Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Roger Errera

First Page



Charter 77 was published in Prague in early January, 1977. At that time the document contained 240 signatures, a number which increased by 1977 to over 600. This Charter marked the beginning of a new period in the political history of Czechoslovakia, a period of public affirmation of fundamental liberties. It is useful to recall briefly reactions to the publication of this document in the East and the West, and to analyze its profound significance. It is also important to examine the major events that have taken place since 1977 and the inspiration which Charter 77 derived from the United Nations Covenants on Human Rights and from the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.