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

Book chapter

Dominguez-Redondo, E. 2017. History of the special procedures: a ‘learning-by-doing’ approach to human rights implementation. in: Nolan, A., Freedman, R. and Murphy, T. (ed.) United Nations Special Procedures Brill.
Chapter titleHistory of the special procedures: a ‘learning-by-doing’ approach to human rights implementation
AuthorsDominguez-Redondo, E.

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.

Research GroupLaw and Politics
Book titleUnited Nations Special Procedures
EditorsNolan, A., Freedman, R. and Murphy, T.
SeriesNottingham Studies on Human Rights
Publication dates
Print09 Jan 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Oct 2015
Accepted12 Sep 2015
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

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#self...

Additional information

E-ISBN: 9789004304703

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004304703_003
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