of international human rights treaties, Governments undertake to put into place domestic measures and legislation compatible with their treaty obligations and duties. The domestic legal system, therefore, provides the principal legal protection of your human rights guaranteed under international law. Where domestic legal proceedings fail to address human rights abuses, mechanisms and procedures for individual complaints or communications are available at the regional and international levels to help ensure that international human rights standards are indeed respected, implemented, and enforced at the local level. Regional human rights protection systems also have a crucial role in enforcing international law.

Read more information on International law
"In 1758 the Swiss jurist Emmerich Vattel expounded the fundamental principle of diplomatic protection when he wrote that “Whoever ill-treats a citizen indirectly injures the State, which must protect that citizen” (E. Vattel, The Law of Nations, or the Principles of Natural Law, Classics of International Law, Book II, Chapter VI at 136 (ed. C. Fenwich transl. 1916)." ‘Articles on Diplomatic Protection 2006

Read more on International Treaty Laws
Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 - Done at Vienna, Austria on 24 April 1963

Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 – Done at Vienna, Austria on 18 April 1961

Reference resources:

Report on Active involvement in the process of getting justice and its implications’...Publications

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‘Khobragade Scandal and Indian Diplomacy’
“Under international law, the state is responsible for all actions or omissions of its officials and organs. This is the function of the basic rules of international law concerning the responsibility of States for their internationally wrongful acts and the legal consequences which flow therefrom. The ‘successor governments’ also remain bound by the acts incurred by the ‘predecessor governments”...‘Khobragade scandal sheds new light on India’s rotten diplomacy’

‘Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms’
“A State which acts towards foreign nationals in bad faith - violates the minimum standards of international law and acts contrary to the principles of law recognized by civilized nations”...‘Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms’

‘International Framework on Human Rights’
“Article 5 & 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) of 1963 specifies consular officials’ duties when citizens of their country face difficulties in a foreign State. They are particularly relevant while considering the serious actions to be pursued at the Ambassador’s level for securing the interests of the sending State and of its Nationals”...‘Article 5 & 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) 1963’

UNCLOS – United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982...Read Full Text

The Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005...Read Full Text

Principal Resources:-

1) International Human Rights Law & Protection Mechanisms’
The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945. All Member States of United Nations (UN) have an obligation to promote and protect Human Rights and fundamental freedoms as stated (in Articles 55 and 56) in the Charter of the United Nations. The UN Charter | The General Assembly | The Security Council | International Court of Justice | OHCHR | UN Charter-Based Mechanisms | UN Human Rights Council | UN Treaty-based bodies | International Human Rights | Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council | The Paris Principles | The UN system | The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) | Complaint Procedure

Global Practice of ‘Human Rights Law & Protection Mechanism’
Since the establishment of United Nations, a wide range of Human Rights instruments have been developed in different regions of the world to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
American Mechanisms | European Mechanisms | African Mechanisms | The Paris Principles | The Human Rights Council | International Human Rights Mechanisms

(2) IX. Reparation for harm suffered (A/RES/60/147)
"States shall, with respect to claims by victims, enforce domestic judgements for reparation against individuals or entities liable for the harm suffered and endeavour to enforce valid foreign legal judgements for reparation in accordance with domestic law and international legal obligations. To that end, States should provide under their domestic laws effective mechanisms for the enforcement of reparation judgements" Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law. rights-remedy-reparations-general-assembly.pdf (size 146 kb) 

(3) Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights expresses this principle as follows:- "Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law." Universal Declaration of HumanRights, G.A. Res. 217A, art. 8, U.N. GAOR, 3d Sess., 1st plen. Ntg,m U.N.Doc. A/810 (Dec. 12, 1948)

(4) Article 2(3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights obligates States "to ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy," and "[t]o ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his right thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities." International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art.2(3), Dec. 16. 1966, S. Exec. Doc. E, Doc.E, 95-2 (1978), 999 U.N.T.S. 171 [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - ICCPR].

(5) Human Rights Treaties Obligate States to Provide Effective Remedies for Victims of Human Rights Violations. The principle of effective remedy, or effective reparation is a golden thread that runs through all modern international human rights treaties (American Bar Council). Professor Theo van Boven, an expert in the field of remedies for violations of international human rights law, explained the legal principle as follows:- "As the result of an international normative process the legal basis for a right to a remedy and reparation became firmly anchored in the elaborate corpus of international human rights instruments, now widely ratified by States." (Adopted by General Assembly resolution 40/34 of 29 November 1985 - Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power)
(size 79.6 kb) 

(6) Legal Framework of Rome Statute
The legal framework of Rome Statute is based on respect for individual rights and freedoms and included mechanisms to ensure impartial justice...The full text

Useful Links:-

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights...Read More

What’s Reparation Law?
The various forms of reparation law and their scope and content, covering both monetary and non-monetary reparations, may be summarized in its five forms consists restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition. Reparation shall render justice by removing or redressing the consequences of the wrongful acts and by preventing and deterring violations... What’s Reparation Law

Defining the Goals of Reparations
The quest for protecting individuals from mass atrocities is as old as the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The larger part of the Principles and Guidelines, with strong domestic law implications, sets out the status and the rights of victims, and corresponds to the title of the document as it refers to the right of victims to a remedy and reparation... Defining the Goals of Reparations

The Concept of Reparations
Reparation for the victims or survivors of torture, which is their right under international and many national laws, is becoming more and more a realistic possibility. As a result, many legal academics and lawyers, sociologists, medical practitioners and psychologists are now discussing the concept of reparation...The Concept of Reparations

Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law.

An introductory note by Prof. Dr. Theo van Boven

A Handbook on Justice for Victims
A Handbook on Justice for Victims based on the use and application of the ‘Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power’....More

A Handbook Implementing Victims' Rights
Handbook on the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation - Handbook prepared by The Redress Trust

Reparations Law Debate:-
Reparation has progressively been conceived as a ‘Right’ of victims.

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Prospects:- International human rights treaties and instruments provide that victims of international crimes have the right to seek and obtain effective remedies for the violation of their rights. In honouring the victims’ right to benefit from remedies and reparation, the international community keeps faith with the plight of victims, survivors and future human generations and reaffirms international law in the field...International Courts and Tribunals


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