Minnesota Law Review
One significant gap in the burgeoning academic literature of international human rights law is the lack of research related to the impact of international and national procedures on the actual protection of human rights. 1 It is remarkable that almost no academics or activists have even attempted to assess the effectiveness of human rights measures. Of course, demonstrating effectiveness in any area of human endeavor, particularly international human rights work, is very difficult. Many human rights advocates investigate abuses and write letters to governments because they believe that speaking out is better than remaining silent in the face of repression. When challenged, they can also point to anecdotal evidence of prisoners that have been released, torture that has stopped, and executions that have been prevented. More formal proof of results, however, is much more difficult to find.
David Weissbrodt and Maria Luisa Bartolomei, The Effectiveness of International Human Rights Pressures: The Case of Argentina, 1976-1983, 75 Minn. L. Rev. 1009 (1991), available at http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/264.