This essay assesses how the prohibition of discrimination is understood in contemporary international human rights law. The essay aims to determine whether human rights bodies apply coherent theories when deciding which distinctions are permitted and which are invidious. The essay begins by surveying the provisions of human rights instruments such as the U.N. Charter that call for non-discrimination and equality. Next, the essay examines the jurisprudence of international tribunals and monitoring bodies, including judgments, advisory opinions, general comments, and observations on state periodic reports. The conclusion draws from this body of law a general approach to discrimination in international human rights law.
GW Paper Series
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-58; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2013-58
Dinah Shelton, Prohibited Discrimination in International Law, in THE DIVERSITY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW: ESSAYS IN HONOUR OF PROFESSOR KALLIOPI K. KOUFA 261 (Aristotle Constantinides & Nikos Zaikos eds., 2009).