The Challenge of Human Rights
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The Challenge of Human Rights

Past, Present and Future

Edited by David Keane and Yvonne McDermott

The Challenge of Human Rights takes a detailed and exploratory approach to topics across the field of human rights, and seeks to map a path for future research and policy development.
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Chapter 13: Drafter Decision Making in International Human Rights Treaties

Daragh Mc Greal


13. Drafter decision-making in international human rights treaties Daragh McGreal This chapter looks at the drafting process of international human rights treaties using the discipline of law and economics, giving particular emphasis to how drafters might most efficiently structure such treaties. Combining the disciplines of law and economics and human rights law might initially seem a peculiar concept. The roots of the former in promoting efficiency and using economic tools to analyse laws could appear anathema to the human rights ideal of advancing the security and liberty of individuals. The two might at first glance seem uncomfortable bedfellows, arguing endlessly about efficiency, costs, contractual obligations, or the primacy of law, but this does not preclude the application of economic tools to the analysis of human rights law or international treaties. In fact, the absence of any previous work in this area, as evidenced by Sykes when he states that ‘despite its importance within the legal academy, virtually nothing has been written from a theoretical perspective by economically oriented scholars on international human rights law’,1 suggests that the aim of the current project is very pertinent. In following through with this approach, the present chapter intends to suggest where law and economics can aid the more traditional analysis of international human rights treaties. It does not purport to answer all the questions, given the infancy of the concept, but the chapter does express some novel ideas about how the drafting of treaties can impact upon ratification. The chapter proceeds by...

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