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Section 5 or Article 17 (Rights of the Family) may require some changes in federal statutes, particularly those dealing with the District of Columbia, with regard to the treatment as to interstate inheritance for children born out of wedlock and those born in wedlock.
Section 8 of Article 22 (Freedom of Movement and Residence) may require slight changes in present procedures for the deportation of undesirable aliens. It does not contain the exceptions found in Article 33(2) of the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (to which the U.S. is a Party), i.e., with regard to a person dangerous to the security of the country he is in, and a person convicted of a serious crime who is a danger to the community of that country.
These are the problem areas that may require changes or reservations for the United States to ratify the Convention. It may well be that the U.S. Senate will consider some reservations unnecessary or it may consider that other provisions require reservations. In either case, such reservations as are necessary can be made.
ADVANTAGES OF THE CONVENTION John Locke, the political writer who probably had as great an influence on the Founding Fathers of the United States as any other, considered that people contracted to form a government but in doing so reserved onto themselves certain inalienable rights to life, liberty and property. Locke's emphasis on people reserving rights and government possessing only limited powers found expression in 1776 in the American Declaration of Independence and in the Virginia Declaration of Rights and later in the Bill of Rights of the United States.
The concept of people with inalienable rights and government of limited powers in Anglo-America conflicted with notions of absolute sovereignty on the continent of Europe. At the international level, Anglo-American political ideas came to naught and everywhere the individual's status was that of a mere object of international law. The effect on U.S. citizens was minimal since few citizens traveled to foreign lands. Today, millions do so and there is need to protect their rights beyond our borders. In this hemisphere, gunboat diplomacy cannot be the solution in the 1970's.
Almost a century has passed since the independent countries of this hemisphere agreed to establish the International Union of American Republics, the precursor to the Organization of American States. Common historical experiences, common values and a geographic unity have been the keystones of the Inter-American System, the oldest and most successful regional organization in existence.
By virtue of its size, population, and wealth, the United States is frequently regarded as the leader of the Inter-American System. It should certainly assert that leadership by signing and ratifying the American Convention on Human Rights which has been urged by the Latin American countries and which represents essentially, the affirmation of fundamental U.S. political ideas on a hemispheric basis.
There are no fundamental constitutional questions involved in U.S. ratification; a new body of law will not be imposed on our courts; nor will traditional federal-state relations be adversely affected to the detriment of the states.
There is pressing need for expanding respect for law and the individual beyond our horders. The West Europeans have taken the lead with the entry into force of the European Convention on Human Rights (it was they who experienced the Nazi horror). The States of this hemisphere should follow their lead by ratifying the American Convention on Human Rights.
Americans can feel a little freer and a little more personally secure when they travel to Western Europe because of the standards of personal liberty set forth in the European Convention on Human Rights. Such standards for the Western Hemisphere are equally desirable.
As a leader of the hemisphere, prompt action by the United States could advance the entry into force of the American Convention by several years. Latin American States are notoriously slow in ratifying Inter-American treaties and they often await the lead of the United States. The American Convention on Human Rights, as a key treaty of the OAS, may enter into force even if the United States does not ratify it, but it could be delayed as late as 1980 or beyond. Latin Americans would particularly welcome U.S. ratification as a sign of our respect for the Inter-American principles of non-intervention and the rule of law in the redress of grievances.
The United States should sign the Convention at an early date without reservations but should indicate in a separate statement that some reservations with respect to the Convention may be proposed and may be expected to be adopted by the U.S. Senate in connection with its constitutional role of giving advice and consent to the ratification of treaties. U.S. signature and ratification of the American Convention on Human Rights would be in the long-range interest of the people of the United States and of this hemisphere.
3 John Locke, "Concerning Civil Government, Second Essay," Chaps. IV and V.
Submitted as of September 18, 1973 by Working Group on the American Convention on Human Rights,
DONALD T. Fox,
WALTER J. LANDRY, Chairman. Senator PELL. I thank you very much.
WORK OF HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE
Justice Newman, how would you describe the Human Rights Committee's work to date? Has it been subject to the same political pressures, the 77, et cetera, that other bodies in the United Nations have been subject to?
Justice NEWMAN. I think it has already shown that it is more independent than most of the existing agencies.
Now I am not familiar with the whole of the operations of the United Nations by any means, but I have watched closely the work of the Commission on Human Rights where Government delegates sit, and the work of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, where independent experts sit.
As you might imagine, there is considerable argument as to how independent and how expert those independent experts are. But there is just no question that they run a better shop in the subcommission, as independent experts-no matter how independent or how expertthan the Commission on Human Rights itself, or so I think, if we are concerned about whether we help people. We make much greater progress, in my opinion, in the subcommission on helping people than we do in the commission.
So far it seems to me that the Committee on Human Rights really has established quite a remarkable record, and the Racial Committee perhaps even a better record because it has had more time to assert its independence in varying ways. Of course, in the long run, that will be how we can gain most, where the people who attend those meetings are not getting cables all day long telling them how to vote, which happens with respect to the meetings where Government delegates are the ones who do the voting.
So I have great hopes for that committee. I think already in this very limited time it has shown that it may go faster than the Racial Committee did, even though it went very fast, given United Nations tradition.
RATIFICATION WOULD LEAD TO IMPROPER INTERNATIONAL SCRUTINY
Senator PELL. I know there are some who are worried that by ratifying these treaties we would submit ourselves to improper international scrutiny or that Americans abroad would be subject to antidemocratic provisions of the covenants.
Personally, I do not think there is much substance to these accusations. What are your own views about this?
Justice NEWMAN. I have always thought it was bizarre, that, giren our traditions of free speech and free press and our vigorous legislative tradition, particularly in the Congress, we hesitate to tell the whole
world about our problems over here with respect to civil liberties and civil rights. We have a lot of them. They are on television and the Information Service does not hesitate to broadcast them abroad, to announce to everyone: Sure, we have some problems; but we are trying to work on them. Yet this is except in the United Nations. I don't know enough about the Organization of American States, the Common Market, or other institutions to which we may belong. But in the United Nations it really has been embarrassing for me, a citizen, that the whole approach of most of our representatives seems to have been, oh, well, we never mention anything that is wrong with America if we are in a United Nations meeting. Those who meet are the same people who have been watching television, reading the New York Times and the Washington Post and so on; and they know all about the problems we have in the areas of civil liberties and civil rights.
Frankly, I should think our representatives would welcome the opportunity to give an honest explanation of some of our very tough problems. It might be a refreshing precedent for some of the other nations which think they can get away with old fashioned approaches to explaining what ought to be explained.
Senator PELL. Mr. Landry, in connection with the International Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica, when did that first convene?
Mr. LANDRY The Inter-American Court of Human Rights or the International Court?
Senator Pell. The International Court.
Mr. LANDRY. Well, it is my understanding that the international covenant just recently came into force in the last couple of years.
Senator PELL. Yes. It is meeting in Costa Rica.
As you know, the International Court of Human Rights was set up under these covenants. Are you familiar with it?
Mr. LANDRY. I am really not that expert on the international covenants. I am very familiar with all aspects of the American Convention. I am not as expert on the international covenants, Senator Pell.
Senator PELL. I was just trying to fill out the record a bit about the caseload and the work of the new International Court of Human Rights, which has just gotten underway.
APPROVAL OF RATIFICATION OF THREE UNITED NATION TREATIES
Do you approve of the ratification of the three United Nations treaties as well as the one on which you testified, then?
Mr. LANDRY. With respect to the three United Nations treaties, I am not sure whether, if I were a Senator, I would ratify them or not. I do not think they have much teeth in them. I don't know that they are that meaningful in terms of enforceable law, in terms of anything over and above a declaration of human rights. I am not sure they are terribly meaningful. So I am not sure whether or not I would support them.
I am not here to oppose them in any way. I am merely trying to provide some enlightenment on the American Convention.
I would prefer to have law that is enforceable if we are to make progress in the field of human rights. This is my general thrust. I think that the European Convention on Human Rights has been a very good document, and the procedures and the enforceability of that document I think have served the nations of Western Europe
I would like to see at least this take place in the Western Hemisphere. In terms of a worldwide system for the protection of human rights, I do not know if the world has arrived at enough of a consensus, really, to have a very meaningful worldwide system of human rights at this time.
Senator PELL. My recollection of your opening statement is that you oppose the three United Nations treaties. Now you say that you do not oppose them, that you do not have a strong view on them one way or the other.
Mr. LANDRY. I did not oppose them. I merely stated that there were many more problems with the United Nations treaties in terms of American law and in terms of the American system of government and the Western tradition. There are more problems with the United Nations treaties than there are with the American Convention.
I did not specifically oppose them. As I said, I do not have any strong feeling on them. There are a number of factors to be considered in terms of whether these treaties should be ratified or not. In terms of the American Convention, I do support very strongly ratification of that treaty.
Senator PELL. I believe I erred earlier when I referred to the International Court of Human Rights. I meant to say the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights meeting in Costa Rica.
Mr. LANDRY. I thought so, Senator, and was confused by your statement.
Senator PELL. That was my mistake.
Now let me ask you if you are familiar with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights?
Mr. LANDRY. It just has been instituted and is only now getting cranked up.
Senator Pell. Has it had any cases yet?
As you know, the International Court of Justice at the Hague has had a very light caseload over the years.
Mr. LANDRY. I don't think the Inter-American Court of Human Rights will have that big a caseload either for a number of years to come because you have to completely exhaust your domestic remedies under the American Convention before coming to the court. Most cases will be resolved before they get to the court. So I do not anticipate a very large caseload for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights either.
Senator PELL. How many justices will there be on it?
Mr. LANDRY. They are named by the Organization of American States. No country may have more than one justice.
Senator PELL. What would be their relationship with the ICJ?
Senator Pell. What would its relationship be with the International Court of Justice?
Mr. LANDRY. They will be dealing with different bodies of law. The OAS, as you know, is considered a regional organization under the United Nations system. This treaty is a Western Hemisphere treaty. I do not think that matters which the Inter-American Court of Human Rights considers are reviewable or appealable to the ICJ. I do not believe that would be the case.
Senator PELL. I think you are right. So far, as you know, only Costa Rica has accepted the jurisdiction of the court.
Mr. LANDRY. That's right. In fact, adherence to the court at this time has not been suggested by the President's message.
Senator PELL. Only Costa Rica adheres so far.
Mr. LANDRY. Right. I think eventually we should accept the jurisdiction of the court. Again, I think we should move toward a viable, enforceable hemispheric human rights system, such as is present in Western Europe.
Senator PELL. I would agree. I thank you both very much for being with us. Justice Newman, Mr. Landry, we appreciate your appearance here.
Justice Newman, it is very good to see you again after all these years.
Mr. Landry, good luck to you.
Our next panel will consist of Dean Norman Redlich, from the New York University Law School representing Freedom House; Mr. Leonard Sussman, the executive director of Freedom House will be accompanying Mr. Redlich. Also appearing will be Mr. John Carey, representing the Helsinki Watch Committee; Mr. Morton Sklar, chairman of the Washington office of the Helsinki Watch Committee; and Mr. Harry Inman, member of the Advisory Board of the International Human Rights Law Group.
Gentlemen, I don't know which of you would care to begin first. Dean Redlich, you are first on our agenda, so why don't you begin?
First, Senator Javits, do you have a statement?
I want to be here before Dean Redlich's presentation so that I can introduce him to the committee. He is the dean of the law school from which I myself graduated. He is one of our most distinguished educators in the field of the law in New York.
It is a great pleasure to have you with us today, Dean Redlich.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF DEAN NORMAN REDLICH Norman Redlich, as a member of the Board of Trustees of Freedom House, conducted that organization's year-long study of the four International Covenants on Human Rights now before the U.S. Senate.
Dr. Redlich for the past 4 years has been Dean of the School of Law of New York University. He teaches Constitutional Law.
He was Corporation Counsel for the City of New York for 2 years ending in 1974.
Earlier, in addition to teaching law, Dean Redlich was assistant counsel to the Presidential Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (1963–64).