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Robust Human Rights Governance: Developing International Criteria

Authors: Helen P. Greatrex


Many states are now committed to implementing international human rights standards domestically. In terms of practical governance, how might effectiveness be measured? A facevalue answer can be found in domestic laws and institutions relating to human rights. However, this article provides two further tools to help states assess their status on the spectrum of robust to fragile human rights governance. The first recognises that each state has its own 'human rights history' and the ideal end stage is robust human rights governance, and the second is developing criteria to assess robustness. Although a New Zealand case study is used to illustrate these tools, the widespread adoption of human rights standards by many states inevitably means that the issues are relevant to other countries. This is even though there will always be varying degrees of similarity-difference in constitutional background and developed or emerging human rights systems.

Keywords: robust human rights governance, fragile states.

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