Page 5, 5th May 1950

5th May 1950
Page 5
Page 5, 5th May 1950 — HUMAN RIGHTS CHARTER INVOKED IN U.S. COURT
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Locations: Los Angeles, Ottawa

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HUMAN RIGHTS CHARTER INVOKED IN U.S. COURT

From GERRY SHERRY: NEW YORK

An American court last week invoked the Charter of the United Nations to invalidate a State Law, and by a unanimous decision the three judges held that a State Law which restricted land ownership by aliens was in conflict with and superseded by the United Nations' Charter's conception of human rights and

freedoms.

The District Court of Appeal of Los Angeles declared that the Charter, ratified by the United States in 1945, "has now become the supreme law of the land," and, as a treaty, had precedence under the Constitution over any conflicting State laws.

Cited by the court, chapter I. article I of the U.N. Charter. states as one of the United Nations' purposes " promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race. sex, language or religion."

The case in question concerned an appeal by a Japanese from a decision of the lower court, in which he asserted the right of persons of Japanese birth to own land, which the lower court had denied.

The only other known instance in which a decision was based on the Charter was the invalidation in 1947 of an Anti-Semitic housing ordinance by an Ottawa. Canada, court. United Nations legal circles declared that the Los Angeles case was the first in which the Charter had been used as the principle basis for a ruling by a court in the United States.

A Catholic lawyer to whom I spoke commented : " If only other countries would do the same, and follow out the Charter of the United Nations on all points, there would soon be no cold war '."




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