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The core international human rights treaty bodies play an important role in monitoring implementation of human rights standards through consideration of states parties’ reports. Yet very little research explores how seriously governments take their reporting obligations. This article examines the reporting record of parties to the Convention against Torture, finding that report submission is heavily conditioned by the practices of neighboring countries and by a government’s human rights commitment and institutional capacity. This article also introduces original data on the quality and responsiveness of reports, finding that more democratic—and particularly newly democratic—governments tend to render higher quality reports.


International criminal law, human rights, humanitarian law, Convention against Torture, CAT reporting regime, crime against humanity, inhumane treatment, state responsibility, governmental reporting obligations, empirical research

Publication Title

Human Rights Quarterly

Publication Citation

37 Hum. Rts. Q. 579 (2015).