When signing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the United States of America introduced, among others, the following two reservations:
“(2) That the United States reserves the right, subject to its Constitutional constraints, to impose capital punishment on any person (other than a pregnant woman) duly convicted under existing or future laws permitting the imposition of capital punishment, including such punishment for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age”.
“(3) That the United States considers itself bound by article 7 to the extent that `cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’ means the cruel and unusual treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and/or Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States”.
The Kingdom of Spain advanced the following two objections to the named reservations:
“ … The Government of Spain takes the view that reservation (2) of the United States having regard to capital punishment for crimes committed by individuals under 18 years of age, in addition to reservation (3) having regard to article 7, constitute general derogations from articles 6 and 7, whereas, according to article 4, paragraph 2, of the Covenant, such derogations are not to be permitted.
Therefore, and bearing in mind that articles 6 and 7 protect two of the most fundamental rights embodied in the Covenant, the Government of Spain considers that these reservations are incompatible with the object and purpose of the Covenant and, consequently, objects to them.
This position does not constitute an obstacle to the entry into force of the Covenant between the Kingdom of Spain and the United States of America”.
➢ Choose one of the two reservations introduced by the United States and its corresponding objection and answer: Which of the two State-parties is right in this interpretative dispute?➢ Afford both legal and moral-political arguments in favor of your position, identify possible counter-arguments, and rebut them. ➢ Sustain your moral-political arguments and counter-arguments on the ideas of at least one author per each of the four political-legal traditions studied along this course: positivism, liberalism, Marxism and Critical Legal Studies; and the Natural Law tradition. ➢ Maximum number of words: 2000.➢ Assessment criteria: (A) Sufficient, pertinent and accurate use of core concepts: 0,75; (B) sufficient and accurate citation of bibliographical resources: 0, 75; (c) overall depth and coherence of the argument: 0,5.
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