Human Rights Council

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The UN HRC recognizes the right to a healthy environment and appoints a new Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change. What does it all mean?

On Friday 8 October, the UN Human Rights Council adopted Resolution 48/13, recognising for first time that having a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a human right and calling on UN Member States to cooperate to implement this right. On the same day, the Council adopted Resolution 48/14, establishing a Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change. This blog post reflects on these resolutions and on their implications for international environmental cooperation and governance. A right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment: why? The right to a healthy environment is already formulated with various phraseologies in the law of more than 150 states, which recognise the crucial role of environmental conditions to the existence and well-being of humankind. A growing body of national and international caselaw and practice has defined the content and scope of this right, as well as its relationship with other human rights. This practice has been amply documented in the literature, and has…

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Challenging abortion laws in Bangladesh: In need of a multi-pronged judicial strategy

In May 2020, a writ petition was filed with the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh challenging the constitutionality of Sections 312-316 of the Penal Code 1860, a legacy of the British colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent. Under Section 312, anyone who voluntarily causes a woman to miscarry, including the woman herself, is punishable…

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Attacking women’s rights and UN human rights mechanisms under the guise of principle

Grégor Puppinck’s response to critiques of the ECLJ’s report on financing for the UN human rights Special Procedures’ system is a masterclass in evasion. He entirely ignores Martin Scheinin’s analysis that shows the dishonesty and manipulation involved in the preparation of his report. His claim that my work as UN Special Rapporteur on extreme…

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The ‘scandal’ of foundation support for UN human rights Special Procedures, a response

Editors’ Note: Upon the publication of this post, Prof. Fionnuala Ni Aolain contacted the Editors of EJIL: Talk! and advised us that, contrary to the claims made in the post, the Board of the OSI Women’s Rights Program had no financial involvement whatsoever in the award of a grant to the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. Such…

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What’s wrong with this picture? The UN Human Rights Council hears the military Junta as the legitimate government of Myanmar

Introduction to the representation issue A few weeks ago, on 26 February 2021, Rebecca Barber wrote a piece in EJIL:Talk! asking whether the UN General Assembly could exclude Myanmar by refusing “to recognise the credentials of its ruling military Junta?” Quite correctly she answered with a resounding “YES”. This piece will continue the focus on…

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