Treaty Body Reform: The Dublin Process

11.04.2013

The Dublin Process was initiated by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in September 2009. The aim was to encourage all relevant stakeholders—states, treaty body experts, NGOs, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), academics and UN entities—to develop proposals to strengthen the treaty body system.

 

The Dublin Process was initiated by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in September 2009. The aim was to encourage all relevant stakeholders—states, treaty body experts, NGOs, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), academics and UN entities—to develop proposals to strengthen the treaty body system.

In November 2009, a group of current and former treaty body experts convened in Ireland and issued the “Dublin Statement” (January 2010) to establish principles to underpin the discussions on treaty body strengthening.

Several stakeholders developed responses to the Dublin statement and some 20 consultations took place between 2010 and 2012 (see below for relevant documents).

In November 2011, OHCHR put together a non-exhaustive list of proposals that had emerged by that point from the consultations.

Also in November 2011, stakeholders reconvened in Dublin and issued the Dublin II Outcome Document. It provides a summary of the proposals and recommendations that emerged from all stakeholder consultations. Amnesty International has put together a helpful summary of the Dublin II Outcome Document in 15 Points.

In June 2012, the High Commissioner published a report entitled “Strengthening the UN human rights treaty body system”, which outlines key recommendations arising from the Dublin Process.

However, just as the Dublin process was due to culminate in the High Commissioner’s report, the issue became politically charged when certain Member States in New York launched a rival ‘intergovernmental process’ in the General Assembly. Human rights defenders in particular suffered a significant setback, as the intergovernmental process did not provide adequately for their participation. See ISHR’s page on the Intergovernmental Process for more information.

Click here for an April 2011 ISHR interview with Rachel Brett of the Quaker UN Office and Tania Baldwin-Pask of Amnesty International, taking stock of the reform process at that point.

Relevant documents:

NHRIs

Treaty Body members

NGOs

States parties

Academia

Multi-stakeholder

UN entities and specialized agencies

For more information, see also the OHCHR Website and Amnesty International’s Strengthening of the United Nations treaty bodies: Questions and answers (19 September 2012)

Category:

Topic
  • Treaty body strengthening process
Mechanism
  • UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies