Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2000

Abstract

America's troubled relationship with international law, in particular human rights law, is well documented. In many cases, the United States simply will not agree to be bound by international human rights treaties. For example, the United States has yet to ratify even such fundamental agreements as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. When the United States does agree to become a party to an international human rights treaty, it has often sought to condition its acceptance of international obligations on the supremacy of its domestic constitution. In the view of most other governments and experts, this kind of highly qualified ratification of human rights treaties may not be substantive ratification at all; after all, the whole point of international law is for states to agree to bring their domestic laws into compliance with international standards, not the reverse.