The United Nations and Human Rights: A Critical Appraisal

Hardcover | September 24, 2017

EditorPhilip Alston, Frederic Megret

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The very concept of human rights implies governmental accountability. To ensure that governments are indeed held accountable for their treatment of citizens and others the United Nations has established a wide range of mechanisms to monitor compliance, and to seek to prevent as well as respondto violations. The panoply of implementation measures that the UN has taken since 1945 has resulted in a diverse and complex set of institutional arrangements, the effectiveness of which varies widely. Indeed, there is much doubt as to the effectiveness of much of the UN's human rights efforts. Inevitableinstances of politicization and the hostile, or at best ambivalent, attitude of most governments, has often endangered the fragile progress made on the more technical fronts. In addition to significant actual and potential problems of duplication, overlapping and inconsistent approaches, there aremajor problems of under-funding and insufficient expertise. The complexity of these arrangements and the difficulty in evaluating their impact makes a comprehensive guide of the type provided here all the more indispensable.These essays critically examine the functions, procedures, and performance of each of the major UN organs dealing with human rights, including the Security Council and the International Court of Justice as well as the more specialized bodies monitoring the implementation of human rights treaties.Significant attention is devoted to the considerable efforts at reforming the UN's human rights machinery, as illustrated most notably by the creation of the Human Rights Council to replace the Commission on Human Rights. The book also looks at the relationship between the various bodies and thepotential for major reforms and restructuring.

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The very concept of human rights implies governmental accountability. To ensure that governments are indeed held accountable for their treatment of citizens and others the United Nations has established a wide range of mechanisms to monitor compliance, and to seek to prevent as well as respondto violations. The panoply of implementatio...

Philip Alston is an international lawyer whose teaching focuses primarily on human rights law and the law of international organizations. He directs the recently-established NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, part of the Institute for International Law and Justice. He is currently John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law, NYU...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:800 pagesPublished:September 24, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198298374

ISBN - 13:9780198298373

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Table of Contents

The Human Rights Mandate of the Principal Organs1. Frederic Megret: The Security Council2. Andrew Clapham: The General Assembly3. Frederic Megret: The Economic and Social Council4. Bruno Simma: The International Court of JusticeSubsidiary Human Rights Organs5. Philip Alston: The Council and Commission on Human Rights6. Asbjorn Eide: The Sub-Commission on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights7. Jane Connors: The Commission on the Status of WomenOrgans Monitoring Treaty Compliance8. Patrick Thornberry: The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination9. Penny Parker: The Human Rights Committee10. Andrew Byrnes: The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women11. Philip Alston: The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights12. Andrew Byrnes: The Committee against Torture13. Philip Alston: The Committee on the Rights of the Child14. Janet Lord and Michael Stein: The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities15. Olivier de Frouville: The Committee on Enforced Disappearances16. Ryszard Cholewinski: The Committee on the Human Rights of Migrant WorkersThe Governance of Human Rights17. Andrew Clapham: The Secretary General18. Andrew Clapham: The High Commissioner for Human Rights19. Georges Minet: Human Rights Co-ordination within the UN System