Donnelly CH 10- The Priority of National Action

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Political Science
Political Science 3388E
James S Quinn

Donnelly Chapter 10 The Priority of National Action International action and the creation of authoritative international HR norms, has had an important, but subsidiary role to the fate of HR. The fate of HR- their implementation, abridgement, protection, violation, enforcement, denial, or enjoyment- is largely a matter of national, not international, action. 1. The Limits of Multilateral Action Multilateral actions are largely restricted to promotional activities, rooted primarily with information gathering and with limited monitoring powers. Complaint systems have very limited coverage and in the end do not (except for in Europe) lead to enforceable judgments against states. A. International Reporting Procedures Reporting procedures are at the heart of multilateral implementation systems and are “essentially on self-criticism and good faith efforts” (Crawford) – obvious limitations with this. Committees cannot always ensure hat the required reports are even submitted. States need not respond to particular questions during their public hearings or respond to the committee in a manner that is adequate. There are no formal follow-up procedures other than review of the next scheduled report. The International HR obligations of states are implemented through, if at all, national action. • Reporting doesn’t provide a strong system for international monitoring: no organized system exists for acquiring independent information • Supervisory Committee can only exert subtle pressures of international embarrassment • Mandatory periodic reporting, if a state is serious about its practices, is an opportunity to review national practices. • Periodic reporting can provide an opportunity for national improvement in information gather and processing to serve as the basis for policy reform • The absence of reporting systems would make it slightly easier for states to get away with violating HR In the end, reports are only reports and can only marginally influence HR and FP B. Communications (Complaint) Procedures The less serious the violation, the more likely it is that the international complain procedures will have an impact. Most procedures are optional; parties to the treaty need to opt in. the most significant problem with this procedure: the states most likely to commit violations that most cry out for international action are precisely the states least likely to participate in strong international procedures. • No correlation between the general level of complaints and the state of HR com
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