Chapter

Architectural Clarity or Creative Ambiguity? The Place of the Human Rights Council in the Institutional Structure of the United Nations

Bardo Fassbender

in From Bilateralism to Community Interest

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588817
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725272 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588817.003.0030
Architectural Clarity or Creative Ambiguity? The Place of the Human Rights Council in the Institutional Structure of the United Nations

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The creation of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2006 can be seen as the most important change in the institutional structure of the United Nations (UN) since its inception. This statement is perhaps somewhat surprising because the Council was not established with ease. It was a child of both widespread discontent (with the work of the Commission on Human Rights) and of compromise (between those with higher aspirations for a new UN human rights body and those who wished to maintain the status quo, if not in form then in substance). This chapter takes a closer look at the institutional structure of the UN as it emerged from the creation of the HRC. Do we really see ‘architectural clarity’, or rather creative ambiguity? And which of the two is better in this case? Special attention is given to the legal and the working relationship between the Council and the principal organs of the UN.

Keywords: Human Rights Council; United Nations; institutional structure; Commission on Human Rights

Chapter.  9799 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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