Using the doctrine of interdependence of human rights as a starting point, the author considers the extent to which international human rights norms located in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) "permeate" the parallel International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), thereby permitting certain social and economic rights to be subjected to the individual petition procedure under the ICCPR's Optional Protocol. After elucidating the notion of interdependence, the author evaluates the salience of the concept in international human rights discourse, and weighs this against arguments for the continued normative separation of the Covenants based on justiciability as well as normative and jurisdictional conflicts. The author argues that a partial normative unity should be forged between the two Covenants by means of creative interpretation and by the forging of institutional linkages between the supervisory organs for the two Covenants. In light of the permeability presumption thus developed, the author then concludes with an analysis of decisions taken by the Human Rights Committee in the areas of equal protection of the law, the right to a fair hearing, freedom of association, and the right to life.
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