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At a time when human rights are coming under increasing pressure, in-depth knowledge and understanding of their foundations, conceptual underpinnings and current practice remain crucial. The second edition of Walter Kälin and Jörg Künzli's authoritative book provides a concise but comprehensive legal analysis of international human rights protection at the global and regional levels. It shows that human rights are real rights creating legal entitlements for those who are protected by them and imposing legal obligations on those bound by them.
Based, in particular, on a wide-ranging analysis of international case-law, the book focuses on the sources and scope of application of human rights and a discussion of their substantive guarantees. Further chapters describe the different mechanisms to monitor the implementation of human rights obligations, ranging from the regional human rights courts in Africa, the Americas and Europe and the UN treaty bodies to the international criminal tribunals, the International Court of Justice and the UN Security Council. The book is based on an understanding of human rights as legal concepts that address basic human needs and vulnerabilities, and highlights the indivisibility of civil and political rights on the one and economic, social and cultural rights on the other hand. It also highlights the convergence of international human rights and international humanitarian law and the interlinkages with international criminal law as well as general international law, in particular the law of state responsibility.