Issue 11 (2019)

THE ROLE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LAW

Authors:

Abstract: In 2018 the world celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the landmark international document in which the UN Member States agreed and solemnly proclaimed fundamental human rights and freedoms as a “standard to which all nations and states should strive to achieve”. The most debatable and ambiguous issue is the determination of legal status of the Declaration. Considering the fact that this document was adopted by the UN General Assembly in a form of the resolution, it has a recommendatory character. However, over time the Declaration has undergone certain legal transformation regarding the permanent development and refinement in the process of concluding of legally binding international human rights treaties that affected both domestic and international law. Taking into account the moral significance of the Declaration, as well as its the substantial contribution in the adoption of international and regional human rights treaties, national legislation and judicial practice, the author of the present article comes to the conclusion that the Declaration should be recognized as a document including norms of the customary international law. The author also concludes that in modern world, when a number of states have not still ratified the main international human rights treaties, the provisions of the Universal Declaration should be conceived for them as binding norms of customary international law. Such outcomes are established on the basis of the national judicial practice of sovereign states and the practice of the International Court of Justice that are analyzed in the present article.

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