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International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law$
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Sufyan Droubi and Jean d'Aspremont

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134158

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526134165

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Treaty bodies and States: shaping custom

Treaty bodies and States: shaping custom

(p.321) Chapter 15 Treaty bodies and States: shaping custom
International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law

Kasey McCall-Smith

Manchester University Press

This chapter delivers an account of the way in which the engagement between States and the United Nations human rights treaty bodies plays a clear, but often overlooked, role in shaping customary international law. It proceeds from the accepted notion that international organisations contribute to international law-making in a number of ways. It argues that the responses by States to human rights treaty body interpretations support a conclusion that treaty bodies can, and do, contribute to the development of customary international law through their relationships with States parties. 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 followed by consideration of the prohibition against torture as a human right that is also recognised as a customary rule of international law. While it is clear that the core prohibition against torture is undoubtedly recognised in customary international law, the analysis demonstrates that further dimensions of the prohibition reflecting treaty body interpretations are on the horizon.

Keywords:   Treaty bodies, Human rights, Torture, Customary international law, Treaty interpretation, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, United Nations Convention against Torture

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