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The Politics of Domestic Implementation of International Human Rights Law

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A Case Study of Sri Lanka

Domestic application of international human rights law may encounter more serious obstacles than purely doctrinal constraints due to political factors. Sri Lanka offers an interesting case study in that regard. Once a committed democracy with high social indicators, it descended into authoritarianism and political violence a few decades after independence. This article examines the interplay between Sri Lanka’s dualist legal system and its international human rights obligations and points to how the relationship is increasingly being defined by political factors than doctrinal complexities. It argues that in such circumstances remedial action may lie more within the political arena than before legal forums.

Affiliations: 1: LL.B., LL.M. (Colombo); LL.M., J.S.D. (Cal, Berkeley) Head, Department of Law, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka


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