The International Journal of Human Rights Call for Papers

Special Issue: Peremptory International Legal Norms and the Democratic Rule of Law

The International Journal of Human Rights

The International Journal of Human Rights invites submissions for its special issue on Peremptory International Legal Norms and the Democratic Rule of Law.

This special issue inquires into what are the risks to the democratic State inherent in the attempt to divorce the notion of the democratic rule of law from respect for and adherence to peremptory international legal norms (customary and jus cogens law) that set out various of the most fundamental of human rights including but not limited to the right to respect for one’s human dignity and security of the person psychologically and physically.

Papers would be welcomed addressing with specific case examples in what ways the democratic rule of law within one or more democratic States is currently under siege through those States acquiescing to the erosion of customary and jus cogens legal norms domestically and/or internationally.

The special issue volume addresses the question of in what way democratic State acquiescence to the degradation of specific customary and/or jus cogens law (i.e the degrading treatment of asylum seekers; the torture of suspected or convicted terrorists by agents of the State in an effort to extract intelligence or the handing over of such accused to allies who will commit torture etc) disrupts the investment within the State in the shared culture of core values that underlie the democratic rule of law .

Consider the pre-eminent place that the notions of a ‘law of civilized nations’ and respect for human rights hold in considering what constitutes the democratic rule of law itself. A particularized example is found for instance in the European Convention at Article 7(2) which requires interpreting a principle of human rights law and democratic rule of law first and foremost through the lens of peremptory norms.

As a consequence then, Article 7(2) of the European Convention precludes holding as non-prosecutable at a later date an act that was not necessarily expressly articulated as a crime under the domestic criminal code at the time it was perpetrated but which violated a peremptory norm.

That is, under the Convention such conduct is to be considered a crime and retroactivity held not implicated as it is considered that the perpetrators knew or reasonably should have known that their conduct at the time it occurred violated "the general principles of law recognised by civilised nations"(customary and/or jus cogens law).

Submission Instructions

Papers should be submitted through ScholarOne here.

When submitting, please select this special issue: Peremptory International Legal Norms and the Democratic Rule of Law

Please submit manuscripts no later than 30 April, 2018.

Guidelines: Articles should be no more than 8000 words including footnotes and should conform to IJHR’s style and referencing guidelines.

Please send the guest editor Dr S. Grover notice as soon as possible of your intent to submit a paper .

Her email is If you experience any difficulties in submitting the completed manuscript to the journal online please send your paper directly to Dr Grover at the aforementioned email address and she will arrange for review

Editorial information