ICJ statement to UN on migrants and refugees

The ICJ made an oral statement to the Human Rights Council, on the role of judges and lawyers in relation to large movements of migrants and refugees.The statement, made in an Enhanced Interactive dialogue on human rights and large movements of migrants, was as follows:


10 March 2017

Mr. President,

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) welcomes the Principles and Guidelines included in the High Commissioner’s report and conference room paper. The ICJ appreciates their emphasis on equal and effective access to justice for migrants, and the recognition that this requires legal assistance that is competent, independent, confidential, and, when needed, without charge, as well as due process guarantees. We welcome the clear affirmation of the essential role of judges and lawyers in upholding and protecting the human rights of migrants and the rule of law.

To complement these and other relevant standards, the International Commission of Jurists is developing a set of Principles and recommendations specifically focussed on the role of judges and lawyers in relation to large movements of refugees and migrants. The ICJ principles and recommendations are based on global consultations with senior judges, lawyers, UN agencies, regional human rights mechanisms, and other relevant legal experts.

The ICJ Principles and recommendations address the role of judges and lawyers in status determination procedures, in relation to detention and removal, the right to an effective remedy, the importance of ensuring independence and impartiality of judicial decision-makers, equality before the law, and the relationship between national judiciaries and international law.

In addition to a consultation we convened yesterday at a parallel event, we welcome further feedback on the draft ICJ Principles from all stakeholders, before we launch the final version at the June session of the Human Rights Council.

Thank you.

Download the draft Principles here: https://www.icj.org/refugeesmigrantsconsultation/

Please send written feedback to un(a)icj.org, until 14 April 2017.

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