UN submission highlights key principles on the right to challenge detention

The ICJ today submitted to the UN its recommendations for a draft set of “Basic Principles and Guidelines” on the right of anyone deprived of liberty to challenge the lawfulness of his or her detention, and the right of victims of arbitrary or unlawful detention to an effective remedy.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which will meet in Geneva 13 to 22 November 2013, was requested last year by the Human Rights Council to prepare the draft “Principles and Guidelines” before the end of 2015. The ICJ submission responds to a call by the Working Group for input to the drafting process.

Among the key aspects highlighted by the ICJ submissions are:

  • the elements of an effective remedy for unlawful or arbitrary deprivation of liberty;
  • the requirement that anyone deprived of liberty for any reason have access to a proper court to seek release;
  • the broad grounds such courts must consider in determining whether the detention is lawful;
  • the requirement that the proceedings lead to a prompt decision that is actually implemented by the detaining authorities;
  • the right of the detainee to have confidential access to a lawyer of his or her choosing, promptly after arrest or detention;
  • the right of the detainee to be present for the proceedings;
  • necessary guarantees for the fairness of such proceedings, including that the person and his or her lawyer have access to the evidence and allegations on which the detention is based;
  • the right to challenge the lawfulness of detention continues to apply in situations of emergency.

UN-ICJ-WGAD68-SubmissionHabeas-advocacy-non-legal submission-2013 (full text in pdf)

AdvocacyLegal submissions