Human rights treaty-making and implementation pose special
challenges for federal states. The unique quality of human rightsinherent,
universal, urgent, and compelling-and the existence of
entrenched domestic rights-protecting instruments give rise to
complexities that distinguish these treaties from their international
counterparts. Of particular and problematic significance for federal states is
the fact that human rights treaties "made" by the national government
often implicate the relationship between the individual and the sub-unit
government, requiring substantive compliance at the local level. In Canada
and the United States, the distinctive nature of human rights has colored
the process of treaty-making and implementation, posing delicate legal,
political, and practical questions about the division of powers in these
federal states. In response to these challenges, Canada has worked to
resolve the apparent tension between its federal structure and international
human rights law, while the United States
Bell, Koren L.
"From Laggard to Leader: Canadian Lessons on a Role for U.S. States in Making and Implementing Human Rights Treaties,"
Yale Human Rights and Development Journal:
1, Article 8.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol5/iss1/8