International human rights law (IHRL) is often conceived of and taught as a system for enforcing specific, individual rights. In fact, IHRL’s mandate extends far beyond individual rights to imposing broad structural constraints on states. The role of IHRL in national governance is a function of its relationship to the primary constitutive value of the modern world public order, human dignity. Through this relationship, IHRL exerts a centripetal doctrinal pull on all levels of public policy. This article explains the implications of IHRL’s unique role in world public order for its interaction with the municipal laws and policies of states. It develops a theory of regime interaction between IHRL and municipal law, tracing the influence of IHRL on good governance to four of its features that constrain government decision making. It concludes with a discussion of the implications of the theories developed in the article for domestic legislation and policy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)