ICJ further submissions on Draft Principles and Guidelines on habeas corpus

The ICJ has made further submissions to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on its elaboration of Draft Principles and Guidelines on habeas corpus.

In February 2015, the Working Group released for public input a revised set of ‘Draft Principles and Guidelines on remedies and procedures on the right of anyone deprived of his or her liberty by arrest or detention to bring proceedings before a court without delay, in order that the court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his or her detention and order his or her release if the detention is not lawful’.

The ICJ’s submission welcomes the elaboration by the Working Group of the revised Draft Principles and Guidelines as a means of assisting States to enhance, in law and in practice, respect for the right to habeas corpus and especially welcomes certain aspects of the document. It suggests means of further improving the revised Draft Principles and Guidelines, concerning:

  • The temporary nature of any derogating measures impacting upon the application of some procedural elements of the right to habeas corpus;
  • The competence of courts to make orders for immediate release;
  • The implementation of court orders for release;
  • The public nature of judicial decisions following adjudication of habeas corpus petitions;
  • Guarantees applicable to specialized tribunals;
  • The right to legal aid and legal assistance;
  • Confirming that the procedure must be available at all times and to all detained persons, including prisoners or war, as a remedy to protect non-derogable rights such as the prohibition against torture and ill-treatment; and
  • The inadmissibility of evidence obtained by torture.

The Working Group will present its final draft to the Human Rights Council’s 30th regular session in September 2015.


ICJ-WGAD-RevisedDraftPrinciplesAndGuidelines-3rdLegalSubmission-2015-EN (The ICJ’s latest submission in PDF)

WGAD-Habeas-RevisedDraftPrinciplesAndGuidelines-2015-EN (PDF)

Additional links for reference

The ICJ’s first written submissions to the Working Group in November 2013

The ICJ’s second written submissions to the Working Group in April 2014

Panel presentations at the September 2014 Global Consultation by ICJ staff Matt Pollard and Alex Conte

AdvocacyLegal submissions