Koren L. Bell


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