Can the United Nations Human Rights Committee Evolve into an Effective ‘Court’ of Human Rights?

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GRIN Verlag, May 4, 2007 - Law - 77 pages
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Master's Thesis from the year 2003 in the subject Law - European and International Law, Intellectual Properties, grade: A, Victoria University of Wellington (Victoria Law School), course: International Law, 60 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The United Nations Human Rights Committee, established under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, has the power to examine individual complaints on alleged human rights violations. It is noted, however, that the Committee lacks important powers to be as effective as the regional human rights courts in Europe and the Americas. The paper assesses the effectiveness of the Committee by means of a comparative analysis. The comparison takes place within four criteria that are essential in an assessment of a court’s effectiveness: the visibility of the court in the public domain, the adoption of interim measures to hinder the aggravation of the violation, the fact-finding capacity of the court, and the enforcement of the final decisions and the follow-ups thereto. The paper argues that despite the statutory deficiencies of the Covenant and the Optional Protocol, the Committee can be as effective as the regional courts even without an amendment to these instruments. This would be possible if the Committee successfully argues for a binding nature of its interim measures; further, it can overcome the lack of its independent fact-finding capacity through a – thoroughly argued – reversal of burden of proof. If it could also augment its own visibility and the publicity of its decisions, the Committee will finally enhance states’ compliance with its final, non-legally binding ‘views’. The Committee may welll be able to become as effective as the regional courts of human rights, and could in fact evolve into an effective ‘court’ of human rights on a global level.
 

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