Ensuring accountability for human rights violations is a central tenet of the international human rights framework. Strong statements concerning accountability, in particular calls for the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for gross violations of IHRL and serious violations of IHL amounting to crimes under international law, are to be found in inter alia, Security Council deliberations and resolutions, as well as those of specialised human rights bodies.
Despite some heartening advances, particularly in the field of international criminal justice, significant challenges to achieving accountability remain. In this discussion, Dr Devereux will analyse some of the recent initiatives at the international level to address the ‘accountability deficit’, with particular reference to responses to violations committed in Syria. She will also ask questions about broadening our understanding of ‘accountability’ in order to fully realise intended human rights outcomes and reflect accountability’s individual and collective elements.