Supreme Court of Spain: UN Treaty Body individual decisions are legally binding

by Dr. Koldo Casla Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The Spanish Supreme Court has established that the views expressed by UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies in individual complaints are binding on the State. The Court ordered Spain to pay €600,000 in compensation to Ángela González for the responsibility of its authorities in relation to the death of her daughter. Her daughter was murdered by her father in an unsupervised …

Why the US left the UN Human Rights Council – and why it matters

by Dr. Rosa Freedman Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The US’s announcement that it is  leaving the UN Human Rights Council  should not surprise anyone, since the Trump administration has long made clear its disdain for many parts of the United Nations. But the damage that the decision is likely to cause could nonetheless topple an increasingly wobbly house of cards. When the Human Rights Council was created in 2006, the US (then under the …

Report on the 38th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary: The 38th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC38)  was held from Monday 18th June to Friday 6th July 2018. On 18th June, H.E. Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, presented his last oral update  as High Commissioner for Human Rights on the global human rights situation. His successor is expected to be selected by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over …

Human rights treaty bodies in the field: The experience of the African regional system

by Christof Heyns, Professor of Human Rights Law, Univeristy of Pretoria and Member of the UN Human Rights Committee and Abiola Idowu-Ojo, Acting Deputy Secretary of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In a 2017 post  on this site, Christof Heyns and Willem Gravett proposed the idea of external sessions for the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies – they should meet at least once a year for part of the session outside Geneva, in order to ‘bring the system closer to the people’. This idea generated considerable interest, including in the recent report by the Geneva …

Report on the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary: The 37th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC37 ) was held from Monday 26th February to Friday 23rd March 2018. On 7th March, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, presented his annual report on the global human rights situation. A number of dignitaries delivered statements during the session’s high-level segment, including, inter alia, H.E. Mr …

Wanted: new High Commissioner for Human Rights

by the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Civil society calls for a more transparent, inclusive, meritocratic and engaging selection process Later this year the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, is due to appoint a new High Commissioner for Human Rights – the UN’s most senior human rights official. This is a vital moment for the Secretary-General, for the UN and its human rights pillar, and most of all …

A new website: enhancing the efficiency of the Human Rights Council?

by Mariana Montoya Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

This week, the Human Rights Council’s Secretariat launched a new and improved website, which offers a ‘ new look & feel and improved navigation ’. But the truth is there is much more than meets the eye. The new features offered by the Council’s new portal represent an effort towards bringing the Council closer to its stakeholders and people on the ground; therefore, it contributes to enhancing …

Another one bites the dust — what future for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights?

by David Petrasek and Geneva Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The early departure — yet again — of a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights suggests it’s time to re-think the office’s priorities and strengthen its mandate. The announcement in December 2017 by Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein of Jordan that he would not seek a second term as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights—leaving the post in the middle of 2018—came …

The Human Rights Council: Cooperation and dialogue for the benefit of all

by H.E. Ambassador Vojislav Šuc, 12th President of the Human Rights Council Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

5 February 2018, Geneva It has been almost seventy years since the nations of the world adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the preamble of which reminds all of us that the ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace …

2018: the start of a meaningful process of Human Rights Council strengthening and reform?

by Charlotte Marres Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

There is a growing recognition that as the Human Rights Council approaches its twelfth anniversary there is a need to undertake an inclusive, cross regional and structured dialogue to review how States might strengthen the fulfilment of the Council’s mandate and purpose, as set down in GA resolution 60/251 . Following an important event organised by the Netherlands, UK, Latvia, Rwanda and Mexico on …