National Rights, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law

  • Jeremy T. Paltiel


Sovereignty is closely bound to the rule of law. Domestically, it is a logical prerequisite for the supremacy of law.1 Internationally, it is the legal category for the establishment of a state system.

[I]f sovereign authorities are to conclude agreements, they must recognize each other as sovereign, since no authority higher than the state exists, without recognition there would be no possibility of securing a legal settlement of the inter-state problem at all. Secondly, it follows from the nature of the settlement between authorities whose claim to a monopoly of jurisdiction within the state is recognized by their peers, that any agreement between them will either have to be self-policing, or it will have to rely on policing by separate parties themselves. The former would require the settlement to be so securely based on reciprocal self-interest of the parties that there would be no incentive to break it; the latter that the failure to enforce the agreement would risk reprisals if not its total breakdown.2


Cultural Revolution Legal Norm Legal Person Legal Reform Chinese State 
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© Jeremy T. Paltiel 2007

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  • Jeremy T. Paltiel

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