Buffalo Human Rights Law Review

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Human rights agreements like the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) contain language that seeks to inspire and establish the legal boundaries of state action with regards to protected rights. Such agreements also contain reservation provisions that enable states to join an agreement and simultaneously exempt themselves from the very substantive goals the agreement seeks to achieve. In the past, the issue of reservation compatibility has been treated as political questions under an objection process. Establishing a mechanism for testing reservation compatibility before the International Court of Justice is a better means of ensuring that states do not nonchalantly exempt themselves from human rights obligations through reservations.