Option#1: ICJ 703 Discussion Board

The article by Von Stein focuses on international human rights agreements. It argues that compliance with international human rights agreements raises questions as their agreements seldom have official implementation apparatuses of their own.  To solve the mystery of human rights agreements, it is important to understand that there are two conceptually distinct concepts of democracy in this setting. Ratification by countries is deterred by the prospect of enforcement that anticipates difficulty in compliance.

The Kim/Sikkink article focuses on the accountability of past human violations of rights on individuals through domestic and international prosecutions. The justice cascade which is a new global trend has brought a firm focus on accountability. The article argues that that individual criminal accountability applies not only to civil and political rights violations but also to a small subset of political rights such as the rights of persons. The article also puts it across that in order to understand the functioning of individual accountability, the entire international system needs to be looked at.  Due to the presence of reliable data, it is possible to detect the rise of a new norm and the emergence of new practices. The justice cascade has diffused from individual countries to international systems and non-governmental organizations as it renders to be effective.

Based on the readings from the two articles, I think that the prosecution of human rights combined with amnesties may be more effective as an individual is held accountable for his or her violations against human and civil rights. This method tends to protect human rights more as necessary acts and punishments are taken upon violators. This method should be incorporated in all countries to enhance social harmony and avail justice to its members.



Sikkink, K. & Kim, H.J. (2013). The Justice Cascade: The Origins and Effectiveness of Prosecutions of Human Rights Violations. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 9 (2), 69-85. doi:10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102612-133956

von Stein, J. (2015). Making Promises, Keeping Promises: Democracy, Ratification and Compliance in International Human Rights Law. B.J.Pol.S. 46, 655–679. doi:10.1017/S0007123414000489

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