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Tips for Researching International Human Rights Case Law

Via Lyonette Louis-Jacques From the Reference Desk: Tips for Researching International Human Rights Case Law By Jonathan Pratter -“In the universe of international human rights documentation, case law has a special place. Human rights case law is human rights in action. It confronts general norms with concrete facts and requires a decision about whether or not the general norm has been violated. Human rights case law brings general norms to life. The point of this post is to offer tips for researching human rights case law in each of the systems of protection that are in operation in the world today.In the United Nations system, eight treaty bodies are competent to receive and decide on individual communications alleging violations by states parties of obligations under the core human rights agreements. The clearinghouse of human rights information in the UN system is the website of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The High Commissioner’s website has a Jurisprudence Database. “Jurisprudence” is the term used for case law. This derives from the usage of the term in the civil-law system. In the Jurisprudence Database, the researcher has several options. There is a filter for selecting the convention/treaty body of interest. Filtering by issue and by convention article is also possible. Significantly, there is a keyword search box that enables full-text searches. Results are displayed in a table of cases in reverse chronological order with links to pdf versions of individual cases…”

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