21 Va. J. Int'l L. 55 (1980-1981)
Beyond Helsinki: The Soviet View of Human Rights in International Law

handle is hein.journals/vajint21 and id is 67 raw text is: Beyond Helsinki: The Soviet View of
Human Rights In International Law
RICHARD N. DEAN*
Since the close of the Conference on Security and Co-operation
in Europe held in Helsinki in 1973 (Helsinki Conference),1 a seri-
ous East-West debate has emerged over the proper measure of pro-
gress toward full implementation of the Conference's Final Act.2
Western nations, particularly the United States, have sought to
emphasize the provisions of the Final Act dealing with human
rights and have used these provisions to criticize Soviet treatment
of dissidents. The Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies
have attempted to focus discussions on the sections of the Final
Act which call for progress toward strengthening peace and pro-
moting cooperation on the European continent. These divergent
purposes were evident at the beginning of the Helsinki Conference
in 1973 and crystallized at the first follow-up conference at Bel-
grade in 1977-78.3
* Associate, Coudert Brothers, New York; B.A., 1977, Vanderbilt University; M.A., 1980,
University of Virginia; J.D., 1980, University of Virginia School of Law. The author wishes
to thank Professor Paul B. Stephan III of the University of Virginia School of Law, Profes-
sor Paul S. Shoup of the Woodrow Wilson Department of Government and Foreign Affairs
of the University of Virginia, and Major Eugene D. Fryer of the United States Army Judge
Advocate General School, Charlottesville, Virginia, for their assistance in the preparation of
this article.
1. Delegates from 33 European countries, the United States, and Canada met in Helsinki
in July 1973. For a comprehensive description of the background of the Helsinki Confer-
ence, see Russell, The Helsinki Declaration: Brobdingnag or Lilliput?, 70 AM. J. INT'L L.
242 (1976). See generally notes 140-44 infra & accompanying text.
2. Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, reprinted in 14
INT'L LEGAL MATERIALS 1292 (1975) [hereinafter cited as Final Act].
3. See Concluding Document of the Belgrade Meeting 1977 of Representatives of the Par-
ticipating States of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, adopted Mar.
8, 1978, reprinted in 17 INT'L LEGAL MATERIALS 1265 (1978) [hereinafter cited as Belgrade
Statement]. Compare Belgrade Statement, supra, with Proposal Submitted by the Dele-
gation of the USSR, Draft Concluding Document of the Belgrade Meeting, reprinted in 17
INT'L LEGAL MATERIALS 1216 (1978), and Proposal Submitted by the Delegations of
Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy,
Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of
America Concerning the Concluding Document of the Belgrade Meeting 1977, reprinted in
17 INT'L LEGAL MATERIALS 1247 (1978). The signatories of the Final Act agreed to reconvene

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