1887

Comparative Study on Mandates of National Human Rights Institutions in the Commonwealth

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This is the first Commonwealth-wide comparative study of national human rights institutions (NHRIs), and is designed to help everyone interested in establishing and developing NHRIs to improve their effectiveness.



The study looks at the international framework for the protection of human rights, and the historical and political background to the establishment of NHRIs and ombudsman offices. The individual mandates of various institutions are considered, looking at them region by region. Finally, the study compares the normative framework and mandates of the NHRIs are analysed, comparing what NHRIs are empowered to do and what they are doing in practice, though value judgements as to the merits and demerits of individual named institutions are avoided.



Rather than provide a detailed theoretical analysis, the study concentrates on helping practitioners and policy-makers improve the working of NHRIs in practice, and will be a useful tool both to the institutions themselves and to all those who wish to support them.

English

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Conclusions

The role of National Human Rights Institutions and the Office of Ombudsman in the promotion and protection of human rights is critical. Independence is a prerequisite to the effective implementation of the mandates of both institutions. A perceived or actual lack of independence will undermine the work, authority and legitimacy of these organisations.

English

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