FOUNDATION: Unit VI. International Implementation, Monitoring, and Enforcement 6 of 11

International Tribunals

The resolutions of the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly have a certain value for promoting and developing human rights norms. And the observations, views, and comments of the various treaty-based monitoring committees have a certain value as authoritative interpretations on the precise meaning of certain legal obligations in relevant treaties, but they don’t constitute immediate international law. These resolutions and observations are non-judicial or non-legal instruments for international human rights implementation and monitoring.

Erik Mose, President of the International
Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 2004

Rulings of international tribunals are different. They make judgments that are legally binding. A tribunal can rule that a certain state has violated international law and can hold that state or person accountable under international law.

When a tribunal issues a ruling, it generally makes a pronouncement as to whether a person or state is in violation of international law. International tribunals include:

Should there be one ruling body to enforce all international treaties? How should members be selected to this body?

Is international respect for human rights a utopian idea?

United Nations: International Law