The necessity of reviewing the concept of Fundamental Human Rights as Peremptory Norms of International Law (jus cogens)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Shahid Beheshti University, School of Law

2 حقوق/دکترا/حقوق عمومی/دانشگاه سوربن فرانسه



One of the most significant sources of Public International Law is the Peremptory Norms (jus cogens); According to Article 53 of the 1969 Vienna Convention: "the Peremptory Norm of General International Law is a norm accepted and recognized by the International Community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of General International Law having the same character." Nowadays, the Famous viewpoints of lawyers are that: Fundamental Human Rights became part of the Peremptory Norms of International Law (jus cogens). According to article 4, paragraph 2 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 (ICCPR), Fundamental Human Rights are those rights, under any circumstances, States cannot violate or restrict them.

This article explains the characteristics of both categories (Peremptory Norms of International Law and Fundamental Human Rights Norms) and makes it clear that the Peremptory Norms of International Law are changeable and can be modified by a subsequent norm of General International Law having the same character, contrary to the fundamental human rights. Therefore, the relation between these two categories of norms is kind of "Generality and peculiarity in some respect" Considering the characteristics of both of them, modifying the Fundamental Human Rights into Peremptory Norms are incompatible with the nature and essence of Fundamental Human Rights. Therefore, instead of putting Fundamental Human Rights in the position of Peremptory Norms, it would be better if they were seen as their immutability position.


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