Human Rights Speaker Series: The UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review and Time

  • Wed 8 Dec 21

    15:00 - 16:00

  • Online


  • Event speaker

    Kathryn McNeilly School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Human Rights Centre Speaker Series

  • Event organiser

    Human Rights Centre

  • Contact details

    Law and HRC Events and Communications Team

Please join us for the latest Human Rights Speaker Series, hosted by the University of Essex Human Rights Centre and the Essex Armed Conflict and Crisis Hub.

The UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review and Time

Since its creation in 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has been a topic of great interest to human rights scholars. Currently completing its third cycle, the UPR is a fascinating mechanism which is still maturing, and which must continue to be explored from a variety of angles. Indeed, there is much that remains to be known about the UPR as a phenomenon within the wider international human rights law system. One neglected area of analysis in literature exploring the process to date has been the temporal nature of the UPR. In other words, its connection to ideas and rhythms of time. In contrast to dominant understandings which view time as an external constraint or pressure acting on the system – the UPR existing in time – this paper suggests that internal temporal logics underpin the UPR in important and constitutive ways. This internal time is multiple, complex and often paradoxical. It includes cyclicality, linearity, discontinuity, and duration. Rather than threatening to undermine the UPR process, the tensions and paradoxes of these coexisting temporalities actually work to maintain its operation. This way of apprehending time and the UPR facilitates fresh insights for scholars and practitioners who wish to understand this monitoring mechanism more deeply as a phenomenon. It offers a new lens through which to read the UPR’s identity and operation.


Dr Kathryn McNeilly is a Senior Lecturer and the Director of Research at the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast. Her research focuses on international human rights law and legal theory. In 2020 she completed a Leverhulme Research Fellowship exploring aspects of time in international human rights law monitoring. She is co-editor of The Times and Temporalities of International Human Rights Law (forthcoming, Hart) and is an Editorial Board member of Human Rights Law Review and Feminist Legal Studies.

Chair: Dr Andrew Fagan

I have been teaching human rights at Essex since 1998 in the Department of Philosophy, the School of Law and the Human Rights Centre. I have occupied several positions within the Human Rights Centre, including; Deputy Director, Research Director, Director of Academic Studies and I am currently Co-Director of Postgraduate Studies (Human Rights) within the School of Law. I have extensive multi-disciplinary teaching experience and interests, spanning the theory and practice of human rights. My research focuses upon the normative, political and cultural challenges to human rights. I am particularly interested in the contributions which radical philosophies and politics can make to defending human rights against multiple challenges. I have taught and lectured upon human rights across the world; including, Central Asia, East Asia, Europe, South East Asia and North and South America.




How to register

Wednesday 8 December 3:00-4:00pm GMT

Please register for this webinar via Zoom.

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