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Sub-national Human Rights Institutions:a Definition and Typology

Wolman, A. (2017). Sub-national Human Rights Institutions:a Definition and Typology. Human Rights Review, 18(1), pp. 87-109. doi: 10.1007/s12142-016-0429-z


In this paper, I argue that independent governmental human rights bodies at the sub-national level now comprise a meaningful group that can be understood as a sub-national counterpart to National Human Rights Institutions. In accordance with the term’s growing usage among human rights practitioners, I label these bodies as “Sub-national Human Rights Institutions” (“SNHRIs”). So far, however, SNHRIs (as a general concept) have been the subject of very little academic attention, although there have been many studies of individual SNHRIs or particular types of SNHRIs. With the objective of promoting coherent and generalizable research into this relatively new institutional concept, in this paper I therefore stipulate and justify a general SNHRI definition and a scientific typology of SNHRIs based on administrative level, institutional form, and breadth of mandate.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-print of an article published in Human Rights Review. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Publisher Keywords: Ombudsman; Human Rights Commission; federalism; typology; National Human Rights Institution
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
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