Did the Creation of the United Nations Human Rights Council Produce a Better 'Jury'?

11 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2016  

Adam S. Chilton

University of Chicago - Law School

Robert Golan-Vilella

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: October 18, 2016

Abstract

In 1946, the United Nations (UN) created a body comprised of member states known as the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to promote international human rights. The CHR was consistently plagued with accusations that it was a bad “jury” because its members frequently had abhorrent human rights records. To remedy this problem, in 2006 a reform eliminated the CHR and replaced it with a new body with modified membership rules known as the Human Rights Council (HRC). It is not clear, however, whether the 2006 reform was effective. Using data on the human rights practices of all members of the UN and the relevant bodies from 1998 to 2013, we evaluate whether the 2006 reform helped fix the CHR’s membership problem. We find that the human rights records of the members of the HRC are better on average than the records of the CHR’s members were, but that the human rights records of the members of the HRC still are worse than the average UN member not on the HRC.

Keywords: United Nations, Human Rights, International Organizations, Human Rights Council, Commission on Human Rights

Suggested Citation

Chilton, Adam S. and Golan-Vilella, Robert, Did the Creation of the United Nations Human Rights Council Produce a Better 'Jury'? (October 18, 2016). U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 597; University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 780. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2860204

Adam S. Chilton (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.adamchilton.org

Robert Golan-Vilella

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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