Civil Liability for Human Rights Violations: A Handbook for Practitioners

Cover of Civil Liability for Human Rights Violations Full Version


In 2019 – 2022, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights led the project on civil liability for human rights violations funded by the Oak Foundation (Project). The Project involved a comparative study of the legal systems of a wide range of jurisdictions to analyse existing domestic law mechanisms or principles for imposing civil liability on public bodies, corporations, and individuals in three specified categories of human rights violation: (1) assault or unlawful arrest and detention of persons; (2) environmental harm; and (3) harmful or unfair labour conditions. Professor Catherine O’Regan led the Project, and Dr Ekaterina Aristova coordinated it.

A Handbook for Practitioners is one of the Project’s outcomes (Handbook). It is intended to serve as a practical resource to understand when and how civil claims can be used as a tool to vindicate human rights in 19 jurisdictions. The Handbook is designed to enable practitioners to refer directly to a specific jurisdiction, and each report follows a uniform template. The Editors’ Introduction explains the Handbook’s scope and provides comparative insights drawn from the reports. Readers can download a complete Handbook as one PDF file or download the country reports and the Editors’ Introduction separately as individual PDF files.

To celebrate the publication of the Handbook, the Bonavero Institute will publish a series of interviews with the authors of the country reports. Please follow this link to access the recordings.