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The Human Rights Covenants at 50: Their Past, Present, and Future

Edited by: Daniel Moeckli, Helen Keller, Corina Heri

ISBN13: 9780198825890
Published: June 2018
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £89.00

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Half a century ago, on 16 December 1966, the UN General Assembly adopted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

While the adoption of the two UN human rights covenants was celebrated all over the world, their 50th anniversary has received very little attention from the international community. The present book marks this anniversary by taking stock of the first half-century of the existence of what are probably the world's two most important human rights treaties.

It does so by reflecting on what the covenants have achieved (or failed to achieve) in the years that have passed, by determining and comparing their current influence in the various regions of the world, and by assessing their potential roles in the future.

The book contains papers that were presented during a symposium held in Zurich in 2016, which brought together experts and stakeholders from a range of disciplines and world regions. Some fundamental issues that are addressed by the contributors are as old as the two covenants themselves.

They concern, for example, the division of human rights into first- and second-generation rights, and the question of whether there should be one central monitoring body - possibly a world court - or more than just one. However, the contributors go beyond such questions that have been explored before; they develop new answers to old questions and point to new challenges.

Human Rights and Civil Liberties
1: Introduction, Helen Keller and Daniel Moeckli
Part I: The Past: What Have the Covenants (Not) Achieved?
2: The History of the Covenants: Looking Back Half a Century and Beyond, Maya Hertig Randall
3: Giving Meaning and Effect to Human Rights: The Contributions of Human Rights Committee Members, Gerald Neuman
4: Interpretation of the ICESCR: Between Morality and State Consent, Daniel Moeckli
5: The Role of NGOs in the Implementation of the Covenants, Patrick Mutzenberg
Part II: The Present: What Is the Influence of the Covenants?
6: Influence of the ICESCR in Africa, Manisuli Ssenyonjo
7: Influence of the ICCPR in the Middle East, Basak Çali
8: Influence of the ICESCR in the Americas, Mónica Pinto and Martin Sigal
9: Influence of the ICCPR in Asia, Yogesh Tyagi
10: Influence of the ICESCR in Europe, Amrei Müller
11: The Influence of the Two Covenants on States Parties Across Regions: Lessons for the Role of Comparative Law and of Regions in International Human Rights Law, Samantha Besson
Part III: The Future: What Should Become of the Covenants?
12: The Covenants in the Light of Anthropogenic Climate Change, Stephen Humphreys
13: The Covenants and Financial Crises, Christine Kaufmann
14: The Institutional Future of the Covenants: A World Court for Human Rights?, Felice Gaer