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The Enforcement of International Law

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Members of The United Nations have a duty “to maintain international peace…in conformity with the principles of justice and international law.”[1] China, a core member of the United Nations since its formation in 1945, fails to comply with international human rights’ norms set forth by The United Nations Charter. This failure is noticeably prevalent in the practices of the Chinese Legal System. Its judicial proceedings in handling peaceful, political dissenters fail to provide the minimum protection of human rights guaranteed to all through international law. By examining accounts of Tibetans detained for such peaceful protests, this paper will set out to highlight the discrepancies between Chinese enforcement of international law in theory and in practice. Before this paper goes any further, the notion of international law must be explained. Providing a better understanding of international law will make easier the task of highlighting China’s struggles with enforcing such standards.

“On November 21, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted resolution 174 (II), establishing the International Law Commission and approving its statute.”[2] The International Law Commission encourages the development of international law and its codification. The Commission deals primarily with public international law, but also hears private cases as well.[3] International law is applied within an international community, such as the United Nations, and functions to define the proper norms or standards for members to abide by in a collective manner. Examples of such standards could be a ruling on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights or on threats to peace within the International Community.

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...30…> (23 Feb 2003).

(21)Eckholm, Erik. “The New York Times” From a Chinese Cell, a Lama’s influence Remains Undimmed. 23 Feb 2003. www.nytimes.com (28 March 2003)

(23) “Amnesty International” People’s Republic of China: Amnesty International condemns execution of Tibetan, following unfair trial. 27 Jan 2003. <www.web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/Index/ASA170082003?OpenDocument&of=Countries/C…> (23 Feb 2003).

(27) Canada Tibet Committee. “World Tibet Network News.” 1 Jan 2003. www.tibet.ca/wtnarchive/2003/1/1_3.html (6 March 2003).

(28-32) HRIC. “HIRC” April 2000. <Www.HRIC%20--%20Report%20on%20Co…> Impunity for Torturers Continues Despite Changes in the Law: Report on Implementation of the Convention Against Torture in the People’s Republic of China. (6 April 2003).

(33) People’s Supreme Court. Chinese Criminal Procedure Law. 29 June 1999.
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