Contesting Human Rights
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Contesting Human Rights

Norms, Institutions and Practice

Edited by Alison Brysk and Michael Stohl

Illustrated with case studies from across the globe, Contesting Human Rights provides an innovative approach to human rights, and examines the barriers and changing pathways to the full realisation of these rights. Presenting a thorough proposal for the reframing of human rights, the volume suggests that new opportunities at, and below, the state level, and creative pathways of global governance can help reconstruct human rights in the face of modern challenges.
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Chapter 5: A horizontal pathway to impact? An assessment of the Universal Periodic Review at 10

Pilar Elizalde


Operating under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is an innovative mechanism in which the human rights record of all UN member states is scrutinized by their peers. Since it started functioning in 2008, not only have all states been under review for two cycles now, but they have actively participated in interactive dialogues making over 55,000 recommendations on a number of different human rights issues. A decade after its first session, an assessment of this unique mechanism becomes more relevant than ever. This chapter examines the principles and practices on key features of the UPR, such as universality, equal treatment, the peer-to-peer element, international cooperation and dialogue. It argues that the interplay of these characteristics turns the UPR into a distinctive horizontal pathway to impact, which is unique in the international human rights regime.

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