The contemporary world witnesses a wide range of violations of human rights. These include torture, summary executions, arbitrary killings, disappearances, deaths in custody, inadequate prison conditions, unfair trials, and imprisonment without trial. Amnesty International enjoys a substantial reputation as a credible and impartial force committed to the struggle for securing a specific range of rights. This thesis submits Amnesty International to a critical review. It examines the organisations objectives, principles, and operating assumptions. It pays particular attention to the claim by Amnesty International that it does not impose an idiosyncratic value system on governments but draws its mandate from International, Regional and Domestic legal standards. The thesis examines Amnesty International’s position on violations by non-government entities and its response to concerns that it is insensitive to the question of human rights in different cultural contexts. The thesis plays particular attention to the effectiveness of Amnesty International’s specialised and mass action techniques.