Taking Stock of the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Body Case Law: Trends and Developments 2014-2017


Thursday, 8 June 2017

In 2015 the Center for Global Public Law (CGPL) became the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Reports on International Human Rights Law under the auspices of Oxford Reports of International Law database (ORIL). The CGPL team, composed of fifteen researchers, has supplied ORIL with comprehensive coverage and analyses of all Views rendered by eight United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies with a mandate to receive individual communications, delivered since 2014. As of February 2017, the CGPL team of Oxford Human Rights Law Reporters (OxHRLR) has supplied close to one hundred case notes to ORIL covering the case law of all eight UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies.

Members of the OxHRLR research team have recently engaged in the production of a series of essay-long analysis and reflection pieces on thematic, substantive, and procedural aspects of UN human rights (UNHRL) jurisprudence. Published on the CGPL’s blog, the essays authored by experienced OxHRLR reporters that have a country specific or thematic overview of the case-law, analyse new jurisprudential trends, reflect on challenges, compare the UN’s case law with that of regional courts and domestic bodies, and unpack specific Views and their impact on the development of international human rights law. The Centre has also begun to make UN human rights committee Views available in Turkish, complemented by short reflections in Turkish on their significance.

The 8 June 2017 workshop will mark an important milestone in the Centre’s contribution to the reporting of and analyzing United Nations Human Rights Treaty Body case-law. To take stock of this experience and offer an opportunity for dedicated reflection on UNHRL jurisprudence since 2014, this workshop aims to bring together UNHRL committee members, IHRL experts’ researchers and OxHRLR reporters for a stocktaking exercise that reflects on the trends of UN Human Rights Law case-law of all UN Human Rights treaty bodies.

The aim of this day-long workshop is twofold. First, it is intended to critically examine and reflect on the recent developments in the case law from a comparative perspective, paying attention to both the approaches of Committees and regional human rights systems to similar issues. Second, the workshop will generate discussion and reflection concerning the prospects and perils of UNHRL jurisprudence through individual cases, given the recent expansion of the right to individual petition in the UN treaty body system and the role it has and continues to play as a fall back option for unsuccessful domestic and regional proceedings in all regions of the world. The workshop is timely in view of the 2020 reform of the UN treaty body system.

Registration is open to ESIL members and UNHRL researchers, but spaces are limited. . Please contact Irina Crivet (icrivet13@ku.edu.tr) for registration and further information. To access the pdf of the workshop click here.



Welcome, coffee and registration

9:30 – 10:30

Session I

Chair: Başak Çalı (Director Center for Global Public Law)

Presentation: Sarah Cleveland (HRC Committee Member; Professor, Columbia Law School), ‘Mellet and its Aftermath’

Presentation: Fleur van Leeuwen (Affiliated Researcher at Atria Institute on Gender Equality and Woman’s History, Amsterdam): ‘CEDAW: Engendering Human Rights’

10:30 – 11:30

Session II The UN Human Rights Committees and Non-refoulement

Chair: Zeynep Elibol (Instructor, Koç University Law School)

Presentation: Mine Orer (Oxford IHRL Reporter), ‘Understanding the Principle of Non-Refoulement: Switzerland and the 53rd CAT Session

Presentation: Kübra Berberoğlu (Oxford IHRL Reporter), ‘Internal Relocation Alternative: Where Does the Human Rights Committee Stand?’

Coffee break: 11.30-11.45

11:45 – 12:45

Session III Reading through non-admissibility decisions of the UN Human Rights Committees

Chair: Fleur van Leeuwen (Affiliated Researcher at Atria Institute on Gender Equality and Woman’s History, Amsterdam)

Presentation: İdil Özcan (Oxford IHRL Reporter), ‘Extensions of Protection to Victims under CEDAW: Winds of change?’

Presentation: Lawrence Cenk Laws (Oxford IHRL Reporter),‘Czechoslovakian Restitution Cases: Article 26 ICCPR v. Ratione Temporis’

Lunch: 12.45- 13:45


Session V Systemic non-cooperation

Chair: Alexandre Skander Galand (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Global Public Law)

Presentation: Irina Crivet (Oxford IHRL Reporter), ‘Non-compliance and non-cooperation with Human Rights Committee views: the case of Belarus’

Presentation: Seçil Bilgiç (Oxford IHRL Reporter), Algeria before the HRC and the CAT: ‘Business as Usual for Human Rights Jurisprudence?’


Session IV The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Almost 10 Years

Damjan Tatic, CRDP Committee Member (via skype), ‘Jurisprudence of Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities under Optional protocol to the Convention’

15.30-15.45: Coffee break


Session VI The UN Committees and Remedies

Chair: Valentina Azarova (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Global Public Law)

Presentation: Betül Durmuş (Oxford IHRL Reporter), Two Paths to Transitional Justice: A Comparison of the European Court of Human Rights and Human Rights Committee’s Approaches to Bosnian Enforced Disappearance Cases’

Presentation: Albane Prophette (OHCHR Individual Petition Unit), ‘Remedies and Follow-Up to Views’


Wrap up session: UNHRL Jurisprudential Trends and Developments 2014-2017

Chair: Başak Çalı (Director Center for Global Public Law)


Workshop Dinner for Presenters

Workshop Organization Committee

Professor Basak Cali, Editor in Chief of UNHRL Reports and Director, Center for Global Public Law

Dr. Valentina Azarova, Associate editor of UNHRL Reports and Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Global Public Law

Dr. Alexandre Skander Galand, Associate editor of UNHRL Reports and Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Global Public Law

Irina Crivet, UNHRL Reporter and Ph.D. Candidate, Law School, Koc University