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An international law perspective on the challenges confronting the Human Rights Council

Freedman, R. and Gordon, S. (2021) An international law perspective on the challenges confronting the Human Rights Council. In: von Arnauld, A., von der Decken, K. and Matz-Lück, N. (eds.) German Yearbook of International Law. Duncker & Humblot. (In Press)

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The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) is the principal UN human rights body, and arguably the lynchpin of the UN human rights machinery. It brings together States, independent experts, UN staff and civil society actors, and reports to the full UN membership as a subsidiary body of the General Assembly. Its mandate and work is broad, with the body combining highly political elements, significant reliance on expertise, and in situ human rights investigations. In the 13 years since its establishment, the HRC has received significant attention from scholars, observers, civil society, and the wider public. There have been many significant successes and other highly visible failures in relation to the Council’s mandate to promote, protect, and develop human rights. Since its establishment, the body has been a battleground over which the UN has fought to overcome inherent structural and ideological flaws in the pursuit of making the idealist human rights vision a reality. This article will provide an account of the Council’s creation, key elements, work, and some of the largest challenges including primacy of State sovereignty, politicisation of the Council, and some highly politicised country-specific situations.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:92380
Publisher:Duncker & Humblot

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