Event information

21 October 2023, 12:00-13:15

The Practice of the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies: Beyond International Law?

GHRP Annual Conference

A session of the UN Human Rights Committee A session of the UN Human Rights Committee
abila logo   Norwegian Centre for Human Rights     ILA Albania

This panel at the ABILA International Weekend – co-organized with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and the Albanian branch of the International Law Association – forms part of the 2023 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform that takes place in New York.

The United Nations (UN) human rights treaty bodies (TBs) main methods of work include State reporting, individual communications, and the codification of their practice through ‘general comments’ or ‘general recommendations’. This panel will critically discuss the practice of UN TBS, with a focus on general comments and recommendations, while reflecting also on concluding observations and views. The analysis highlights the main substantial and procedural controversies around them from the lens of whether the process of their adoption and the end- product can be seen as ‘beyond international law’, or as an inherent part of the process of development of international law. Equally important, the panel will provide insights on whether and to what extent the practice of UN TBs is reflected in the codification and development of international law.


  • Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director, Geneva Human Rights Platform


  • Virgínia Brás Gomes, Former Chairperson, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Mikiko Otani, Member and Former Chairperson, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • Arnold Pronto, Principal Legal Officer, Codification Division, UN Office of Legal Affairs
  • Gentian Zyberi, Professor of International Law and Human Rights, Norwegian Center for Human Rights, University of Oslo; Former Member, UN Human Rights Committee

About the Geneva Human Rights Platform Annual Conference

You can find here information about the other panels/events that form part of the 2023 Annual Conference in New York.

This annual flagship public event open to all human rights actors  – diplomats, experts, NGOs, members of UN treaty bodies, Special Rapporteurs, international organizations, National Human Rights Institutions and academics – addresses current issues and challenges in the work of Geneva-based human rights mechanisms.



This event may be filmed, recorded and/or photographed on behalf of the Geneva Academy. The Geneva Academy may use these recordings and photographs for internal and external communications for information, teaching and research purposes, and/or promotion and illustration through its various media channels (website, social media, newsletters, annual report, etc.).

By participating in this event, you are agreeing to the possibility of appearing in the aforementioned films, recordings and photographs, and their subsequent use by the Geneva Academy.


A person with a portable brain scanner News

New Paper Sets the Scene for Neurotechnology Regulation and the Role of Human Rights

4 December 2023

Our new Research Brief The Evolving Neurotechnology Landscape: Examining the Role and Importance of Human Rights in Regulation provides a comprehensive background analysis on the complexities of regulating neurotechnology and the role of human rights in this process and marks the inception of our research project on neurotechnology and human rights.

Read more

A GHRP training course News

Geneva Human Rights Platform’s Training Hub: Expanding Offerings and Partnerships for 2024

16 February 2024

2023 has been a busy and fruitful year for our Geneva Human Rights Platform’s Training Hub which starts 2024 with an enhanced offer.

Read more

Open dump Training

Protecting Human Rights and the Environment

2-20 September 2024

Participants in this training course, made of two modules, will examine the major international and regional instruments for the promotion of human rights and the environment, familiarizing themselves with the respective implementation and enforcement mechanisms.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

11-15 November 2024

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

Read more

A destroyed camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Khor Abeche, South Darfur, Project

Understanding the Relationship between Conflict, Security and the Human Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment

Started in May 2023

This project will develop guidance to inform security, human rights and environmental debates on the linkages between environmental rights and conflict, and how their better management can serve as a tool in conflict prevention, resilience and early warning.

Read more


Follow-up Review Pilot Series

Started in November 2021

Read more

Cover Page of Research Brief Publication

Unpacking the Burgeoning Challenge of Environmental Protection and the Right to Food in the Context of Armed Conflict

published on April 2024

Erica Harper, Junli Lim

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Briefing N° 23: The Human Rights Data Revolution

published on April 2024

Domenico Zipoli

Read more