Philip Harvey

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Although the monitoring mechanisms established under international human rights agreements do not receive as much public attention as the substantive rights that the agreements recognize, they are equally important. In the domestic context, when a right is newly recognized it can be implemented through already existing administrative and legal institutions. This is rarely true of international human rights agreements. International administrative and legal institutions are still embryonic, and the implementation of each new human rights accord normally involves the creation of an entirely new monitoring system to encourage compliance. Over time, the monitoring institutions and practices established under international human rights agreements may become sufficiently robust and flexible to support new accretions of responsibility. For the time being, however, substantial innovation is still required.

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