Testing the mettle of national human rights institutions: A case study of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia

Journal article


Renshaw, Catherine, Byrnes, Andrew and Durbach, Andrea. (2010) Testing the mettle of national human rights institutions: A case study of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia. Asian Journal of International Law. 1(1), pp. 165 - 198. https://doi.org/10.1017/S204425131000038X
AuthorsRenshaw, Catherine, Byrnes, Andrew and Durbach, Andrea
Abstract

In April 2008, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) was informed of the possible downgrading of its “A” status within the UN system, due to its apparent failure to comply with the Paris Principles relating to the status of national human rights institutions. This article explores this threat to downgrade SUHAKAM and the actions which it stimulated on the part of the Malaysian government and SUHAKAM itself. It argues that despite expectations by government and civil society at the time of its establishment, SUHAKAM has directly challenged government on major human rights issues on a number of occasions. At the same time, it has had difficulty persuading government to give effect to its recommendations and has as a consequence drawn strong criticism from civil society for failing to protect human rights that are within the government’s power to rectify.

Year2010
JournalAsian Journal of International Law
Journal citation1 (1), pp. 165 - 198
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN2044-2513
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S204425131000038X
Scopus EID2-s2.0-79954599657
Page range165 - 198
Research GroupThomas More Law School
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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