In recent years, the United States has appeared before four different treaty bodies to defend its human rights record. The process is part of the human rights enforcement structure: each of the major universal treaties has an expert body that reviews and comments on compliance reports that states must periodically submit. What's striking about the treaty bodies' dialogues with the United States is not that they criticized it or disagreed with it on the content of certain substantive rules. (That was all expected.) It's the extent to which the two sides talked past each other. Each presumed a different set of secondary rules-rules governing how and by whom human rights law may be made, applied, and enforced -so their arguments on substance appeared irresolvable.
Secondary Human Rights Law,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol34/iss2/18