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The United Nations Special Procedures System

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The United Nations Special Procedures system is a key element of the evolving international framework for human rights protection and promotion. However, despite the system’s expansion, the range of roles and functions performed by mandate holders, and the mounting evidence of its strengths and limitations, there has been very little academic interrogation or analysis of Special Procedures. This lacuna is ever-more problematic given the growing profile and effectiveness of the Special Procedures’ work, as well as the increasing attention and challenges that they face, both externally from States and internally from within the UN system. Given the current ‘state of play’ of Special Procedures, it is essential that scholarly attention be focussed upon the system. How does it contribute to international human rights protection? How, when and why does it fail to do so? What steps can and should be taken to address shortcomings both within the system and in terms of the legal and political context within which it operates? Featuring expert contributions from key players within, and expert commentators on, the Special Procedures system, this volume addresses these questions in an in-depth and rigorous scholarly manner.

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