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Anne Bayefsky

The aim of this book is to empower individuals with the knowledge of how to use the UN Human Rights Treaty System to complain to an impartial international body about violations of their rights by states. Although this right is limited to claims against states that voluntarily permit complaints to be made against them, the UN human rights treaty system now applies to one-quarter of the world's population.

The text provides a clear explanation of the complexities of the UN human rights treaty system and the methodology to employ its procedures to successfully navigate a claim through its proper course.

Key beneficiaries of the information presented in this book will be the individual victims of human rights abuses for whose protection the UN human rights treaty system was created. Human rights organizations, advocacy groups, government agencies, and all practitioners working to confront the widespread incidents of human rights violations around the world will find this volume a useful ally in providing the practical knowledge and tools needed in their common struggle.



Published under the Transnational Publishers imprint.
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Anne Bayefsky

The human rights treaties are at the core of the international system for the promotion and protection of human rights. Their power to translate rights into remedies, however, requires greater access to the system by victims of human rights violations. This volume is about access and empowerment. It will facilitate the ability of victims to complain about violations of their rights to an international body, and to have their complaints measured against clear standards. Although this system of enforcement remains open only to those whose rights have been violated by states that have permitted complaints, the complaints procedures of the UN treaty system apply to one-quarter of the world's population.
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The UN Human Rights Treaty System

Universality at the Crossroads

Anne Bayefsky

Human rights treaties are at the core of the international system for the promotion and protection of human rights. Every UN member state has ratified at least one of these treaties, making them applicable to virtually every child, woman or man in the world - over six billion people. At the same time, human rights violations are rampant. The problem is that the implementation scheme accompanying the core human rights standards was drafted during a period of history when effective international monitoring was neither intended nor achievable.
Today there is a gap between universal right and remedy that is inescapable and inexcusable, threatening the integrity of the international human rights legal regime. There are overwhelming numbers of overdue reports, untenable backlogs, minimal individual complaints from vast numbers of potential victims, and widespread refusal of states to provide remedies when violations of individual rights are found.
This landmark Report prepared by Professor Bayefsky envisions a wide-ranging number of reforms, most of which can be accomplished without formal amendment. The recommendations generally assume a six treaty body regime, and focus primarily on offering concrete suggestions for improvements in working methods of the treaty bodies and procedures at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Professor Bayefsky details numerous proposals for bolstering national level partnerships, and for following-up the output of the treaty monitoring system as a key missing component of the implementation regime. One major reform requiring amendment is ultimately recommended, namely, consolidation of the human rights treaty bodies and the creation of two permanent committees, one for the consideration of state reports and one for complaints.
All individuals, agencies, and organizations involved in the promotion, implementation, review, analysis, and study of human rights protection for all peoples will find this Report an indispensable resource for their work. It contains a unique overview of all the working methods of the six human rights treaty bodies, a detailed and thorough statistical analysis of the operation of the human rights treaty system, and a number of additional annexes which together provide a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the treaty system.
The international human rights legal system is at a crossroads, with the ideal of universality threatened by the fundamental shortfalls in effective implementation. This Report offers a clear and substantive path to moving universality beyond rhetoric and towards a treaty regime meaningful and effective in the lives of everyday people.
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Anne Bayefsky

The case of Quebec within Canada, and the Supreme Court of Canada's case on the legality of secessionist attempts by Quebec, is one example of the tension associated with the relationship between self-determination and a right of secession. The object of the book is to render available to the international community the expert opinions and legal arguments associated with the Supreme Court of Canada's decision on the Quebec Secession Reference. The questions put to the Court in large part concerned international law, leading the parties to the Reference to seek opinions from international law experts around the world as they prepared their arguments which are presented in this book.
Self-determination is an idea rooted in human dignity and its meaning and force parallel the emergence of new understandings of the nature of sovereignty and the role of international law in the protection of human rights. The UN Human Rights Committee has identified self-determination as one of the most awkward principles to define because abuse of this right could jeopardize international peace and security. Self-determination, as formulated by the International Court of Justice, requires a free and genuine expression of the will of the peoples concerned. But serious questions remain about the extent of the relationship between self-determination and a right of secession. Does self-determination legitimate internal self-government, association of some kind with another state, or statehood, and in what contexts?
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The UN Human Rights Treaty System

Universality at the Crossroads

Anne Bayefsky

This landmark study envisions a wide-ranging number of international human rights reforms, most of which can be accomplished without formal amendment to the UN international human rights treatty system. The recommendations generally assume a six treaty body regime, and focus primarily on offering concrete suggestions for improvements in working methods of the treaty bodies and procedures at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).



Published under the Transnational Publishers imprint.
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Edited by Anne Bayefsky

Every United Nations member state is part of the human rights treaty system through the ratification of at least one of the six major human rights treaties, rendering universal participation a reality. For human rights victims, the treaty system is of central importance because international legal standards may offer benefits which political fora may not: the potential to generate remedies, attention, accessiblity.
At the same time, the implementation mechanisms associated with the human rights treaties were designed at a time when the argument that international interest in human rights was an interference in domestic jurisdiction was at its peak. The challenge for the 21st Century is to move the theory of universality of international human rights standards towards effective implementation of human rights obligations.
This book is a major contribution to the effort to focus attention on effective implementation of the human rights treaties. The contributors examine the major implementation shortfalls of the UN human rights treaty system, and offer concrete recommendations as to where future implementations efforts should be placed.
The contributors are in a unique position to formulate and share their insights. They are drawn from among all of the constituencies involved in the human rights treaty system: the treaty bodies themselves, the NGO community, the UN secretariat, regional human rights regimes, UN agencies, UN human rights actors from the Human Rights Commission, the judiciary and academia.
The book also includes, as a unique resource, all of the major documents concerning the UN human rights treaty system: the text of the treaties, the text of all amendments, statistics on individual communications to the treaty bodies, the text of all meetings of the chairpersons of the treaty bodies, reports and commentaries submitted to the UN Human Rights Commission, recent resolutions of the Human Rights Commission and the General Assembly on the human rights treaties, reform proposals by the International Law Association, regional human rights instruments.
In the words of Philip Alston, the author of the UN report on enhancing the long-term effectiveness of the UN human rights treaty system, Professor Bayefsky's work `...has been more systematic and comprehensive, and has continued over a longer period of time, than any other comparable sholarly work on the subject.' (March 2000)
In this volume Professor Bayefsky has collected the views of a range of authors immersed in the contribution and welfare of the UN human rights treaty system in the 21st century. It is necessary text for all those interested in the future of the international protection of human rights.
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Edited by Anne Bayefsky

The Refugees and Human Rights Series aims to meet the increasing need for literature which probes the nature and causes of forced migration, the modalities and procedures employed when refugees present themselves, and the manner in which the human rights of refugees are, or should be, promoted and protected.

The series published one volume over the last 5 years.
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Human Rights and Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrant Workers

Essays in Memory of Joan Fitzpatrick and Arthur Helton

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Edited by Anne Bayefsky

An extraordinary volume with 28 of the world's leading refugee and human rights scholars and advocates in a wide-ranging examination of the major issues in the field today: the theoretical challenges of international protection; lessons learned from the field including Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan; jurisprudential responses from courts and treaty bodies on the rights and responsibilities of protection; due process issues from Europe, Canada and the United States, and the special needs of migrant workers. The book brings together a unique group of experts including UNHCR officials, legal academics and practitioners, and uniquely tackles these crucial subjects from the perspectives of theory, legal practice, and advocacy.
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Edited by Joan Fitzpatrick and Anne Bayefsky

A comprehensive approach to the problem of forced displacement involves understanding and addressing human rights issues in a multiplicity of forms. This collection aims to contribute to the institutional capacities of the many different players to `operationalise' the human rights of refugees and the internally displaced, by conceptualising the emerging issues and priorities, and advancing policy thinking on human rights and forced displacement.
Each of the sections of the book approaches this issue from a different perspective. The section on standards asks: What international human rights standards apply to the forcibly displaced? How do they apply? Have there been failures? Are there gaps in the international standards? Are there conflicts? The section on monitoring reporting asks: Who monitors human rights violations? Who reports the findings, and to whom? What are the respective responsibilities of the different actors? The section on solutions asks where solutions lie: Environmental planning and development? International prosecution of war criminals? Rebuilding legal infrastructures and national institutions? Enhancing the role of human rights NGOs to monitor, report, and frame forced displacement in human rights terms for increased public understanding and interest? The final section looks to the future, and considers where asylum fits into the spectrum of solving the nature of forced displacement today, the capacities and limitations of international criminal tribunals and the co-operative arrangements and practical divisions of labour that need to be fashioned between international agencies, and service relief providers.
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Anne F. Bayefsky