International Human Rights Law


International human rights law is the legal body of rules and regulations designed to promote and protect human rights at international, regional, and domestic levels. Human rights, on the other hand, are the freedoms and rights people are entitled to. These human rights include the right to live, the right to speech, freedom of worship among others. This discussion will tackle on one of the cases that international human rights law protects, the right against discrimination.

Case Study

Our study will be a domestic issue based on an African-American family whose father died leaving a will for his four children among which are two brothers and two sisters aged between 23-35 years. Apparently, the ladies have also inherited a share of a piece of land in their father’s land according to the will left behind. However, the men claim that the ladies culturally have no right to inherit anything, and especially the land in their father’s place because they are married off. Thus, all they got to legally have and inherit is their husband’s wealth.

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The international human rights law, the basic rights and freedoms to which all human beings are entitled; however, states clearly that “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth, irrespective of his sex, race, color, social origin, property, birth among other status as illustrated in article 2 of the universal declaration of human rights. The declaration of 1948 states in article 27 that “ everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be deprived of his property by all means according to the law.

Therefore, this shows that the two sisters have equal opportunities of owning land and property equally as the brothers because that was their father’s dying wish. In addition, they are protected by the law against sex discrimination as well as protection by their right to own property including land individually or in the association with others. The court of appeal had a problem deciding on the verdict of this case after it realized that the ladies had gone through torture, enslavement, and violence from their brothers with an incitement by their elders and other old folks of their region who thought this as a taboo. Thus, the brothers argued that they were fulfilling what the law of their land demands, fighting for what is rightfully theirs as in Article 27 that states “ Everyone has the right to freely  be involved and participate in the community's cultural life he is  a member to or rather subscribes to, the declaration of 1948.

National self-Determination/Recognition

Evidently, this case between siblings is a very sensitive and tricky one. Basically, it is sibling rivalry that has probably caused or developed in their adult life by external forces such as the community of people around them. Moreover, it is wealth that they all have not worked for, rather a gift of inheritance by their father. To come to a common understanding requires a better view of these two points by the two parties. Otherwise, one has to win, and if the competitive heart of self-recognition takes base/root of their case, then the rivalry will widen instead of reducing to a point of peace and love in the family. The men here want to be known to be the head while the ladies are fighting for equality and equity; their right. The only solution to resolving this domestic dispute will be by putting down self-determination and accepting to be family.

Human Rights

As noted earlier in our case, these two parties are after their human rights. One party, the right to own property and wealth wherever and whenever while the other the right to participate in cultural activities and customs, which in this case requires the girl child to inherit nothing in her father’s home. Rather, only what belongs to her husband. Therefore, it is important that the two groups understand where the weight lies and take a step in forgiving each other of past misunderstanding that has definitely been created by the community around them. The men, for instance, need to understand the will was not written by the elders of the community they are in, but by their father who loved them all equally and went ahead to publicly illustrate this through the equal share of his property and wealth.

Use of Force

The brothers under the influence of the people around them forgot they are humane, as well as the family background that includes the former love and peace in the family, and instead became violent and brutal in their dealing with their situation. Use of force will neither bring their father back to give his reasons for sharing his wealth as he did not do nor will it change a thing in the will. The declaration of 1948, indicate that they need to know and accept the fact that the sisters are watchful and not ready to let them get their way out of sheer greed, rather they are ready to fight for what rightfully belong to them. With this understanding, violence and force will no longer be needed.

International Criminal Law

As the name suggests, international criminal law is a subset body of public law designed to prohibit serious atrocities among which is aggression. Domestic and international law can be complex on a procedural level and particularly in a place where the national court uses international law directly. However, it is important to note that domestic law cannot be used to justify a failure in international responsibility. Therefore, the brothers cannot base their argument on domestic law, which in this case, may be their cultural law in order to have their way and put down their sisters based on their sex.

The Basic International Principles Applicable in this Case

Public international law is basically a combination of rules and customs that govern relations between states in different fields such as human rights. According to United Nations (1948), the three fundamental principles of modern international law by the United Nations Charter are promotion of human rights, a strict limitation on the right to use force against other states, as well as a strict prohibition to acquire territory by force. The principle applicable in our case is that of promoting human rights. The sisters ought to be allowed to own land irrespective of their gender and freely wherever they are as the international law demands.


The major difficulty in resolving such a problem is when the national court uses the domestic law rather than the international law as in our case. Here, the brothers as in their national law may want to hide their greediness in the unfair cultural beliefs and customs governing them. Thus, the sisters only have a lesser witness, the international law to defend them. Therefore, it is important that the international law, which governs states making most of the world nations a subject to, take its course and defend the sisters to their rights as indicated in their father’s will.