Human Rights Committee General Comment on the right to liberty

During a half-day of general discussion held today by the Human Rights Committee, the ICJ supported the establishment by the Committee of a General Comment on the right to security and liberty of the person under article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

As an update to its General Comment No 8 of 1982, the Human Rights Committee (the Committee) has commenced a process to develop a new General Comment on article 9 of the ICCPR. Responding to a list of issues prepared by the Committee for potential expansion within the General Comment, the ICJ supported the initiative and called for clarification of certain issues in this work.

The ICJ’s submission and statement also called on the Committee to give express consideration to the following thematic issues within the General Comment:

  • The meaning of ‘arbitrary’ deprivation of liberty;
  • Application of article 9 in international and non-international armed conflicts, including in the context of administrative detention;
  • Control orders and other mechanisms involving restrictions of movement and the extent to which such mechanisms might interfere with liberty rights;
  • Detention of asylum-seekers and irregular migrants; and
  • The role and accountability of legal entities.

The Committee is scheduled to consider and adopt a first draft of the General Comment during its session in March 2013. The ICJ intends to make substantive submissions on this first draft.

ICJ-HRCttee-GCArticle9-IssuesStatement-non-legal submission (2012) (download in PDF)

ICJ-HRCttee-GCArticle9-IssuesSubmission-non-legal submission (2012) (download in PDF)

HumanRightsCommittee-Issues-Article9 (download in Word)

AdvocacyNon-legal submissions