Our Research Fellow Dr Domenico Zipoli just defended with success his PhD thesis The Power of Engagement: Assessing the Effectiveness of Cooperation between UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies and National Human Rights Institutions at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights of the University of Oslo (UiO) Faculty of Law. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the defence took place online.
‘The overall experience of having the defence taking place online has been a positive one. Of course, it was a real pity to be away from friends and colleagues in Oslo and to celebrate this day together with them. At UiO Faculty of Law, the defence usually takes place in the beautiful Gamle Festsal, once the seat of the Norwegian Parliament. Needless to say, the online defence was a less grandiose affair, however, the technical staff did a wonderful job in facilitating a very smooth exchange between myself and the adjudication committee members. The online defence was also more accessible to those who wished to attend from outside of Oslo’ says Domenico.
By unpacking the black box of inter-institutional cooperation between the international and domestic mechanisms of human rights monitoring, this thesis explores the engagement between United Nations (UN) treaty bodies and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in the context of the state reporting procedure. In doing so, it examines whether this dyadic relationship and cooperation are effective in facilitating the implementation of human rights treaties through a combination of goal-based and empirical approaches.
‘This doctorate represents an important step in my understanding of the deep complexities that shape human rights implementation today. What I believe to be the real worth of a PhD degree is the process one goes through, of substantive investigation and discovery, of course, but also of close cooperation with leading experts in the field, learning the ‘art of the craft’ from their experience. The University of Oslo and Geneva Academy faculties have been of tremendous value in this regard. The opportunity of having Professor Christof Heyns appointed as a member of my doctoral adjudication committee has been the greatest of honours. I will always be grateful for his invaluable advice and guidance towards this achievement’ explains Domenico.
The link between international and domestic human rights monitoring mechanisms is also at the core of our research here at the Geneva Academy and at the Geneva Human Rights Platform more specifically.
‘The recently concluded research project on National Human Rights Systems is directly inspired from one of the thesis chapters. The policy implications of our research are a perfect step forward from the more theoretical analyses offered in Domenico’s PhD thesis’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Manager of Policy Studies at the Geneva Academy and Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
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UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
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UN PHOTO /Jean Marc Ferre