Public Consultation on Justice, Human Rights, and the International Legal System

The ICM hosted a public consultation on June 14th on its discussion paper “Justice, Human Rights, and the International Legal System.”

Watch the webcast:

The United Nations Charter underscores the vital importance of promoting respect for fundamental human rights, including to achieve lasting peace and sustainable development. In addition to the robust normative framework on universal human rights, the UN has established a variety of mechanisms to assist states with implementing their legal obligations under international human rights law, to monitor compliance, and to foster accountability for alleged human rights violations. However, significant challenges remain in terms of implementation and compliance with the normative framework, as well as comprehensive access to justice.

The past three decades have seen significant developments with respect to international criminal justice, especially for serious and widespread violations of human rights. The Security Council has played a key role in these developments, including through the powers it was granted under the Statute of the International Criminal Court. However, the Security Council is hardly the only place within the multilateral system anchored in the UN where respect for human rights and accountability for violations thereof can and should be addressed. The discussion paper puts forth the importance of strengthening and relying more on domestic criminal justice mechanisms and on the crucial role of non-judicial mechanisms in promoting respect for and compliance with human rights norms. This discussion paper submits a number of recommendations to strengthen the multilateral system’s capacity to promote and ensure respect for human rights, as well as accountability and justice for violations thereof.

This public consultation focused on the insights and recommendations of the discussion paper. We received feedback from members of civil society organizations, academia, member states, and the private sector, and consequently considered the feedback while making adjustments to the paper.

Mr. Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York
Mr. Stefan Barriga, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations
Mr. Benjamin Majekodunmi, Senior Officer, Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General
Ms. Madeleine Sinclair, New York Office Director & Legal Counsel, International Service for Human Rights

Dr. Els Debuf, Senior Advisor for Humanitarian Affairs, Independent Commission on Multilateralism