Against a World Court for Human Rights

Ethics and International Affairs, 2014, Forthcoming

NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 13-71

23 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2013

See all articles by Philip Alston

Philip Alston

New York University School of Law

Date Written: October 23, 2013

Abstract

In 2011 a Swiss-sponsored initiative, endorsed by some of the world’s leading human rights lawyers, called for a World Court of Human Rights to be created. It would be permanent, have jurisdiction over 21 different human rights treaties, apply to non-state actors as well as states, and issue binding judgments that could ultimately be enforced by the Security Council. This paper argues that the proposal is fundamentally misconceived. In addition to practical issues such as political feasibility and cost, the proposal overstates the role that can and should be played by judicial mechanisms, downplays the immense groundwork that needs to be undertaken before such a mechanism could be helpful, sets up a straw man to be attacked by those who thrive on exaggerating the threat posed by giving greater prominence to human rights instruments at the international level, and distracts attention from far more pressing and important issues.

Suggested Citation

Alston, Philip, Against a World Court for Human Rights (October 23, 2013). Ethics and International Affairs, 2014, Forthcoming; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 13-71. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2344333

Philip Alston (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,340
Abstract Views
6,466
rank
13,775
PlumX Metrics