History of the special procedures: a ‘learning-by-doing’ approach to human rights implementation

Dominguez-Redondo, Elvira (2017) History of the special procedures: a ‘learning-by-doing’ approach to human rights implementation. In: United Nations Special Procedures. Nolan, Aoife, Freedman, Rosa and Murphy, Thérèse, eds. Nottingham Studies on Human Rights, 6 . Brill, pp. 9-51. 9789004304697. (doi:10.1163/9789004304703_003)

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The existence of UN Special Procedures is the unintended result of the competence accorded to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in the 1967 Economic and Social Council Resolution 1235 (XLII). The Resolution authorised both bodies ‘to examine information relevant to gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms’. The lack of foresight in the creation of such mechanisms, now known as ‘special procedures’, is a fundamental factor in explaining the evolution of methods of work developed by different mandate holders. The ‘soft’ legal basis and geo-political factors surrounding the creation and renewal of mandates explains the freedom and flexibility they have enjoyed in establishing innovative monitoring activities that are more intrusive upon state sovereignty than any other UN human rights mechanism. As the significance of the Special Procedures’ work has grown, attempts to curtail their autonomy and impact have increased accordingly, facilitated precisely by what has been seen as, until recently, their major strength: the lack of a strong institutional and coherent legal framework regulating their activities. This chapter analyses this evolution and outlines the major challenges mandate holders face in maintaining their relevance.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: E-ISBN: 9789004304703
Editors: Nolan, Aoife and Freedman, Rosa and Murphy, Thérèse
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 18057
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an chapter published by Brill in the book United Nations Special Procedures. Reproduced in this repository with permission https://brill.com/page/RightsPermissions/rights-and-permissions#selfarchiving
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Depositing User: Elvira Dominguez Redondo
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2015 13:31
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2019 11:18
ISBN: 9789004304697
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/18057

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