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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