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The 2020 UN Human Rights Treaty Body Review: strengthening or strangling the system?

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Duration: 0:43:40 | Added: 01 Feb 2019
Following a difficult and protracted process, in 2014 the UNGA adopted Resolution 68/268 which set out to strengthen the UN human rights treaty body system.

It mandated a further review in 2020. The proposals which are emerging for that review have the potential to radically change the nature of the UN human rights system - but whether for better or worse is keenly contested. In his talk, Malcolm Evans, who has been a participant in these developments, will outline the background to the proposals and offer a personal assessment, from a treaty body perspective, of their significance for the future of the machinery of international human rights protection.

Malcolm Evans is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Bristol, UK where he has taught since 1988. His areas of legal specialism include both international human rights protection and the international law of the sea. In the field of human rights his particular interests concern torture and torture prevention and the protection of religious liberty under international law, on both of which he was written extensively. He became a member of the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (the SPT) in 2009 and since 2011 has been serving as its Chair. From 2014-2015 he was the Chairperson of the Meeting of Chairs of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies.

From 2002 – 2013 he was a member of the OSCE ODIHR Advisory Council on the Freedom of Religion or Belief. He is also a member of the UK Foreign Secretary’s Human Rights Advisory Group. He has acted as an independent advisor and consultant for numerous international organisations over many years. From 2003-5 he was Head of the School of Law and from 2005-2009 Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Bristol. From 2016-2018 he was a member of the Commission on Religious Education established by the Religious Education Council. Since 2015 he has been a Member of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Wales (IICSA).

He is General Editor of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly and Co-Editor in Chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. Major published works include: Religious Liberty and International Law in Europe (CUP, 1997), Preventing Torture (OUP, 1998), Combating Torture in Europe (Council of Europe, 2002), Manual on the Wearing of Religious Symbols in Public Areas (Council of Europe/Brill, 2009), The Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OUP, 2011), The Changing Nature of Religious Rights under International Law (ed) (OUP, 2015), Preventing Torture in Europe (Council of Europe, 2018). He is Editor of International Law (OUP, 5th ed, 2018) and Blackstone’s International Law Documents (OUP, 13th ed, 2017).

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