After Atrocity: Optimizing UN Action Toward Accountability for Human Rights Abuses

14 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2015 Last revised: 12 Sep 2015

See all articles by Steven R. Ratner

Steven R. Ratner

University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: June 1, 2015

Abstract

With the UN's attention to individual accountability for human rights abuses now well into its third decade, this paper appraises the added value of a UN role and the best methods for accomplishing it. The paper argues that human rights fact-finding is an especially important task for the UN and considers, based on past practice, the factors that contribute to successful fact-finding as well as the pitfalls for the UN to avoid in the future. Some of the insights are based on the author's membership in the Secretary-General Group of Experts for Cambodia and the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka. This paper was originally delivered as the John P. Humphrey Lecture in Human Rights at McGill University in September 2014.

Keywords: United Nations, human rights, fact-finding, war crimes, Human Rights Council, Sri Lanka, Cambodia

Suggested Citation

Ratner, Steven R., After Atrocity: Optimizing UN Action Toward Accountability for Human Rights Abuses (June 1, 2015). Michigan Journal of International Law, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2015; U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 466. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2647433 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2647433

Steven R. Ratner (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

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