The Transnational Human Rights Review

Document Type


English Abstract

Regional human rights regimes complement national systems, which sometimes suffer from "[i]nept, inefficient, underresourced, or iniquitous governments incapable of, or perhaps even opposed to, assisting citizens' realization of their human rights". Regional systems also complement the global system, which often is problematic in achieving consensus due to multiplicity of states and the absence of homogeneity. "As far as their processes are concerned", notes Sarkin, "regional systems for many reasons are more accessible, cheaper for litigants, and more effective in the work they do than international courts". However, the national, regional and international regimes all share a common goal in protecting the fundamental values that human rights embody: dignity, respect, liberty, equality, freedom, justice, non-discrimination, et al. Protecting these values entail mutual commitment among the global community, which explains why human rights give rise to ergaomnes obligations, as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) explained in Barcelona Tracton, Light and Power Co Ltd (Belg v Spain).