Victory before an international human rights tribunal does not necessarily mean that justice will be done. Research by the Open Society Justice Initiative has highlighted the gap between court decisions and implementation on the ground—such as the Czech government’s failure to desegregate schools for Roma children, despite a landmark 2007 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
James A Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative, argues in this paper, presented on March 30 before the UN Human Rights Committee, that the UN needs to devote more resources to the problem. He suggests steps including additional "follow up" rapporteurs; clearer reporting on countries’ responses; and the engagement of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Special Rapporteurs in mainstreaming implementation into UN bodies such as the Human Rights Council. Countries should also be encouraged to set up centralized institutions to monitor their compliance, such as national ombudsman systems, or the UK’s Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.
This text is based on From Judgment to Justice: Implementing International and Regional Human Rights Decisions, published by the Open Society Justice Initiative.