Erga Omnes Obligations in International Human Rights Law and Unwillingness of the I.R. of Iran to Obey

Erga Omnes Obligations in International Human Rights Law and Unwillingness of the I.R. of Iran to Obey

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In international law, and particularly in international human rights law, erga omnes obligations stand for a certain mandatory duty that states ought to undertake towards the interests of the international community as a whole. Stemming from the Latin origin, and signifying obligations “towards all” or “towards everyone”, these obligations require that all all states comply with a certain norms and principles in accordance with the agreed upon legal instruments. Among these instruments are, for instance, the UN Charter. In accordance with the Charter, all members of the United Nations are obliged to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women”. Or, all members of the United Nations are committed “to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom”. These are the obligations from which no derogation is permitted. The importance of those obligations lies in the need for the international community for a peaceful co-existence and friendly relationship among the states based on the respect for the intrinsic human rights norms and principles.
In several judgments and advisory opinions, International Court of Justice has confirmed that erga omnes duties must expand beyond the (conventional) treaty obligations to preserve and protect the common interest of all members of the international community. In Barcelona Traction Case of 1970 to the East Timor (Portugal v. Australia) case of 1991, the Court has confirmed the undeniable character of the erga omnes obligations for the states.

In spite all these clarifications about the obligations of the states towards all in the international community, The Islamic republic of Iran has basically been unwilling to comply with those necessary obligations. In the field of international human rights law, this reluctance by the Islamic Republic of Iran to fulfill the obligations erga omnes is more and more shameless and evident.

However, such obligations remain surrounded by a considerable lack of conceptual clarity. The main purpose of this article is to introduce the importance of erga omnes obligations in accordance with the UN Charter as well as a handful of human rights legal instruments. Then, by drawing on some specific human rights treaties, the article will continue that the Islamic Republic of Iran has never been willing to comply with the obligations and standards preserving and protecting the human rights norms and principles.

Unfortunately, this vital issue is less known to the Iranian society, so it is very important that this topic is introduced and discussed in order to unveil the hypocritic face of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Linked to this content

Conference Paper - Mahmoud Masaeli
IAJ Issue No.9
Erga Omnes Obligations in International Human Rights Law and Unwillingness of the I.R. of Iran to Obey [Conf. Paper]


Mahmoud Masaeli
Mahmoud Masaeli
Professor of Human Rights, Global Ethics and Development

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