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In Defense of Politicization of Human RightsThe UN Special Procedures$
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Elvira Domínguez-Redondo

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197516706

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197516706.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Politics of “Independence”

Politics of “Independence”

Position of Special Procedures within the United Nations

(p.161) Six Politics of “Independence”
In Defense of Politicization of Human Rights

Elvira Domínguez-Redondo

Oxford University Press

Multidimensional factors influence the real or perceived independence of mandate holders. This chapter explains the changes that have superficially improved the balance in the gender and geographical distribution of mandate holders. It considers the influence of personal and professional backgrounds of mandate holders. In particular, it questions whether some disputed interpretations of “independence” are direct consequences of the high number of academics in charge of Special Procedures. The independence of mandate holders, the cornerstone of the system of Special Procedures, is clearly defined vis-à-vis non-governmental and governmental stakeholders interacting with them. This has been endorsed by two advisory opinions of the International Court of Justice and the Code of Conduct. However, this absolute independence does not extend to the relationship of mandate holders with the United Nations, especially the Human Rights Council. Arguing otherwise undermines the authority of the Special Procedures. Finally, the chapter explains the relationship of Special Procedures with the Secretariat, the General Assembly, and the Security Council, revealing complex internal administrative structures and geopolitical considerations that determine the daily work of Special Procedures and the scope of their mandates.

Keywords:   independence, General Assembly, Security Council, OHCHR, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, earmarked funding, voluntary funding, Mazilu, International Court of Justice

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