"Reform of UN Human Rights Treaty Monitoring Bodies" by Michael O’Flaherty and Claire O’Brien hrlr.oxfordjournals.org © The Author [2007]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.orgThe UN human rights treaty monitoring system has developed over some 40 years. Today, there are seven treaties, each with its own monitoring body,2 with three more such bodies forthcoming.3 Whilst initially not expected to perform an evaluative function, the treaty bodies now contribute significantly to the promotion of States Parties’ compliance with treaty obligations. The value of their work in elaborating the substantive content of the treaties is also widely acknowledged. Yet, almost from the outset, concerns have been expressed about the system's effectiveness and efficiency.4 The existence of a substantial gap between the Committees’ actual and potential performance in holding States accountable and in enhancing human rights implementation at the national level has been observed by numerous commentators.5...Historically, contingent difficulties, such as chronic under-resourcing and the...
"Strengthening the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Body System" by Suzanne Egan hrlr.oxfordjournals.org The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has recently published her much anticipated report on strengthening the United Nations (UN) human rights treaty system. The latest in a series of initiatives launched by the UN over the years to improve the beleaguered treaty system, the report contains a series of recommendations aimed at improving the impact of the treaty system on rights-holders and duty-bearers at the national level. The proposals in the report are based on years of extensive consultations with key stakeholders in the treaty body system that were designed to intensify awareness of the current challenges facing the system as well as to stimulate suggestions for reform. This article considers in detail the potential of the High Commissioner’s proposals to tackle the problems in the system and their overall feasibility in the current political climate.
"Of Shaming and Bargaining" by Allehone Mulugeta Abebe hrlr.oxfordjournals.org The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations Human Rights Council promises to be a useful tool for examining human rights situations in states in an objective, non-selective, universal and transparent manner. It is an undertaking imbued with a shift from the former Commission's policies and practice of shaming to a new consensual and cooperative model of human rights evaluation. The experience of African countries, both during the negotiation over its normative and institutional framework and in the two sessions of the Working Group on UPR, lays bare the challenges to the new human rights body and its unique peer review mechanism. The article critically examines the participation of African countries in the UPR and highlights some of the issues that deserve, at this early stage, the attention of all those who mind to see the objectives of the UPR fully realised.
"Smoke and Mirrors: The Durban Review Conference" by Dimitrina Petrova hrlr.oxfordjournals.org © The Author [2009]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.orgThe UN Durban Review Conference, which took place between 20 and 24 April 2009 in Geneva, was intended to review the steps that have been taken to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance since the World Conference against Racism (WCAR) held in Durban, South Africa, in early September 2001.At WCAR, states adopted, by consensus, the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) that included important and timely recommendations for states to combat racism and racial discrimination.1 By adopting the DDPA, states agreed on a comprehensive platform for addressing racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The DDPA calls for the adoption of more effective anti-discrimination laws and policies. It highlights discrimination against minorities, migrants and indigenous people, and empowers civil society to demand accountability for abuses by...
"The Reality of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights" by Michael K. Addo hrlr.oxfordjournals.org © The Author [2014]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.comUnited Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights...In June 2011 when the United Nations Human Rights Council (‘the Council’) adopted Resolution 17/4,1 it acknowledged the formal end of the successful mandate of John Ruggie as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises. The Council was glowing in its appreciation of the contribution of the SRSG2 and the activities undertaken in the fulfilment of his mandate.3 The Council also endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (GPs),4 which had been drafted by Ruggie,5 thereby affirming an important commitment to address the human rights impacts of business.6 The GPs are the latest in a series of UN responses to this issue.7 This article...
"The United Nations and the African Union: Assessing a Partnership for Peace in Darfur" by Robert P. Barnidge Jr. jcsl.oxfordjournals.org In Resolution 1556, the Security Council, with the conflict in Darfur clearly in mind, determined that the ‘situation in Sudan constitutes a threat to international peace and security and to stability in the region’. This article focuses on the response by the United Nations, in particular the Security Council, and the African Union to the Darfur conflict. It begins by exploring the role of peacekeeping operations and regional arrangements or agencies in the overarching architecture of international peace and security. Having laid this frame of reference, it then looks at the modalities of peacekeeping in Darfur. These operations began with the African Union acting in isolation but have transitioned to an increasingly important role being played by the United Nations and a hybrid peacekeeping presence. Finally, this article asks whether, assuming that a legally dispositive conclusion can be drawn that genocide has taken place in Darfur since the outbreak of hostilities there in 2003, there exists a legal justification, or even obligation, for non-compliance by states with the sanctions regime established by Security Council Resolutions 1556 and 1591. This regime of sanctions has played an important part in the Security Council's approach to Darfur but has been, unfortunately, left largely unexamined from the standpoint of international legality.
"The United Nations Administration of East Timor" by Boris Kondoch jcsl.oxfordjournals.org In October 1999, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1272 (1999) which established under chapter VII of the UN Charter the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). Together with the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) UNTAET is unprecedented in the history of UN peacekeeping operations with respect to the scope of the responsibilities and the range of the mandate granted to the mission. Resolution 1272 empowered UNTAET to take over all branches of government on East Timor, namely to exercise all legislative and executive authority, including the administration of justice. The purpose of this article is to examine the practice of the UN's administration of East Timor and to discuss the various legal issues arising from it. After providing an overview of the development of international peacekeeping, the article turns to the relationship between East Timor and the United Nations. The next sections deal with the mandate and structure of UNTAET and its predecessors. Then the author discusses the legal basis of the establishment of such administrations and the legal constraints on the power of the Security Council, such as human rights law and international humanitarian law. Finally, the article concludes with remarks on the UN administration of East Timor.
"A Collaborative Approach to Environmental Governance in East Africa" by Nicholas Kimani jel.oxfordjournals.org The article reflects upon a collaborative approach to environmental governance undertaken by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania under the auspices of a United Nations Environment Programme-administered project—the Partnership for Development of Environmental Law in Africa. On the basis of practical lessons highlighted through fieldwork conducted between 2005 and 2007, an exploration is made of the relationship between the ‘new’ regional collaborative approach to environmental law and policy-making, and the earlier ‘conventional’ approaches. Also examined are prospects for both state and non-state actors to successfully collaborate in structuring regional developments. It raises the conceptual question,‘once regulation is supposed to loosen its analytical link to the state, yet only partially does so, what has it become?’ One emerging insight concerns the need for normative theories to highlight what non-legal mechanisms are necessary to secure meaningful participation by non-state actors in regional decision-making.
"Constitutionalising Secondary Rules in Global Environmental Regimes" by Antonio Cardesa-Salzmann jel.oxfordjournals.org Due to its remarkable success, the model of the Montreal Protocol’s non-compliance procedure (NCP) has been adopted in other environmental regimes, whose primary norms differ considerably. Hence, this article distinguishes different types of global environmental regimes and assesses the performance of NCPs therein as endogenous enforcement mechanisms. In fact, the reciprocal nature of the main conventional obligations in some more recent environmental regimes seems to hamper the effectiveness of compliance procedures. On this basis, the article puts forward some tentative considerations from a constitutional perspective. Drawing from the experience gained under environmental regimes in the region of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), it explores the feasibility of transplanting some aspects of the model of the Aarhus Convention NCP into the more complex global context. Further, it reflects upon the potential of enhancing synergies between NCPs and national and international judiciaries as a step towards the consolidation of international public law in this area.
"How Effective is the United Nations Committee Against Torture?" by Ronagh McQuigg ejil.oxfordjournals.org This article examines the question of how states have responded to the comments of the United Nations Committee against Torture through an analysis of eight Western European states. It is concluded that the Committee's recommendations have had a substantial impact in four of the states surveyed, however only a limited effect in two other states, and little or no impact in the two remaining states. These findings lead to concerns as regards the effectiveness of the Committee against Torture. The article focuses on the Concluding Observations made by the Committee on the reports submitted by the states in question.
"The Better Peoples of the United Nations? Europe's Practice and the United Nations" by Bardo Fassbender ejil.oxfordjournals.org The Better Peoples of the United Nations? Europe’s Practice and the United Nations
"Fashioning a New Regime for Agricultural Trade: New Issues and the Global Food Crisis" by Thomas J. Schoenbaum jiel.oxfordjournals.org This article examines the impact of issues such as the global food crisis, export controls on agricultural products, and food security on the agricultural trade negotiations currently underway in connection with the Doha Development Agenda convened by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. These important issues, which were not foreseen when the negotiations began, must now be squarely faced. Many international organizations, such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and most recently the G-20, are examining in particular the problem of food security. While food security and the global food crisis require solutions and actions that are broader than international trade, trade reform in agricultural products is an essential part of their solution. This article concludes that these new issues do not change the basic international agreement that needs to be reached to reform the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. WTO members still should pursue agreement on market access, reducing and simplifying domestic support, and eliminating export subsidies. However, to deal with food security issues, WTO members should take up the export side of agricultural trade and prohibit export controls altogether, or at least enact strict criteria before export controls may be instituted by WTO members.
"Exclusion from Refugee Status" by Sandesh Sivakumaran ijrl.oxfordjournals.org Article 1F(c) of the Refugee Convention provides that an individual is to be excluded from the benefits afforded by refugee status if ‘there are serious reasons for considering that ... he has been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations’. This phrase has proven difficult to interpret, not least because of the differing views on its meaning at the time of drafting, and the lack of another body of law to which article 1F(c) can attach. Accordingly, different states have found that different acts fall within the provision. This assessment is largely carried out on a case-by-case basis and in an unstructured manner. This article explores the acts that have been held to fall within article 1F(c) - primarily human rights violations, terrorism, and attacks on UN personnel - and critiques some of the thorny legal issues to which these acts have given rise. It then offers a framework for assessing whether a particular act falls within article 1F(c).
"Engaging with Religious Communities" by Michael Wiener ojlr.oxfordjournals.org As the relationship between the United Nations (UN) and the private sector has evolved in recent years increasingly towards engaging in public-private partnerships, this article analyses possibilities for and implications of the UN's strategic engagement with religious communities. On the one hand, there are a number of possible advantages, for example of partnerships in the context of humanitarian aid projects, development programmes, public education activities, interreligious dialogue initiatives and human rights monitoring. On the other hand, several potential pitfalls for the UN need to be born in mind when considering partnerships with religious communities. While in some situations it would not be advisable to engage in partnerships with religious communities, in other cases such cooperation is implied by the nature of the task. In less clear-cut situations, possible advantages of partnerships with religious communities may outweigh the potential problems, particularly when safeguards are devised through the implementation of specific guiding principles. Building upon existing UN guidelines on cooperation with the business sector and in the context of humanitarian aid, this article suggests drawing up the following six Guiding Principles for Global Public-Private Partnerships between the UN and Religious Communities : (i) advance UN goals; (ii) shared values and principles; (iii) clear delineation of responsibilities and roles; (iv) maintain integrity and independence; (v) no unfair advantage; and (vi) transparency. The suggested ‘Guiding Principles’ and related commentary seek to provide further guidance in the planning and implementation of global public-private partnerships with religious communities.
"Freedom of Religion or Belief—A Human Right under Pressure" by Heiner Bielefeldt ojlr.oxfordjournals.org The article starts by outlining the basic features of the right to freedom of religion or belief. As part of the broader infrastructure of international human rights protection, its interpretation and implementation must be guided by the interrelated principles of normative universalism, freedom and equality. In this context, also the ‘second order principles’ of State neutrality and political secularism are addressed. The article subsequently deals with some of the root causes of abuses in the field of freedom of religion or belief. The last section discusses examples of recent tendencies to blur the contours of freedom of religion or belief, for instance by amalgamating it with policies of protecting the reputation of religions against defamation or by re-interpreting concepts of neutrality and secularism in an anti-liberal, doctrinal way. The author wants to raise awareness that conceptual clarity is needed to defend the normative basis for shaping peaceful coexistence in our religiously and philosophically pluralistic world by institutionalizing equal respect for the dignity and rights of ‘all members of the human family’.
"Constitutionality and constitutionalism beyond the state" by Julian Arato icon.oxfordjournals.org This article examines the competences of the UN Security Council under the “constitution” of the United Nations, focusing in particular on its recent innovations in legislation. Certain critics decry Council legislation as unconstitutional, null and void. Apologists retort that the Charter delegates broad power to the Council, and the impugned legislative resolutions fall well within the broad textual limitations on its competence. I propose an approach to constitutional analysis to help cut through this debate, based on distinguishing between two perspectives on the “constitution” of an international organization: the juridical perspective emphasizing the transmission of validity in the creation, interpretation, and application of legal norms; and the political perspective from which the ordering of power among the constituted bodies may be assessed in terms of legitimacy and justice.Distinguishing between the perspectives illuminates the merits of the arguments on both sides of the debate on the Council's competences. Juridically speaking, it is difficult to argue that the Council's innovations are unconstitutional and void. Yet the political perspective helps explain the critics’ discomfort with the Council's expansive innovations; from the latter angle it appears that the Charter's broad, unreviewable, and effectively unamendable delegation of power to the Council yields a deeply flawed constitutional arrangement, entailing systemic risks of hegemonic international law-making and the demise of constitutionalism.
"The United Nations" - Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law opil.ouplaw.com United Nations (UN)
The Charter Of The United Nations - Oxford Handbooks Online www.oxfordhandbooks.com Charter Of The United Nations - Oxford Handbooks

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