International Human Rights Law and Diplomacy
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International Human Rights Law and Diplomacy

Kriangsak Kittichaisaree

This incisive book provides an unparalleled insight into the ways in which international human rights law functions in a real world context across cultural, religious and geopolitical divides. Written by a professor, former ambassador and international judge, the book demonstrates how power, diplomacy, tactics and processes operate within the human rights system from the perspective of a non-Western insider with more than three decades’ experience in the field.
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Chapter 6: Complying with and enforcing international human rights law: can the bad guys get away with it?

Kriangsak Kittichaisaree


Research outcomes on States’ compliance with international human rights law are analysed. Mechanisms to enforce human rights can be judicial or non-judicial. The latter includes inducement or pressure. External factors such as the policies of foreign States and international organizations are also crucial. The most drastic and controversial form of enforcement is the use of coercive means, especially the use of force by a foreign State or group of States in the name of ‘humanitarian intervention’ or by invoking the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) against the State accused of serious violations of human rights. The persistent failure of the UN Security Council to discharge its mandate against serious human rights violation leads to calls for its reform. Meanwhile, some States exercise universal jurisdiction to prosecute human rights abusers in their courts irrespective of any linkage between the abuses and the State. But universal criminal jurisdiction is challenged by other States.

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