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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.509

CiteScore 2018: 0.23

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.232
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.478

Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca: Classe A

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Volume 2013, Issue 196


The sense, meaning, and significance of the Twin International Covenants on Political and Economic Rights

Clara Chapdelaine-Feliciati
Published Online: 2013-08-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0063


The drafting process of international human rights instruments exemplifies the import of terminology. Government representatives meet over the course of years to discuss every word enshrined in international instruments. They understand that terminology determines the scope of rights and corresponding duties both legally, as such instruments are binding, and symbolically, as they constitute an apparatus of signs through which the existence of rights becomes universally acknowledged. The purpose of this article is to apply Lady Welby's Threefold Laws of Meaning to the Twin Covenants of the International Bill of Rights: the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. First, this article will explore the Sense, Meaning and Significance of the original single Covenant and its subsequent division into twin Covenants. Second, it will provide a comparative analysis of the terminology defining States Parties obligations in the Twin Covenants. Third, it will examine two additional distinctive characteristics of the Twin Covenants: the absence/presence of a remedy and the Human Rights Committee. Lastly, this article will consider the ultimate Significance of terminology in the Twin Covenants as regards the implementation and universal recognition of Economic Rights, and the Promised Land of Human Rights.

Keywords: Victoria Welby; International Bill of Rights; International Twin Covenants; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Semiotics of law

About the article

Clara Chapdelaine-Feliciati

Clara Chapdelaine-Feliciati (b.1981) is a lawyer and a PhD student at the University of Oxford 〈 〉. Her research interests include the semiotics of law, international law, human rights, children's rights, and criminal justice. Her publications include “The right to food for children in Brazil: A ‘modest proposal’?” (2005); “Restorative justice for the girl child in post-conflict Rwanda” (2006); “Child justice in Canada and the four Ps: protection, prosecution, prevention and participation” (2007); and “Les droits de l’homme de la femme: polysémie ou androcentrisme?” (2010).

Published Online: 2013-08-23

Published in Print: 2013-08-15

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2013, Issue 196, Pages 325–352, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0063.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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