Advancing the Human Rights of Women

Using International Human Rights Standards in Domestic Litigation

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This publication contains papers presented by judges, academics, lawyers and representatives of international and non-governmental organisations at the Asia/South Pacific regional judicial colloquium for senior judges on the domestic application of international human rights norms relevant to the human rights of women. It provides an overview of the applicable international standards, examines the challenges involved in promoting the human rights of women and girls in domestic litigation, and explores the ways in which international human rights norms can be relied on in domestic litigation to achieve that goal.



The Relevance of International Standards to Domestic Litigation: the Case of New Zealand

During the course of this paper, I will examine some aspects of the way in which New Zealand, a small developed country with a strong record of adherence to human rights principles in general and support for women's human rights in particular, has responded to the challenge of compliance with international standards. New Zealand has no written constitution, and international treaties ratified by it are not self-executing. It is proud of its record in women's issues: in 1893, it was the first nation in the world to give women the vote, and later this year will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the legislation which enabled women to practice law.


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