After Atrocity: Optimizing UN Action Toward Accountability for Human Rights Abuses
14 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2015 Last revised: 12 Sep 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2015
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: Suggested Citation