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The Margin of Appreciation in International Human Rights LawDeference and Proportionality$
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Andrew Legg

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199650453

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199650453.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
The Margin of Appreciation in International Human Rights Law

Andrew Legg

Oxford University Press

The concept of the margin of appreciation has been most developed by the European Court of Human Rights. It is also present in the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee, although it is understudied and less commonly employed by these tribunals. This introductory chapter discusses the origins of the margin of appreciation and how the concept operates within these three systems of international human rights protection. It also provides a summary of the book and explores its methodology. The approach taken in the book involves both theoretical discussion and the exposition of case law. The book seeks to provide a conceptual analysis of the margin of appreciation and a justification for its use, whilst providing an accurate account of relevant case law. Finally, the chapter explores whether the margin of appreciation can properly be referred to as a “doctrine”.

Keywords:   European Court of Human Rights, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, UN Human Rights Committee, methodology, margin of appreciation, legal doctrine

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