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The UN Human Rights Council

A Practical Anatomy

Eric Tistounet

Since its establishment the work of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has been subject to many interpretations, theories, comments or conclusions. This comprehensive book dissects every aspect of the UNHRC’s work and analyses the efficiency of, and interactions between, its mechanisms. Authored by the first Secretary of the UNHRC, this book provides unique practitioner insights into the complex decision making processes of the Council alongside the core variations from its predecessor. This book is the outcome of a six-months research fellowship carried out by the author at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
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Chapter 5: The structure of sessional and intersessional activities

Eric Tistounet


The circulatory system is an organ system that permits blood to circulate and nutrients to be transported around the body. This chapter aims to aid understanding of how the Council is performing its multiple functions during sessions or in the intersessional period of time, thus enabling issues to be discussed and situations tackled. Bodies are composed of fluids, mainly blood, which carry the necessary elements for the body to exercise its functions in a meaningful manner. Resorting to yet another unsatisfactory analogy, the structure of Council sessions and intersessional activities may be equated to the circulatory system, enabling it to perform the numerous functions and responsibilities placed on it by the international community.

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