12 Tex. Int'l L. J. 129 (1977)
The Human Rights Law of the Charter

handle is hein.journals/tilj12 and id is 135 raw text is: The Human Rights Law of the Charter
Louis B. SoHN*
I. THE CHARTER OF THE.UNITED NATIONS
The Charter of the United Nations presents a radical departure from pre-
vious approaches to the international protection of human rights. For some
3,000 years the concern of the international community was restricted to the
treatment of foreigners, and various procedures were devised for dealing with
claims of a citizen of one country against another country for wrongs suffered
in the territory of the second country, or due to violations of international
law by its officials, citizens or inhabitants.' Only a hundred years ago, the
international community expressed its interest in the fate of minorities in
limited areas of Europe, and in the fate of people inhabiting certain parts
of Africa.2
The League of Nations established special regimes for the protection of
minorities in a few countries of Eastern and Southern Europe and the Middle
East,8 and for the promotion of the well-being of inhabitants of territories
under mandate,4 but suggestions to broaden the system to other countries re-
ceived practically no support.5 The climate changed completely during the
Second World War, when totalitarian regimes not only grossly violated human
rights both at home and in occupied territories but also practiced wholesale
extermination of groups of people because of their race, nationality or reli-
gion.6 Thus one of the basic goals of the United Nations became the preser-
vation of human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other
lands.7
While various drafts of an international bill of human rights were prepared
during the war, the San Francisco Conference did not find time to discuss
* Bemis Professor of International Law, Harvard Law School.
1. L. SoHN & T. BuERGENTHAL, INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION OF HtMAN RIGHTS 23-
96 (1973).
2. C. MACARTNEY, NATIONAL STATES AND NATIONAL MINORITIES 157-75 (1934);
Q. WRIGHT, MANDATES UNDER THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 15-23 (1930).
3. P. DE AZCARATE, LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND NATIONAL MINORITIES 92-136
(1945).
4. H. HALL, MANDATES, DEPENDENCIES AND TRUSTEESHIP 165-233 (1948).
5. R. CLAUio_ NATIONAL MINORmTES: AN INTERNATIONAL   PROBLEM   31-50
(1955).
6. Sohn, A Short History of United Nations Documents on Human Rights, in
COMMISSION TO STUDY THE ORGANIZATION OF PEACE, THE UNITED NATIONS AND HUMAN
RIGHrs 37, 44-56 (1968).
7. Declaration by United Nations, Jan. 1, 1942 reproduced at U.S. DEPARTMENT
OF STATE, 1 FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1942 at 25-26 (1943).
8. See, e.g., H. LAUTERPACHT, AN INTERNATIONAL BIL OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN 69-

What Is HeinOnline?

With comprehensive coverage of government documents and more than 2,400 journals from inception on hundreds of subjects such as political science, criminal justice, and human rights, HeinOnline is an affordable option for colleges and universities. Documents have the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?