Track 3 – Convergence and divergence between national and international human rights law


This track focuses on constitutional rights protection within the context of the international human rights project

National constitutions historically embody the first legal source of rights protection. The development of universal and regional human rights instruments does, in principle, not aim at marginalizing these constitutional catalogues. Indeed, those instruments only provide for a subsidiary, minimal protection, which national constitutions are encouraged to outstrip. Coloured by the particular history and values of a given state society, the constitutional entrenchment of rights and freedoms benefits, in principle, from a greater “familiarity” within this society. It may, therefore, be assumed that such a “national Bill of Rights” ensures a more efficient rights protection in the state concerned. Notwithstanding this, the constitutional practice of some states sometimes offers a more uncertain image, thereby raising several questions. From a strictly pragmatic point of view, does the constitutional protection of rights and freedoms really “add value” to protection through international treaties that have direct effect in domestic law? Can domestic constitutional law be a locus of co-ordination and integration of a state’s multiple commitments under human rights treaties?

Track leader: prof. Sébastien Van Drooghenbroeck (USL-B):

Track 1 – Theorizing fragmentation and integration in human rights law
Track 2 – Convergence and divergence within international human rights law
Track 4 – Convergence and divergence between international human rights law and other branches of international law
Track 5 – Human rights are useless/useful

Back to conference page