International Human Rights and Israel as Seen in the Work of the Treaty Bodies: Do They Walk the Talk?

Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, Amichai Danino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The purpose of this article is to review the manner in which the human rights treaty bodies (HRTBs) treat Israel, focusing on the system of periodic reporting, with the aim of examining whether Israel is being accorded 'special treatment' or, put more simply, whether a bias against Israel can be ascertained in the work of the HRTBs. In analysing the concluding observations (COBs) issued in respect of six of Israel's recent periodic reports, we identified four distinct population groups within Israeli society, and studied the number and nature of the COBs targeting each of these groups. This we termed the 'output'. We then looked into the amount of the alternative information provided to the Committees by civil society organisations, which we termed the 'input'. An examination of the two reveals a clear correlation between the relatively greater weight accorded to the Palestinian population in the occupied territories in the input side of the exercise (the alternative reports) and the output side (the COBs). Thus, what might initially be perceived as proved bias in the treatment of Israel by the HRTBs in light of the seemingly disproportional weight they accord to the conflict, turns out to be at least partially influenced by the information and materials provided to the Committees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalIsrael Law Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and The Faculty of Law, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem 2016.


  • Israel
  • bias
  • concluding observations
  • human rights treaty bodies
  • periodic reporting


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