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Background information
Tuesday, 01 January 2008 09:00


General Assembly Resolution 60/251, establishing the Human Rights Council, provided that it should ‘maintain a system of … expert advice’, as had been provided by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to the Commission. The use of the term ‘system of expert advice’ and the absence of any reference to the continuation of the former Sub-Commission meant that the Council was not required, under the terms of the resolution, to retain the Sub-Commission. Accordingly, the Sub-Commission was abolished and held its last session in August 2006. It was replaced by the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.


In its Resolution 5/1, the Council established the Advisory Committee as its 'think-tank', destined to provide expertise to the Council 'in the manner and form requested by the Council, focusing mainly on studies and research-based advice.' Therefore, the powers of the Advisory Committee are limited compared to those of the Sub-Commission. As one observer has put it, the new system of expert advice provides 'expertise without initiative' (see Meghna Abraham, Building the New Human Rights Council, Outcome and analysis of the institution-building year, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Occasional papers, No. 33/ August 2007).


The Advisory Committee meets for 'up to two sessions for a maximum of 10 working days per year.'  You can read a fact sheet prepared by the Committee here.


Members of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee

On 23 March 2011, at its 16th session, the Human Rights Council elected seven experts to the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. As the number of candidates for each regional group corresponded to the number of seats to be filled (see A/HRC/16/19 and A/HRC/16/19/Add.1), Mr Dheerujall Baramlall Seetulsingh, Mr Obiora Chinedu Okafor, Mr Ahmer Bilal Soofi, Ms Purificacion Quisumbing, Mr Latif Huseynov, Ms Anantonia Reyes Prado, and Ms Laurence Boisson de Chazournes were elected as members of the Advisory Committee by consensus.

African Group:

Alfred Ntunduguru Karokora (Uganda) - 2013
Obiora Chinedu Okafor  (Nigeria) – 2014
Halima Embarek Warzazi (Morocco) – 2012
Dheerujlall Seetulsing (Mauritius) – 2014
Mona Zulficar (Egypt) – 2013

Asian Group:

Chen Shiqiu (China) – 2012
Chung Chinsung  (Republic of Korea) – 2013
Purificacion V. Quisumbing (Philippines) – 2014
Shigeki Sakamoto (Japan) – 2013
Ahmer Bilal Soofi (Pakistan) - 2014

Eastern European group:

Latif Hüseynov (Azerbaijan) – 2014
Vladimir Kartashkin (Russian Federation) – 2013

Latin American and Caribbean group:

Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann (Nicaragua) - 2012
José Antonio Bengoa Cabello (Chile) – 2013
Anantonia Reyes Prado (Guatemala) – 2014

Western European group:

Laurence Boisson de Chazournes (France) - 2014
Wolfgang Stefan Heinz (Germany) - 2013
Jean Ziegler (Switzerland) - 2012

Further reading

  • Official Advisory Committee website
  • On the stakes involved in the institution-building process and the transition from the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to the Advisory Committee, see Meghna Abraham, A New Chapter for Human Rights, ISHR and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Geneva, 2006).

For the outcome of the institution-building process in relation to the Advisory Committee, see any of the following publications: 


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