Today, the ICJ filed its submission to the UN Committee against Torture on the compliance by Azerbaijan with its obligations under the UN Convention against Torture.
The Committee will consider it during the adoption of a list of issues prior to reporting (LOIPR) for the examination of the Fifth Periodic Report of Azerbaijan under Article 19 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).
During its 63rd session, from 23 April to 18 May 2018, the Committee will prepare and adopt a LOIPR on Azerbaijan.
Once adopted, the LOIPR will be transmitted to the State party. Azerbaijan’s formal response to the LOIPR will then constitute its Fifth Periodic Report under article 19 of the Convention.
Azerbaijan ratified the CAT in 1996. The last Concluding Observations on the compliance by Azerbaijan with its obligations under the Convention were adopted in 2015.
The ICJ submission to the Committee highlights a number of ongoing concerns with respect to the country’s implementation of and compliance with the provisions of the CAT:
- Azerbaijan’s legislation governing the legal profession;
- the situation of lawyers in practice;
- the lack independence of the legal profession;
- the role of the Bar Association with regard to attacks on lawyers.
The observations made in this submissions are based on the ICJ’s report “Defenceless defenders: Systemic problems in the legal profession of Azerbaijan”, published in September 2016 following a research mission to the country. The report analyses Azerbaijan’s legislation governing the legal profession; the situation of lawyers in practice, in particular, in relation to the lack independence of the legal profession; as well as the role that the Bar Association plays in attacks on lawyers.
ICJ-AzerbaijanCAT-ListofIssues-Jan18-final (download the submission)