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15 The Alvarez Case and the Rule of Law

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is based on the lecture on Alvarez case and the rule of law, which author gave in Joan's honor. Joan Fitzpatrick and author worked together for twenty years trying to convince U.S. courts to enforce, or at least pay attention to, international human rights law. They embarked on this campaign because of a shared conviction that adherence to the rule of law, even in times of crisis, was crucial to the achievement of global justice and of a just role for the United States in community of nations. They worked on these cases and issues because they thought that if U.S. courts would enforce international human rights norms, there would be a real impact on lives of human rights victims, and perhaps fewer people would actually become victims. They took Alvarez case as a test of whether the judiciary would respond to a clear violation of international law.

Keywords: Alvarez case; human rights victims; international human rights law; international law; Joan Fitzpatrick; rule of law; U.S. courts



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