Heping Dang Heping Dang, PhD in law, Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen.
Invoking Educational Duty of States on Capital Punishment Issue
Abstract: It’s quite common that states invoke public opinion to explain their maintenance of capital punishment. In China, scholars keep urging states to lead public opinion against capital punishment. These urges to date have been more like moral appeals. This article tries to reinforce these urges by adding more weight to it through international legal perspective. Under international law, states bear educational duty to protect and progress human rights situations. This duty applies to, or will apply to if it has not, capital punishment and public opinion issue. States’ educational duty to protect and promote human rights have long been ignored or underestimated. Some international norms such as ‘all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty’ can be exerted on capital punishment and public opinion matter. More importantly, international law has been developing a new norm, directly calling on states to lead public opinion on the death penalty issue. This is a new tendency of international law.