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The General Right to Privacy as a Norm of International Law

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Chapter Summary

The international community often intervenes when it is clear that the individual state falls short in providing adequate measures to protect its citizens. As a general right, the right to privacy has been widely recognized by both the international community and the individual national legal systems. Examples of international treaties include the United Nations Charter and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The principal international instruments produced by the United Nations enunciate rights and freedoms that may be characterized as privacy rights. Treaties carry a perceived legitimacy that comes from being negotiated and their nature as explicit norms accepted by the State parties. Two elements must be present for a principle or rule of customary international law to exist: state practice as proof of custom, and opinio juris. Customary international human rights law prohibits globally deplored human rights violations and consistent patterns of gross human rights violations.

Keywords:customary international law; law of treaties; privacy rights; United NationsCharter; Vienna Convention



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