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New research to bolster advice for NHRIs

Graphic: Rohan Mishra (left), with Jenni Whelan and Tim Tabuteau, APF secretariat

The APF has completed a comprehensive study of decisions made by the body responsible for the international accreditation of NHRIs.

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The APF has just completed a comprehensive study of decisions made over the past five years by the body responsible for the international accreditation of national human rights institutions (NHRIs).

The study – undertaken by Rohan Mishra, a post-graduate law student from Columbia University – has sought to identify trends in decisions made by GANHRI's Subcommittee on Accreditation.

The role of the Subcommittee is to assess the extent to which NHRIs meet the minimum standards set out in the Paris Principles. Its decisions provide advice on the steps that NHRIs can take to either meet or maintain those standards.

"A review of the Subcommittee's jurisprudence is important because it means the APF has additional tools when it is asked to suggest legislative provisions for its members or when governments are in the process of establishing an NHRI," Rohan said.

The advice provided to NHRIs by the Subcommittee has been distilled, coded and entered into a database that will be updated following future accreditation sessions.

"It was a really interesting study to work on," Rohan added.

"Even though it is not a formal judicial mechanism, there is a clear sense of jurisprudence and precedent that informs how the members of the Subcommittee make their decisions. It was a really interesting study to work on."

Findings from the study will be released later in the year.


Graphic: Person walking past the corridor of flags, Palais de Nations, Geneva


The APF's Legal Counsel, Jenni Whelan, supervised Rohan during his 10-week internship with the APF.

"Rohan has made an immense contribution to the APF in the short time he has been with us," Ms Whelan said. "We were very fortunate to benefit from his enthusiasm, dedication and good humour."

"In addition to his review of the Subcommittee's decisions, Rohan also helped with comparative research in relation to enforcement mechanisms for individual complaints received by NHRIs," she said.

"This will be a great resource for governments in our region when they are drafting legislation to establish an NHRI."

Rohan will continue his Jurius Doctor degree at Columbia University when the new academic year starts in September.

"My time with the APF has definitely deepened my interest in international and comparative law," he said.

Date: 19 July 2018


Image credits

  1. Rohan Mishra (left), with Jenni Whelan and Tim Tabuteau, APF secretariat - APF
  2. Person walking past the corridor of flags, Palais de Nations, Geneva - James Iliffe/APF