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Human Rights and the Universal Periodic Review
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Book description

The Universal Periodic Review is an intriguing and ambitious development in human rights monitoring which breaks new ground by engaging all 193 members of the United Nations. This book provides the first sustained analysis of the Review and explains how the Review functions within the architecture of the United Nations. It draws on socio-legal scholarship and the insights of human rights practitioners with direct experience of the Review in order to consider its regulatory power and its capacity to influence the behaviour of states. It also highlights the significance of the embodied features of the Review, with its cyclical and intricately managed interactive dialogues. Additionally, it discusses the rituals associated with the Review, examines the tendency of the Review towards hollow ritualism (which undermines its aspiration to address human rights violations comprehensively) and suggests how this ritualism might be overcome.


'… the first comprehensive published study of the UPR. … Consequently … the position of this book is constructive. Using different lenses to consider the phenomenon of why states embrace the language and rituals of human rights but routinely ignore the obligations they have accepted helps towards understanding and improving where international human rights law lacks implementation. The book aimed to highlight the presence of ritual in the UPR and to fill the gap on how the UPR functions as a regulatory mechanism. The aim is met: the book demonstrates that the UPR is potentially capable of mere ritualism and being able to transcend it. While this nuanced picture denies an appeal to the simplicity of a panoptic approach, it fits readily with the complex nature of the mechanism with its multitude of actors, issues and attitudes.'

Lucy Richardson Source: Human Rights Law Review

'There can be little doubting the contribution this book makes to the literature on the universal periodic review process, the UN Human Rights Council and more generally international human rights. … [it will] inevitably be perused with interest by academics, students, civil society organisations, and governments.'

Rhona K. M. Smith Source: Nordic Journal of Human Rights

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