Implementing Human Rights Decisions: Reflections, Successes, and New Directions

Background

It is now just over a decade since the publication of Open Society Justice Initiative’s 2010 report, From Judgment to Justice: Implementing International and Regional Human Rights Decisions. That report surveyed the state of implementation across the three regional human rights systems and UN treaty bodies, while a 2013 follow-up, From Rights to Remedies  examined strategies and structures for improving implementation at the national level. The Human Rights Law Implementation Project (HRLIP), in which the Justice Initiative was a key partner, built on this work by selecting decisions and judgments from across Africa, the Americas and Europe, as a lens through which to better comprehend what happens in the post-decision/judgment phase and of the responses taken by state authorities to implement them.

This capstone series responds to numerous requests for an “updated” version of From Judgment to Justice by covering some of the top-line findings drawn from HRLIP’s research, as well as the Justice Initiative’s own experience advocating for the implementation of human rights decisions.  By assessing developments and changes in the implementation/compliance field over the past decade, these contributions further capture learning and insights that emerged from the HRLIP, reflect on enduring challenges in the field, and assess progress based on some of the recommendations made by the Justice Initiative ten years ago.  

Written by members of the HRLIP team as well as experienced practitioners, these posts also seek to bridge the gap between academic and practice communities by offering short and accessible analysis of a critical phase in the strategic litigation process. In addition to the authors below, the valuable assistance of Ashrakat “Ash” Mohammed in assembling this series is gratefully acknowledged.  

Publications

Each publication is available in English, French and Spanish (and one is available in Russian). Please click on the appropriate link below.

1. Introduction Christian De Vos and Rachel Murray

English | French | Spanish

2. The Power of Hearings: Unleashing Compliance with Judgments at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Clara Sandoval

English | French | Spanish

3. Taking Rights Seriously: Canada's Disappointing Human Rights Implementation Record Paola Limon

English | French | Spanish

4. Reflections on the Role of Civil Society Organizations in Implementing Cases from the African Commission and Court Felix Agbor Nkongho

English | French | Spanish

5. Addressing Cote d’Ivoire’s Statelessness Problem: Utilizing Multiple Tools to Support Implementation of Judgments Amon Dongo and Alpha Sesay 

English | French | Spanish

6. Litigating Torture in Central Asia: Lessons Learned from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan Masha Lisitsyna and Anastassiya Miller

English | French | Russian |  Spanish        

7. Some Justice out of Repression and Reprisals: On the Plight of Human Rights Defenders in Azerbaijan Philip Leach

English | French | Spanish

8. The Power of Persistence: How NGOs can Ensure that Judgments Lead to Justice Alice Donald

English | French | Spanish

9. How Can NGOs Push for Implementationand What’s Stopping Them? A Conversation with NGO Leaders in the Americas, Africa and Europe A conversation with Viviana Krsticevic, Gaye Sowe, and George Stafford facilitated by Anne-Katrin Speck

English | French | Spanish                                  

10. A New Court for Human Rights Cases: The Court of Justice of the European Union Márta Pardavi and Kersty McCourt

Publication will be available on 1 March.              

11. More than the Sum of our Parts: Reflections on Collective Implementation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Decisions Susie Talbot

Publication will be available on 1 March.  

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