human rights, United Nations, Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, state rights, emergency, international law, discrimination
Is there any such thing as an absolute human right? Part of the answer to this question will be found in article 4 of the United Nations' Convenant on Civil and Political Rights. The article says in part that "in time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation ... the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligation under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation ... " Similar provisions will be found in regional conventions on the human rights.
John P. Humphrey, "Rule of Law in a State of Emergency" (1990) 13:2 Dal LJ 846.