The UN Human Rights Council: Reviewing Its First Year

Carmen Márquez Carrasco, Ingrid Nifosi-Sutton


The aim of the article is to examine the first year of practice of the Human Rights Council in order to provide a critical assessment of the Council’s early activity. After a discussion of the process of establishment, mandate and working methods of the Council, consideration is given to the decisions adopted by the HRC in its first year of operation. The review of the early practice of the Human Rights Council shows the achievements of the new organ and the challenges ahead. In particular, the membership and methods of work of the Council pose very contentious issues. By way of conclusion it is noted that institution building is by far the more important achievement in the first year of practice of the Council, particularly concerning the Universal Periodic Review. It presents, however, disconcerting aspects concerning consideration of Country situations and shows a very frail and politicized approach to these issues that will inexorably be refl ected in the practice of the Council and compromise its credibility. Nonetheless, there is a widespread view that, if the UPR turns out to be successful, there is still a chance for the Council to develop as an authoritative and leading human rights body.

Published online: 11 December 2017


human rights; United Nations; Human Rights Council

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