The use of international human rights law by civil society organisations

Authored by: Andrew Clapham

Routledge Handbook of International Human Rights Law

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415620734
eBook ISBN: 9780203481417
Adobe ISBN: 9781135055943


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Civil society organisations deploy human rights law every day. It is a weapon of choice for holding governments and others to account for human rights violations. Of course there will be appeals to the values that underpin human rights, such as respect for human dignity and demands for democracy and transparency, but the contemporary normative framework is heavily reliant on human rights law. This law is used in advocacy, campaigning, fact-finding reports, complaints to international bodies, briefs to courts, and to develop the scope and efficacy of the international human rights institutional framework. There are also signs that civil society is starting to use this law to govern its own behaviour.

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