Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Karen Parker


The international law principle ofjus cogens, or "compelling law," while of potential value in domestic and international human rights litigation, is rarely invoked by name in the United States. This Article proposes that application of jus cogens may enhance judicial enforcement of human rights. The Article defines jus cogens and sets out some of its substantive content. It presents the procedural effects ofjus cogens, with an emphasis on how jus cogens overcomes judicial doctrines that have frustrated plaintiffs in human rights litigation. The Article concludes by showing howjus cogens concepts, under other names, have been a major force in defending rights in the United States.