Saturday, 14 May 2011

Louise Arbour on the Future of Human Rights

Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour delivered a speech a week or so ago entitled 'The Rise and Fall of International Human Rights'. As always, it is thoughtful and somewhat provocative. In particular, she comments on the recent developments in Libya. On the role of the International Criminal Court, she says:
The increasing entanglement of  justice and politics is unlikely to be good for justice in the long run. To make criminal pursuits subservient to political interests, activating and withdrawing cases as political imperatives dictate, is unlikely to serve the interest of the ICC which must above all establish its credibility and legitimacy as a professional and impartial substitute for deficient national systems of accountability. I’m not sure that partnership with the Security Council is the best way to attain these objectives.
The tone is positive and upbeat in many respects, and I'm not sure I get the title. Required reading. Louise Arbour is President & CEO of the International Crisis Group. Her talk was the Sir Joseph Hotung International Human Rights Lecture 2011, and was delivered at the British Museum on 27 April 2011.
Thanks to Yvonne McDermott.

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