I was recently invited by the Berkeley Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group to give a keynote on the Paris Principles. I appreciated the opportunity to reflect on a set of norms which have inspired a lot of my academic research! Instead of offering a summary of recent work on national human rights institutions (NHRIs) effectiveness, I thought instead that I’d offer a more personal account of the individuals that have been instrumental to the remarkable diffusion of these standards and their often faithful instantiation in structures around the world. Although the story of NHRI diffusion has been well-documented elsewhere, the role of individual norm entrepreneurs in this story is not well-understood. Continue reading The Untold Story of the Paris Principles
Katerina Linos (Berkeley Law) and I are excited to have finalized our article on the effectiveness of national human rights institutions, forthcoming in The American Journal of International Law. The abstract follows and a final version can be downloaded here.
Talk given at Leuven University (29 June 2017):
By way of preface, I’d like to echo Philip Alston in his LSE Human Rights Day lecture last year, that the human rights community is entering a watershed moment. We have a President of the US and the Philippines who openly support torture and killing with impunity. Civil society faces a major global crackdown. Unfettered capitalism is multiplying human rights and environmental crises. But to sound a slightly less gloomy note, this does not amount to the end times or the twilight of human rights. Continue reading The Tradecraft of Human Rights Politics
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced last week that the 2015 Paris climate change accords will, in all likelihood, go into effect this year. These accords commit the U.S. and dozens of other nations to try to lower greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change.
But devising multilateral agreements is painstaking work. Typically, negotiators from hundreds of states deliberate for many years. Any agreement they reach often involves major compromises, which means provisions that experts consider important tend to be watered down
Nowhere is this more apparent than the case of the Paris Climate Change Accords. To break decades of multilateral gridlock on climate change, negotiators followed the mantra don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
But is there a cost to being flexible?
Katerina Linos and Tom Pegram
Washington Post-The Monkey Cage, 29 September 2016.
For all NHRI research hounds, the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) – which serves as a coalition of NHRIs in the region and is the longest-standing regional network of national institutions in the world – has recently launched an impressively exhaustive NHRI bibliography. The bibliography will continue to be updated, providing an invaluable entry point into the world of NHRI policy and research. Many thanks to Chris Sidoti, the APF and the various NHRI practitioners and researchers who have contributed to this fantastic resource.