Prosecuting Human Rights Violations: Prospects, Challenges and Solutions


  • Muhammad Sohail Thaheem Dr. Muhammad Sohail Thaheem, Civil Judge cum Judicial Magistrate, Islamabad
  • Saqib Jawad Dr. Saqib Jawad, Civil Judge cum Judicial Magistrate, Islamabad.


human rights, enforcement, prosecution, sovereignty, universal jurisdiction


Human rights constitute a set of norms and principles for the treatment of individuals and groups by the states on the basis of standards and principles which a society considers necessary for a quality life. Various contemporary scholars argue that prosecuting human rights violations is necessary and the only solution for the protection of human rights. They have also stated that criminal punishment for human rights violations is the only appropriate measure to enforce international obligations regarding protection of human rights. According to them, it is the duty of the states under the principles of International Human Rights Law (IHRL), International Humanitarian Law (IHL), International Criminal Law (ICL) and customary international law to prosecute human rights violations. Although certain technicalities and complications have been discussed by them, but it has been observed that there should be a balance between the sovereignty of the States, political power and their international obligations regarding protection of human rights under the territories controlled and administered by them. Therefore, this study focuses on the issue that the enforcement of human rights entirely depends on prosecution of human rights violations for which ratification of Rome Statute of International Criminal Court should be made mandatory and a pre-requisite for ratification of all international human rights instruments.