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Part II Subsidiary Human Rights Organs, 5 The Human Rights Council

Rosa Freedman

From: The United Nations and Human Rights: A Critical Appraisal (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Frédéric Mégret, Philip Alston

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 31 May 2023

Human rights

This chapter focuses on the Human Rights Council. As the principal UN human rights body, the Council is arguably the lynchpin of the UN human rights machinery, bringing together states, independent experts, UN staff, and civil society actors, as well as reporting to the full UN membership via the General Assembly. The Human Rights Council is also quite a unique body, combining the most intensely political elements, a high degree of reliance on expertise, and in situ human rights investigations in order to fulfil its duties to protect, to promote, and to develop international human rights law. Many of the criticisms of the Council fail to take into account the ways in which it is hampered by its mandate, powers, and mechanisms. The chapter then considers the Council’s creation, its mandate and functions, and details the body’s strengths and weaknesses.

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