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Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 12 No 1 (2010)

Statements of the Chinese Government before Human Rights Treaty Bodies: Doctrine and Practice of Treaty Implementation

Björn Ahl studied Law and Chinese language at Heidelberg University and at Nanjing University. He obtained a Dr. iur. from Heidelberg University. He is Visiting Professor of Chinese Law, Comparative Public Law and International Law, China-EU School of Law, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing.

This article explores the implementation of human rights treaties in China on the basis of statements that were made by the PRC government before human rights treaty bodies. The analysis of government statements differentiates between statements representing an ‘internationalist’ position and those standing for a ‘realist’ approach. The study reveals the inconsistencies and incoherencies of the position on international human rights law as presented by the official statements before international treaty bodies. It also explains the gradual change from the internationalist to the realist position by introducing relevant Chinese academic discourses and presenting the political and philosophical underpinnings of official statements and scholarly commentary. Although human rights treaties become part of the national legal system, courts do not apply human rights treaties directly. International human rights obligations are only implemented by way of specific legislative acts.

(2010) 12(1) Asian Law 82

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