The individual in the process of international human rights law : a value oriented policy.
This thesis evaluatesth e individual's role in the protection of internationalh uman rights.
It argues that by conceptualizing international human rights law as a process that includes
individuals as full participants we, as world society, can develop more effective strategies for
achieving respect for human dignity. The study examines how current theories and policies of
international human rights law attempt to achieve the policy goals of a modem world society,
especially the goals related to human dignity. It does this by reviewing practices relevant to the
achievement of human dignity.
Part I is devoted to defining the problem, method and concepts that form the foundation
of this study. In the introduction the problem is defined and in the two subsequent chapters
process and participation are described.
In the second part four chapters are devoted to examining past trends in specific areas
of international human rights law. Both claims and authoritative decisions are described. The
four chapters examine past trends in the areas of. (1) theories about the status of the individual
under international law; (2) the individual's procedural capacity under international human rights
law; (3) the ability of individuals to influence the creation and implementation of international
human rights law by the exercise of individual human rights; and (4) individual responsibility
for ensuring respect for international human rights law.
The thesis of the study comest o sevene ssentialc onclusions. First, becauseh uman rights
reflect individuals' values, the individual must be actively involved in their prescription,
interpretation, application and evaluation. Second, historically there is adequate evidence to
suggestt hat individuals have played a leading role in each of thesep rocessesa t different times
during the development of international law. Third, a project to determine the optimal
participatory role of the individual must consider at least the four areas of past trends dealt with
in this study, to wit, theory, procedural capacity, rights and responsibilities. Fourth, the theory
of international law should take into account the individual as a full participant in all processes
related to the achievement of human values, especially international human rights law. Fifth,
this theory should be reflected by enhancing the procedural capacity of the individual in
internationalf orums. Sixth, this should be accompaniedb y the recognition of individual rights
to act contrary to the laws and policies that are contrary to the achievement of values of human
dignity. And seventh, the duty to respect others' human rights, both by not interfering with
others' freedoms and by taking positive steps to ensure others! enjoyment of human rights, is an
essentialf eatureo f a society wherein humanr ights are respecteda nd ensured. In essencet,h ese
conclusions indicate that international human rights law, both in theory and in practice must reassert
the priority of the individual that it has tended to neglect since the arrival of the nationstate
on the world stage.