UN Treaty Bodies Litigators' Meeting 2018
On 3 and 4 October 2018, CCPR-Centre and Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), together with Amnesty International, the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) and TB-Net, organised a meeting with litigators engaging with UN Treaty Bodies (UNTBs).
The event was the fourth in a series of meetings aiming at discussing litigation and advocacy strategies in relation to UNTBs’ individual complaints procedure, with a particular focus on the implementation of the decisions. Prior to this, there was a pre-workshop for limited participants, to get an overview of the UNTBs complaint mechanism, focusing on working methods and the admissibility criteria.
Members of TB-Net presented themost recent developments of the jurisprudence of the UNTBs and procedural issues. A session was also dedicated to discuss the inquiry procedures of the Committee against Torture (CAT) and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
Various keynote speakers led discussions on issues relating to the individual complaints procedures and their implementation. Christof Heyns, member of the Human Rights Committee (HRCttee), and Sandra Liebenberg, member of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) discussed individual communications in relation to their respective Committees. As the Optional Protocol to the CESCR on individual complaints is relatively new, it has only adopted decisions on 4 cases, which were described by Ms. Liebenberg. On the other hand, as the HRCttee has reviewed hundreds of cases, Mr. Heyns spoke about how the Committee deals with challenges such as backlog of cases.
Debra Long, researcher at the Human Rights Implementation Centre at the University of Bristol, and Kate Fox, presented their respective researches on the implementation of UNTB individual communications at the national level.
Finally, the conference ended off with a talk by Basak Çali, of the European Implementation Network (EIN), explaining the work of EIN in following up the implementation of the recommendations of the European Court of HR. This was very helpful for NGOs working towards the implementation of UNTB cases.