The ghost of things to come : prospects for success of the UN Human Rights Council

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Taylor, Rachel
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This paper analyses the transformation of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights into the Human Rights Council. It seeks to determine whether the new Council will prove a more effective tool than the Commission in the protection of human rights. The investigation focuses on the work of the Commission / Council in responding to situations of mass violations, rather than promotional or standard-setting work. This is because this area was (and remains) the most controversial. Furthermore, the reform has seen little formal change in practice between the two bodies with regard to the two latter activities. This Prologue briefly highlights the background to the current reform programme and outlines the theoretical framework behind assessment of the success or failure of UN human rights work. Part One provides an analysis of the Commission’s role regarding situations of gross violations, identifying the obstacles to its effective response and noting their causes. Part Two assesses the innovations of the Council, seeking to determine whether they provide an adequate remedy to the Commission’s failings. Finally, Part Three contemplates the situation and prospects of the Council as of its first session and suggests some measures which may be required to ensure it becomes an effective tool for the protection of human rights.
Second semester University: University of Padua
human rights violations, United Nations. Commission on Human Rights, United Nations. Human Rights Council