To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library produced an online exhibition of pictures in 70 key documents with highlights on the organization’s work in the areas of peace and security, humanitarian assistance, development, and human rights. This online exhibit can be viewed under the research guides at http://research.un.org/en/UN70
At present, the exhibit with documents 1941-1965 is currently available while new documents will be added on a monthly basis. Documents after 1965 will be released in late April 2015 onwards. Check back then and vote for your favourite important documents of the decade.
The UN Human Rights Office has recently launched a major online database of Treaty Bodies’ case law, which is known as Jurisprudence, http://juris.ohchr.org. It forms as a starting resource of the human rights recommendations and findings issued by various Committees* in their work on individual cases.
The database was developed based on data originally from the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) of Utrecht University School of Law since the mid-1990s.
It contains case law indexed by various categories with search criteria including Region, State, year of publication, subject keywords, sessions and type of decisions.
* The Committees that can receive and consider individual complaints are:
Human Rights Committee (CCPR)
Committee against Torture (CAT)
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED)
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)
Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
To raise the awareness on human rights, Oxford University Press have recently produced a map of pins indicating 50 key human rights international cases from around the world, http://blog.oup.com/2014/12/human-rights-awareness-month-case-map/, each with a brief description and a link to a free article or report on the case. This map provides a quick tour to these cases, highlighting trends and themes, including some positive and some negative. It showcases the variety of international, regional, and national mechanisms and fora for adjudicating human rights claims, and the range of rights that have been recognized.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) Project of the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review has recently released its Inter-American Court of Human Rights Database (iachr.lls.edu/database)
Its basic and advanced search options allow users to search the Inter-American Court’s decisions by case name, date of judgment, country, Judge, and Separate Opinion, as well as specific violations of the American Convention on Human Rights, Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons, Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture, and the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence Against Women. Search results for each case include a brief description of the case; information on judges, violations found by the Inter-American Court; and, if a summary is available, a link to a case summary.
Lawyers Collective and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University in Washington DC have recently launched The Global Health and Human Rights Database (www.globalhealthrights.org). This database is an interactive, searchable, and fully indexed website of more than 1000 judgment, case law, national constitutions, and international instruments, as well as their translations and summaries. It covers health and human rights law from both common and civil law jurisdictions, and features case law and other legal documents from more than 80 countries and in 25 languages. As practitioners and scholars analyze legal strategies, this database can serve as a starting point for research and practice.
The International Justice Resource Center (ijrcenter.org) at http://ihrlaw.org/ is an online resource website which supports law students researching or practicing international human rights law. For instance, IJRC Interview Series provide insights into the practice of international human rights law. The “Research Aid” section of the site provides original analysis and links to a variety of databases for researching primary and secondary sources of international human rights law, with the following sub-sections:
International Human Rights Instruments: look up treaties, declarations and others
Jurisprudence Databases: search for judgments and other decisions by international courts and quasi-judicial bodies from various databases
Analysis (including reviews of important new publications): find in-depth explanations of, and commentary on, international human rights law
Human Rights Conditions: research a particular State’s human rights record or widespread practices of international concern using the country-specific and thematic resources
Civil Society Actors: the websites of NGO and law school clinics are useful for keeping track of news, current commentary, and action campaigns by organizations active in the field of human rights
Thematic Research Guides: get a general understanding of a particular human right (e.g., freedom of expression or health) and tips for further research