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The rights of minorities are becoming increasingly important, especially in the context of enlargement of the European Union, yet there are remarkably few treaties dealing with minority rights under international law. One of these is the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. This volume provides the first expert commentary on the Convention, which is the principal international document establishing minority rights in a legally binding way. Many minority rights such as those to political participation, non-assimilation, and the use of native languages are not incorporated in other major Human Rights agreements. The Convention is therefore often taken to be the leading standard in the international law of minority rights.
This commentary offers a detailed article-by-article analysis of the Convention, by a group of international legal experts in minority rights. Their commentary draws upon the Convcention's negotiating history and implementation practice, in addition to examining the pronouncements of the Advisory Committee, which is the implementation body attached to the treaty. It offers a clear sense of the concrete meaning of the provisions of the Convention to scholars, students, and members of minority rights groups.