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Human rights law

Human rights law is a system of laws, both domestic and international which is intended to promote human rights. Human rights law includes a number of treaties which are intended to punish some violations of human rights such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. There are also a number of international courts which have been constituted to judge violations of human rights including the European Court of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court.

One concept within human rights law is that of universal jurisdiction. This concept, which is not widely accepted, is that any nation is authorized to prosecute and punish violations of human rights wherever and whenever they may have occurred.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a statement of human rights. By itself it is a statement of principles and has no legal effect, although there are a number of treaties which attempt to give legal effect to some of its provisions.