Candidacy of Hélène Tigroudja to the Human Rights Committee


France nominated Hélène Tigroudja for membership to the Human Rights Committee for the term 2019-2022. The election will take place in New York on 14 June 2018 on the occasion of the 36th meeting of States parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Human Rights Committee plays a central role in promoting and protecting fundamental rights at the global level.

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Born 19 July 1975 in Lille (France)
Fluent in all three working languages of the Human Rights Committee (English, French, Spanish)
(Photo: MEAE, 2018)

The Human Rights Committee

The Human Rights Committee consists of 18 members serving in their personal capacity. The role of the Committee is to monitor monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by its State Parties.

To this end, the Committee exercises three main functions. First of all, it is tasked with studying the implementation reports that States parties to the ICCPR are bound to submit periodically, with a view to detailing the measures they have adopted to give effect to the rights recognized in the Covenant. The Committee can also, under certain conditions, review inter-Sate communications whereby one State Party to the ICCPR claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under this instrument. Finally, in the case of States such as France that have ratified the second optional Protocol to the ICPR, the Committee can review individual communications from individuals who claim to be victims of a violation by that State Party of any of the rights set forth in the Covenant.

To this day, 169 States are parties to the ICCPR, among which 116 are also parties to the first optional protocol authorizing individual communications and 85 to the second optional protocol abolishing death penalty. France is party to all three of these instruments.

Hélène Tigroudja’s candidacy

A distinguished professor of international law and international human rights law, Helene Tigroudja possesses the knowledge and experience required under article 28 of the ICCPR, which states that members of the Human Rights Committee “shall be persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights”.

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Summer school on internally displaced persons in Ukraine – Council of Europe, 2017

Hélène Tigroudja’s main professional activities

Senior Hauser Global Fellow at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice of the New York University, Helene Tigroudja is also professor of international public law at the Aix-Marseille University, director of the Master’s degree in International public and of the summer school program on human rights practices.

Besides her academic activities, she has also taken part to several human rights related expertise and field missions throughout the world for the United Nations, the Council of Europe or the European Union, among others.

She is also listed as an expert in the field of reparations of human rights violation by the Registry of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Her areas of expertise, teaching and research cover a wide array of human rights aspects including: international and regional human rights law, mass violations, women’s rights, migrations, reparations, immunities of States and International Organizations, armed conflicts law, domestic implementation of international obligations, human rights law applied to the fight against terrorism, etc.

In-depth knowledge of international and regional human rights mechanisms

The candidacy of Hélène Tigroudja, professor of international law, is founded on renowned legal expertise in international human rights law. In particular, she is co-author of a Treatise of International Human Rights Law (« Traité de droit international des droits de l’Homme », Paris, Pedone, 2016) developing a comparative legal analysis of the various human rights protection mechanisms at the global level (United Nations) and regional level (Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Council of Europe, Ligue of Arab States, Organization of American States, African Union, European Union).

Her extensive academic knowledge is combined with solid field experience gained during many missions conducted in Africa, North America, Latin America and the Middle East. As such, Ms Tigroudja has gained and demonstrated an ability to conduct constructive dialogue with the various stakeholders (government, justice system, academia and NGOs).

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Presentation of the International Human Rights Law Treatise – Bénin, 2017

The candidate’s vision

“The progress made since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris on 10 December 1948 is considerable. The United Nations and regional organizations have, in concert with their Member States, developed an arsenal of human rights instruments that constitute one of the international community’s greatest successes. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted in 1966 and its protection body, the Human Rights Committee, have a key position in this arsenal.

However, the challenges faced in seeking to achieve full and total effectiveness and universality of human rights are formidable. I hope to contribute to addressing these challenges in proposing my candidacy to the Human Rights Committee, with France’s support. My candidacy is consistent with my commitment to the universal protection and promotion of human rights and is founded on several aspects.

Firstly, my legal expertise, gained through years of training, teaching and research in various leading academic institutions and in a multicultural environment in Europe, Africa, North and Latin America and the Middle East.

Secondly, my methods. I draw on comprehensive and comparative analysis of human rights issues. Taking the universality of human rights seriously does not mean adhering to unquestionable and absolute values, but rather being capable of studying each issue in a spirit of openness and cultural diversity, drawing on regional and local particularities and the demands of preserving the universal principles of international human rights law.

Thirdly, my philosophy, which is that of a pragmatic approach to human rights. Determining and clarifying the meaning of a norm that sets out a right has to be the fruit of contradictory, advisory or diplomatic discussion. I believe more in the power of persuasion and argument than in that of sanction. I am convinced that my expertise and commitment would be a useful addition to the work of the Committee and will, if elected, fulfil my mandate rigorously and independently.”

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