Race, Racism and the Law 
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Article 5 Equality Under the Law

United States Report on Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
  Initial Country Report (Sept, 2000). 

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Vernellia R. Randall
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 Article 5 obliges States Parties to prohibit and eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone to equality before the law, without distinction as to race, color, or national or ethnic origin. The protections of the U.S. Constitution meet this fundamental requirement. The policy and objectives of government at all levels are also consistent with its provisions.

Importantly, Article 5 goes even further, requiring States Parties to guarantee equality and non-discrimination on this basis "notably in the enjoyment" of a list of specifically enumerated rights. Some of these enumerated rights, which may be characterized as economic, social and cultural rights, are not explicitly recognized as legally enforceable "rights" under U.S. law. However, Article 5 does not affirmatively require States Parties to provide or to ensure observance of each of the listed rights themselves, but rather to prohibit discrimination in the enjoyment of those rights to the extent they are provided by domestic law. In this respect, U.S. law fully complies with the requirements of the Convention. In many of the areas covered by this article, however, serious problems exist.

Equality Before Tribunals
Discrimination by Law Enforcement
Overrepresentation in the criminal justice system
Disparities in Sentencing
Capital Punishment
Article 5(b) Security of Person
Article 5(c) Political Rights
Article 5(d) Other Civil Rights
Article 5(e) Economic Social and Cultural Rights
Article 5(f) Access to Public Accommodations

Same level:
Introduction ] General Report ] Legal Prohibition ] U.S. Reservations, Understandings and Declarations ] Compliance with Specific Articles ] Article 1 - Racial Discrimination ] Article 2 ] Art 3 Condemn Racial Segregation and Apartheid ] Article 4 Eliminate Incitements or Acts of Discrimination ] [ Article 5 Equality Under the Law ] Article 6 Assure Effective Protection and Remedies ] Article 7 Adopt Measures ] Conclusion ]
Child Level:
Home ] Equality Before Tribunals ] Discrimination by Law Enforcement ] Overrepresentation in the criminal justice system ] Disparities in Sentencing ] Capital Punishment ] Prisons ] Article 5(b) Security of Person ] Article 5(c) Political Rights ] Article 5(d) Other Civil Rights ] Article 5(e) Economic Social and Cultural Rights ] Article 5(f) Access to Public Accommodations ]
Parent Level:
US CERD Report - Content ]
[Race and Racial Groups] [Citizenship Rights]  [Justice and Race] [Patterns of Basic Needs] [Intersectionality Issues] [Human Rights]

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Last Updated:
Friday, October 05, 2001  

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Thanks to Derrick Bell and his pioneer work: 
Race, Racism and American Law