11 Cal. W. Int'l L.J. 479 (1981)
The Soviet Union and Human Rights Legislation: The Shcharansky Case

handle is hein.journals/calwi11 and id is 489 raw text is: THE SOVIET UNION AND HUMAN RIGHTS
LEGISLATION: THE SHCHARANSKY CASE*
GER P. VAN DEN BERG** and WILLIAM B. SIMONS***
The international legal protection of human rights has devel-
oped considerably since the promulgation of the Charter of the
United Nations and, more especially, the 1948 Universal Declara-
tion of Human Rights.
Several international conventions for the protection of human
rights have been drawn up - one of the most important of which is
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of Decem-
ber 19, 1966 (hereinafter referred to as: Covenant). The Covenant
was ratified by the Soviet Union and entered into force on March
23, 1976.' Another important document in this field is the 1975
Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation
in Europe (hereinafter referred to as: Helsinki Final Act), to which
the Soviet Union is a signatory. It was also in the 1970's that a
Soviet Mathematical Engineer, Anatoly Shcharansky, embarked
upon a course of action which eventually put him in conflict with
the Soviet state apparatus; a conflict which has been painted in dif-
ferent lights by different people.
Shcharansky (who was born in 1949) submitted his first appli-
cation for an exit visa to emigrate tolIsrael in 1973. The refusal of
the responsible Soviet authorities (in this case O VIR, the Depart-
* This article is based on a memorandum prepared for the Emergency Conference on
Shcharansky which was held in the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel on May 12 and 13, 1980. The
Conference was heard by a panel of distinguished citizens from several countries: Lord
Avebury (London), Ramsey Clark (New York), Robert F. Drinan (Washington, D.C.),
George Fernandes (New Delhi), Charles Hanin (Brussels), Michel Rocard (Paris), Bayard
Rustin (New York), Mario Soares (Lisbon), Joop den Uyl (The Hague), and Andrew Young
(Washington, D.C.). In preparing the present article, use has been made of the testimony
delivered at this Conference.
** LL.D. 1977, University of Leyden; Senior Legal Research Officer, Documentation
Office for East European Law, University of Leyden.
*** J.D. 1974, University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A. 1974, Norwich University Rus-
sian School; Legal Research Officer, Documentation Office for East European Law, Univer-
sity of Leyden. (Hugo de Grootstrat, 32, 2311 XK Leyden, The Netherlands).
1. See the Act of Ratification in VEDOMOSTI VERKHOVNOOO SOVETA SSSR No. 17,
ITEM 291 (1976) [THE OFFICIAL GAZETrE OF THE SUPREME SOVIET OF THE USSR] [herein-
after cited as SUPREME SOVIET GAZETTE].

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