1887
Volume 16, Issue 6
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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Abstract

How can conduct be enforced when governmental relations are entirely reliant on linguistic exchange? This is the question at stake in such jurisdictions as the United Nations when nations sign up to legally non-binding commitments. The few commentators in this area hold that non-enforceability gives states the upper hand in this relationship. The research reported here, however, challenges that conclusion. By looking at textual exchanges of reporting and assessment respectively between the New Zealand government and the Committee on the Rights of the Child over a twenty year period, this paper identifies the linguistic and rhetorical strategies by which each party attempts to orient the conduct of the other. The conclusion reached, which can still only be provisional, is that, through nothing other than unwavering reiteration of its mandate, the UN committee gradually exhausts the evasive and countering tactics of the state party to bring about a degree of compliance.

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2017-10-16
2019-10-19
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