Human rights treaty body review 2020 : towards an integrated treaty body system
The thesis contributes to the debate on the efficient functioning of the human rights mechanisms at the universal level that were established by different human rights treaties – the treaty bodies. The system suffers from a number of deficiencies and in fact has been in need of a reform for the last thirty years. In 2014, several measures aimed at improving its functioning were adopted by the UN General Assembly. Within the thesis the major long-term problems of the treaty body system are identified. Furthermore, the extent to which the measures adopted in 2014 addressed the real problems of the system is assessed. It is concluded that out of nine issues, only one was properly addressed. As the General Assembly expects a review of the system in 2020, the thesis argues for a genuine reform of the system. It suggests that an Integrated Treaty Body System (ITBS) should be established that would not require an amendment of the current treaties and it would enable effective functioning of the system under its permanent growth. The main features of the proposal consist in transforming the Human Rights Committee into a permanent body monitoring both covenants on human rights, while the specialised committees would interact with the Human Rights Committee within regular post-sessional meetings. In addition, concrete measures are presented in order to reduce or eliminate the identified problems of the system.