Human Rights Prosecutors? The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, International Justice, and the Example of Syria

19 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2013 Last revised: 17 Nov 2013

See all articles by David Kaye

David Kaye

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: January 4, 2013

Abstract

This draft essay explores the relationship between the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and international justice. I devote a substantial portion of this essay to the ongoing crisis in Syria (as of October 2012), in which the Security Council and international justice have played limited roles while the High Commissioner has taken on increasingly visible tasks as investigator, reporter, advocate, and voice of outrage. Though the Syria experience sits at the center of this essay, ultimately I have broader questions: What are the origins of this relationship and how are these different actors meant to interact? How should OHCHR, and the High Commissioner in particular, engage with international justice? What opportunities exist for the High Commissioner to advance the goals of international justice? What might the framework of a High Commissioner-International Justice relationship look like? Are there any risks involved in the increasing association of OHCHR with international justice? If so, are those acceptable risks? How may those risks be managed? Finally, I conclude with some thoughts about key priorities over the coming years.

Keywords: international law, international justice, human rights, international criminal law, United Nations

Suggested Citation

Kaye, David A., Human Rights Prosecutors? The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, International Justice, and the Example of Syria (January 4, 2013). UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-83. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2196550

David A. Kaye (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

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