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Making Human Rights a Reality$
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Emilie M. Hafner-Burton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155357

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155357.001.0001

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System Reform

System Reform

(p.116) 7 System Reform
Making Human Rights a Reality

Emilie M. Hafner-Burton

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers areas where reforms could make the international human rights legal system more effective and influential. In particular, it examines just what kinds of reforms are achievable in the real world along with their likely impact. Four types of reform are discussed. First are notions about how the broader public might become more aware that the system exists, and also more fully engaged with human rights legal procedures at home and internationally. Second are reforms aimed at streamlining the human rights legal system. Third is the professionalization of the system, especially the United Nations treaty bodies and Secretariat. Fourth is investing in credibility and legitimacy. The chapter concludes by outlining strategies that could increase the success of reform efforts and highlighting the limits of reform.

Keywords:   reform, international human rights, legal system, professionalization, United Nations, credibility, legitimacy

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