Global Governance Centre
transitional lawmaking book cover

Book Panel Discussion: Making Human Rights Right? The Future of Global Human Rights Governance

Nina Reiners, Postdoctoral researcher, Free University Berlin
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Room S2, Maison de la paix.

A new book by Nina Reiners was released by Cambridge University Press in December 2021. We invite you to join us for this launch event, in which the author will present the book, and academic and practitioner critics will discuss the book's contributions. The presentations will be followed by a Q&A.

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The human rights regime is criticised for various reasons, like being elitist and imperialistic in its universal claims, ignorant to local customs; ineffective in protecting the most vulnerable, and unable to adequately address challenges arising from inequality and climate change. The codification of human rights in global governance has not always been driven by actors with the best interests for individuals in mind, and hostage-taking of human rights by states, international institutions, and non-state actors is widely observable. Yet, human rights remain relevant for the lives of billions of individuals around the globe. For these individuals, the codification of human rights nevertheless presents a basis on which to articulate their demands for justice. 

The question is where – in which actors, in which processes – to place hopes for their future ability to address political, economic, and social challenges. The United Nations human rights system faces current challenges with a limited budget and an increased workload. To clarify obligations under these circumstances, the independent experts serving on the treaty bodies and holding Special Procedures mandates of the Human Rights Council rely on support from external collaborators to give meaning to issues as central to international human rights as the right to water, peaceful assembly, torture, or hate speech. In that sense, their interpretations, reports, and guidelines attempt to make rights right – and account for weaknesses in global human rights governance. 

This panel brings together scholars and practitioners to discuss the future role of the United Nations human rights expert institutions. Based on the findings of the book “Transnational Lawmaking Coalitions for Human Rights” (CUP 2022), the panelists bring in their perspectives on the limits and opportunities of experts and their collaborators to address global challenges on human rights. 




Nina Reiners,  Postdoctoral researcher, Free University of Berlin




Annabelle Littoz-Monnet, Professor, International Relations/Political Science and Director of the Global Governance Centre, the Graduate Institute


panel of critics


  • Miia Halme-Tuomisaari, Associate Professor in Human Rights Studies, Lund University

  • Felix Kirchmeier, Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform and Manager of Policy Studies, Geneva Academy

  • Ludovic Hennebel, Director of the Institute for International Humanitarian Studies; Director of Aix Global Justice - Human Rights Law Clinic and Expert Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)

  • Ana Maria Suárez-Franco, Accountability Coordinator / Permanent Representative in Geneva, FIAN International

  • Livingstone Sewanyana, UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order

Please note that attendance in person is limited to 32 people, seats will be attributed on a first come first serve basis.


Transnational lawmaking book cover





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This is a hybrid event. Please register below to attend the event online, registration to attend in person are closed.