Edited by Megret, FredericEdited by Alston, Philip
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 w...ell as respond to 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. In addition to significant actual and potential problems of duplication, overlapping and inconsistent approaches, there are major problems of under-funding and insufficient expertise. Inevitable instances of politicization and the hostile, or at best ambivalent, attitude of most governments, makes it all the more difficult to evaluate the performance of these monitoring bodies. The complexity of these arrangements 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 such as the Commission on Human Rights and the Committee on the Rights of the Child. They also look at the relationship between the various bodies and the potential for major reforms and restructuring. Most of the contributors have been key participants in the United Nations Human Rights regime and all are ideally placed to critically evaluate its achievements and shortcomings.Read more
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Frederic Megret is a Full-Professor and Dawson Fellow at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. He holds a Phd in international law from the Universite Pantheon-Sorbonne and the Graduate Institute of International Studies of the University of Geneva. He is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris and the author of many articles on international human rights law, public international law, international criminal law and the laws of war. 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 School of Law.
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