The emerging role of sub-national human rights institutions in the international human rights regime
3 May 2017
UAntwerp, Stadscampus, Hof van Liere, Fernand Tassiszaal - Prinsstraat 13 - 2000 Antwerpen (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus
Koen De Feyter
PhD defence Andrew Wolman - Law & Development Research group
In recent years, sub-national human rights institutions (‘SNHRIs’) – defined as independent non-judicial governmental institutions that possess a sub-national mandate, and whose mission includes the implementation of human rights norms – have proliferated in all regions of the world. Yet, the precise role of SNHRIs and the nature of their interactions with other international human rights actors and norms has received relatively little attention. The seven articles that comprise this thesis take a first step toward filling this gap by examining the emerging place of SNHRIs in the international human rights regime. The first article defines and typologises SNHRIs, allowing for a more systematic study of SNHRIs in the rest of the thesis and future research.
The next five articles focus on answering three principal research questions. First, what role do SNHRIs occupy in the international human rights regime and how do they interact with other human rights actors? Second, what are the implications of SNHRIs’ emergence as an increasingly relevant actor in the international human rights regime? Third, how can the participation of SNHRIs in the international human rights regime be managed optimally so as to maximize the added value that they can bring to the international human rights regime? As a secondary matter, these articles also engage in a comparative analysis between SNHRIs and National Human Rights Institutions (‘NHRIs’), asking to what extent SNHRIs are similar to or different from NHRIs in their relationships with the international human rights regime.
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