Human Rights Committee continues work on right to liberty

Document Type: Non-legal Submission
Date: 2013

The UN Human Rights Committee continues its work on the development of a General Comment on the right to liberty under article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

During its 109th session in Geneva (14 October to 1 November 2013), the Committee continues with its first reading of draft General Comment 35 on article 9 of the ICCPR. The ICJ has provided the Committee with initial comments on the first draft, which are to be supplemented by more extensive submissions after a revised draft is presented by the Committee for public comment.

The ICJ’s initial comments focus on four points:

  1. That the General Comment should explicitly address procedural guarantees required for article 9(4) proceedings to be fair and effective;
  2. That the General Comment should affirm that administrative and other ‘preventive’ detention is in principle not capable of justification in the absence of a valid derogation in a declared state of emergency;
  3. That the General Comment should affirm that non-refoulement obligations can arise in relation to a real risk of violations of article 9; and
  4. Suggestions for strengthening the language on judicial supervision of all forms of deprivation of liberty.

The ICJ’s submission was partly informed by research undertaken by the University of Essex Human Rights Clinic.

HRCttee109-GC35-InitialComments-LegalSubmission-2013 (download the ICJ’s initial comments on draft General Comment 35)

HRCttee-GC35-DraftForFirstReading (download the draft General Comment)

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