City Research Online

National Human Rights Institutions and the Courts in the Asia-Pacific Region

Wolman, A. (2011). National Human Rights Institutions and the Courts in the Asia-Pacific Region. Asia Pacific Law Review, 19(2), pp. 237-251. doi: 10.1080/10192557.2011.11788250


In many countries across the Asia-Pacific region, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) have in recent years joined the courts as principal institutional loci for the implementation of international human rights norms at the domestic level. This article investigates how the two institutions interact in the Asia-Pacific, and concludes that NHRIs exhibit several distinct types of interactions with the courts, namely collaboration; judicial training; participation in litigation; NHRJ advocacy of better human rights practices and rulings by the courts; NHRI defence of judicial independence; and interactions related to NHRI adjudication of human rights petitions. This article argues that given the wide range of different interactions displayed, relatively simplistic characterisations of the optimal relationship between NHRs and the courts as ‘cooperative’ or ‘supportive’ are misguided, and that different types of interactions would benefit from different types of institutional relationships.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Asia Pacific Law Review on 4 Nov 2016, available online:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JX International law
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
The City Law School > International Law and Affairs Group
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of prepublication NHRIs and the courts%28APLR-final1%29.pdf]
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