Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



The past two decades of international legal history have been characterized by an increased emphasis upon the importance of the individual as a proper subject of international law. Revolutionary changes have occurred in the area of human rights with the completion of various declarations, covenants, and conventions aimed at the preservation of specific rights within a framework of international law. The continuing importance and relevance of this general subject was symbolized by the designation of 1968 as the International Year for Human Rights in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This paper examines the general subject of individual rights and duties in international law and, specifically, seeks to determine the constitutional ability of the United States to participate effectively in the application of these international legal rules by ratification of human rights treaties.