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From Bilateralism to Community InterestEssays in Honour of Bruno Simma$
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Ulrich Fastenrath, Rudolf Geiger, Daniel-Erasmus Khan, Andreas Paulus, Sabine von Schorlemer, and Christoph Vedder

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588817

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588817.001.0001

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Universal Periodic Review: a New System of International Law with Specific Ground Rules?

Universal Periodic Review: a New System of International Law with Specific Ground Rules?

(p.609) Universal Periodic Review: a New System of International Law with Specific Ground Rules?
From Bilateralism to Community Interest

Christian Tomuschat

Oxford University Press

Since the establishment of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2006 the general architecture of international law has received new features, in particular through the introduction of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR is founded on an almost irreproachable base as far as the fairness of the proceeding is concerned. On the one hand, each and every country will be reviewed every four years. On the other hand, each and every country may take part in the review process. Participation is not restricted to the members of the HRC. Thus, all States may contribute, on a basis of parity, to moulding and shaping the law underlying the UPR process. This process reflects in a perfect manner the principle of sovereign equality as enshrined in Article 1(3) of the United Nations (UN) Charter. No State can complain about discrimination or a preponderance of the powerful nations. Of course, the process also reveals the intellectual capacities of all of its participants as well as their real engagement for the sake of human rights.

Keywords:   Human Rights Council, UPR, international law, review

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