In written statements to the UN, the ICJ says that the General Assembly’s intergovernmental process on the strengthening of the UN treaty bodies has no competence to establish or impose a code of conduct for treaty body members.
On 4 September 2012, the co-facilitators of the General Assembly’s intergovernmental process on the strengthening of the UN human rights treaty bodies convened an informal hearing with civil society to discuss a number of issues relevant to the strengthening of the treaty bodies, including issues relating to treaty body methods of work.
During prior informal consultations in New York in July 2012, a proposal for the establishment of a code of conduct for treaty body members was made by the Russian Federation, Cuba and a small group of other States. In its written statement, the ICJ further concludes that, although the intergovernmental process has the competence to request the treaty bodies to incorporate codes of conduct within their rules of procedures, such a request is neither necessary nor appropriate.
Ahead of the Human Rights Council’s 22nd session (25 February to 22 March 2013), the ICJ reiterated this position in a statement reflecting on a report from the UN Secretary-General.
UN General Assembly IG process Treaty Bodies hearing-advocay 2012 (download in PDF)
HRC22-Item2-SGReportTBs-WrittenStatement-legal submission-2013 (download in PDF)Advocacy