UN peace and security reform: an update

by URG-NYC Team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

This post is the third in a series of blogs produced by the URG-NYC team to take stock of the implementation of the UN reforms, which were adopted in the past 18 months. This post covers reforms to the peace and security pillar.  Objectives All of the reforms are intended, to varying degrees, to modernise the UN, to streamline and …

Mid-way to universality! CTI2024 supporting all States to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Torture

by Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of the CTI Secretariat Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation

Guiding States on how to prevent and respond to torturous forms of abuse of power or position is what the UN Convention against Torture is all about. Yet, despite torture being long condemned and the prohibition recognised as a jus cogens international norm, there continue to be grave abuses perpetrated in many countries and in all regions. In others, lack …

UN management system reform: an update

by URG-NYC Team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

This post is the second in a series of blogs produced by the URG-NYC team to take stock of the implementation of the UN reforms, which were adopted in the past 18 months, and provides an update on perhaps the most opaque series of reforms: changes to the UN management system. Objectives All of the reforms are intended, to varying …

Magnitsky acts and the future of accountability for violations of international human rights law: An interview with Bill Browder

by Ben Greenacre, Universal Rights Group and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Since the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail cell in 2009, US financier turned anti-corruption activist Bill Browder has led an almost one man crusade to strengthen national legal frameworks and responses to alleged gross violations of human rights and/or cases of grand corruption (which are linked to serious human rights violations ). Over the intervening ten years, Mr Browder’s determination and …

The emergence and coming of age of National Mechanisms for Implementation, Reporting and Follow-up

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Ellis Paterson, Research Assistant, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

One of the most promising yet least-studied and least-understood developments for the universal human rights ‘project’ (as Sir Nigel Rodley coined it) is the emergence and early development over the past three or four years of so-called ‘national mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up’ (NMIRFs). These standing bodies, which usually enjoy high-level political backing, are responsible for coordinating the implementation, …

Ethiopia secures important advances for human rights, including women’s rights

by Yibza Aynekullu Tesfaye, Minister-Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the UN & Other Organizations in Geneva Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation

“…Our government’s stand on the rights of women and their equality is not out of favour to them but rather for our common good” Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia There is a growing public sense, promoted by the Western press and NGOs, that human rights are in retreat around the world. It is true that in some countries, including …

ICC States Parties give hope to supporters of humanitarian intervention and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’

by Jorge Crespo García, Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog

On 17 July 2018, the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over the ‘crime of aggression’ – its fourth ‘core’ crime – was formally activated . This followed the historic decision of States Parties to the Rome Statute on 15 December last year to adopt a resolution amending the instrument. Although States Parties ultimately decided, when adopting the resolution, that the Court’s jurisdiction (in …

Duplication or complementarity? A comparative analysis of Human Rights Council and Third Committee resolutions

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Beyond the Council, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

There has been considerable attention paid, over recent years, to the relationship between the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the General Assembly. Do these two key human rights bodies form a coherent whole, with each playing a clearly-defined and logical role in the overall UN human rights system? Or is the relationship more characterised by incoherence, duplication …

Turning the Implementation Agenda into Reality: IMPACT OSS – the latest in human rights technology

by Mr Ashley Bowe, Founding Trustee and Secretary of the Impact Open Source Software Trust Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

The ‘implementation agenda’ called for in the lead up to the next review of the Human Rights Council in 2021 is a lofty yet largely unrealized ambition. On February 28 this year, almost three years on from its conception, a High Level Panel convened at the Human Rights Council to discuss how this agenda might work in practice, suggesting that it has yet to achieve meaningful change. [1] The emergence …

The future of human rights accountability edges closer: Magnitsky laws move to centre stage in the US and Europe

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Ben Greenacre, Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

The extrajudicial killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey, and the international reaction thereto, could well represent a defining moment in the evolution of systems of international accountability for serious human rights violations. In particular, the US response to the killing is being shaped (or, from the perspective of President Trump, perhaps dictated) …