This Essay contends that popular sovereignty and the other rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) are inextricably linked. When popular sovereignty is criticized, what will become of the other rights? The principal goal of this Essay, then, is to examine the concept of sovereignty as it relates to the practice and protection of human rights issues grounded in international law. This examination should reveal the existence of more than one kind of sovereignty: that of the State and that of the people (the nation or nations). This Essay's goal is to demonstrate that a State is not the sole possessor of sovereignty under international and domestic law. To be properly understood within the framework of international law, sovereignty is a compound doctrine that is best understood by examining the relationship between the sovereignty of a State and the sovereignty of peoples, i.e., the sovereignty of nations. While a sovereignty-exercising State can be a totalitarian regime, it can also be a democratic one in which the sovereignty of the people confers and controls the sovereignty of the State. And, these people exercise their sovereignty in the implementation of their basic human rights. Unfortunately, as this Essay shall demonstrate, the sovereignty of peoples is being challenged in a particular exercise of “human rights” that disregards and compromises the role of families in rearing their children--a subject with which the UDHR, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic Social, and Cultural Rights are concerned.
Father Robert Araujo,
Sovereignty, Human Rights, and Self-Determination: The Meaning of International Law,
24 Fordham Int'l L.J. 1477
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol24/iss5/1