ICJ Intervention on the review of mandate of the special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms
The ICJ in the intervention on 13 December 2007 pointed to the necessity of the mandate on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism because of increase of terrorism and rapid developments in counter terrorism.
The ICJ called on states to co-operate fully with the special rapporteur, recognize his important preventative role and allow him to observe relevant judicial and administrative hearings. It also called on the Council to use the universal periodic review to act on special rapporteur`s recommendations and suggested that impunity for serious violations of human rights in counter terrorism be one priority within this mandate. Finally, the ICJ suggested, that the integration of the human rights perspective into the work of the UN Counter-Terrorism-Committee be improved.
Since the creation of the mandate on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism in 2005, the increase of terrorism and rapid developments in counter-terrorism at the national and international levels have clearly demonstrated this mandate’s necessity. There has been a proliferation of new administrative measures and counter-terrorism legislation, much of which will have significant and long-term implications for national legal systems, and for the protection of human rights. Serious and systematic human rights violations have been committed in the name of counter terrorism, and these matters deserve continuous attention of the Council.
The Special Rapporteur has demonstrated that the mandate can provide valuable guidance on the complex issues raised by counter-terrorism and human rights, both in scrutinising developments in individual countries, and in highlighting counter-terrorism issues of common concern to all states. It is vital that the broad mandate of the Special Rapporteur, that is complementary to those of other UN and regional bodies and organs charged with countering terrorism, be renewed by consensus for 3 years.
States should co-operate fully with the mandate, by responding positively to requests for visits, providing for full and unhindered access, and acting on the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur. The ICJ urges Algeria, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan and Tunisia to respond positively to the Special Rapporteur’s outstanding requests to visit.
The ICJ further urges all states to:
Recognise the important preventative role which the Special Rapporteur can play in advising on counter-terrorism measures that may affect the protection of human rights, and invite him to do so;
Allow the Special Rapporteur to observe relevant judicial and administrative hearings;
The Human Rights Council should fully integrate into its work the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur and act on them, including during the Universal Periodic Review.
The ICJ trusts that the Special Rapporteur will continue to address the most serious violations of human rights caused by counter-terrorism laws and policies. One priority within this mandate should be impunity for serious violations of human rights in counter-terrorism. Impunity has been a recurring theme at the hearings of the Ice’s Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights.
The rendition of suspects, without due process of law, to places of secret or arbitrary detention, has highlighted how protection of human rights and the rule of law can be gravely undermined by the impunity of state agents, as well as of private actors, for serious violations of human rights.
Mr. President, human rights protection has been considered one of the pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. To be meaningful, it will require that the OHCHR, Human Rights Council and the Special Rapporteur become central in its implementation and further development in the coming years. To achieve this, it is also essential to entail the human rights perspective into the work of the UN Counter-Terrorism-Committee.
I thank you.
ICJ Intervention on the Report of the Open-ended Working Group-Open letters-2008 (full text, PDF)AdvocacyNon-legal submissions