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 Geneva 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) …

Human Rights Treaty Bodies in the field: The Inter-American Regional System and sessions away from headquarters

by Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, former Assistant Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Following the post from Christof Heyns and Abiola Idowu-Ojo of July 10, 2018 on this site, the present post reviews the inter-American experience with holding sessions away from headquarters, and considers the many advantages, as well as some challenges. Both the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Commission or IACHR) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Court) carry out periods …

Twenty-five years later, how much do national human rights institutions matter?

by Steven L. B. Jensen, Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

An expanding range of literature examines the effectiveness of national human rights institutions, and 25 years after the Paris Principles, a recent study draws out some of the common findings. This year – 2018 – marks the 25th anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s adoption in December 1993 of the Paris Principles. These principles defined the mandate for National Human …

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

by Dr. Koldo Casla Beyond the Council, Blog, 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 …

Igniting the flame: How the anti-slavery campaign launched a human rights movement

by Laura Riches, Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog

In his final address to the Human Rights Council, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein highlighted a growing sense of weariness within the international human rights community; a growing fear that the UN’s human rights pillar is being marginalized. Given the global state of affairs, from rising nationalism, xenophobia, and racial and religious intolerance to clampdowns on civil …