2001 N.Z. L. Rev. 125 (2001)
Intention and Effect: The Legal Status of the Final Views of the Human Rights Committee

handle is hein.journals/newzlndlr2001 and id is 149 raw text is: Intention and Effect:
The Legal Status of the Final Views
of the Human Rights Committee
J S DAv[DSON*
States party to the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights recognise the competence of the
United  Nations Human     Rights Committee to    receive
communications from individuals who claim that their rights have
been violated. Although the final views of the Committee are often
invoked in support of litigation under bills of rights in various
countries, the legal status of these views has received little
attention. It was initially accepted that the Committee's final views
were not legally binding. However, the Committee has asserted a
greater legal status for its views, and has explicitly declared them
to be legally binding. Scott Davidson expresses reservations about
this development, suggesting that it is unlikely to command the
support of all states parties to the ICCPR given the Committee's
current composition, procedures, and resource base. Regardless
of the legal status of the Committee's views, however, it will be
politically difficult to argue that they are not technically binding.
The easiest means of avoiding difficulties concerning legal status
of the decisions of the Committee is to promote vigorous debate
about human rights within New Zealand, and for all of the branches
of government to take their human rights responsibilities seriously.
This article is based on a paper delivered at the Legal Research
Foundation's conference Liberty, Equality, Community:
Constitutional Rights in Conflict? (Auckland, 1999). It will also
be published in a book of essays entitled: Litigating Rights:
Perspectives from Domestic and International Law (Huscroft and
Rishworth (eds), Oxford: Hart Publishing, forthcoming).

* School of Law, the University of Hull.

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