Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. Please give now to support our work. General Comments of the Human Rights Committee represent the most authoritative interpretation of the Covenant available to State Parties. They are produced by the Committee as authoritative guidance in order to assist States in fulfilling their reporting requirements 1. The General Comment concluded:.
The wording of article 12, paragraph 4, does not distinguish between nationals and aliens "no one".
Thus, the persons entitled to exercise this right can be identified only by interpreting the meaning of the phrase "his own country". The scope of "his own country" is broader than the concept "country of his nationality". It is not limited to nationality in a formal sense, that is, nationality acquired at birth or by conferral; it embraces, at the very least, an individual who, because of his or her special ties to or claims in relation to a given country, cannot be considered to be a mere alien.
This would be the case, for example, for nationals of a country who have been stripped of their nationality in violation of international law, and of individuals whose country of nationality has been incorporated in or transferred to another national entity, whose nationality is being denied them. The language of article 12, paragraph 4, moreover, permits a broader interpretation that might embrace other categories of long-term residents, including but not limited to stateless persons arbitrarily deprived of the right to acquire the nationality of the country of such residence".
Link to Own Country In summary, the General Comment adopts an inclusive interpretation of "own country" to protect all those with "special ties" or connections with a country -- those who can not be considered "mere aliens. While the Nottebohm case addressed the issue of nationality, the criteria that it sets forth are the most comprehensive, Human Rights Watch considers, for determining the existence of the right to return. Thus a "genuine and effective link" to one's "own country" can be composed of various elements, including language, long-term residence, cultural identity, family ties, etc.
The right of return is not restricted to nationality in the formal, or de juresense.
Nor can it be restricted to permanent or habitual residence. One's "own country" implies a broader set of ties and connections that together make up "a genuine and effective link" as defined in the Nottebohm case. It allows for those outside their own country to return for the first time, even if they were born elsewhere and would be entering for the first time, so long as they have maintained a "genuine and effective link" to the country.
A genuine and effective link that is the basis for the right to return could conceivably fade over time. However, this would be rare in the case of those who personally fled. Such a determination should not be made for these individuals before they have had the opportunity to exercise the right to return over a reasonable period of time have chosen not to exercise the right, or have taken steps to cut the link for example, by renouncing their nationality.
The question of whether the refugees left voluntarily or were expelled does not affect the right to return under the ICCPR.
Guatemala Second Phase, Judgment, I. The Nottebohm case dealt with the ability of one State Liechtenstein to initiate proceedings against another State Guatemala before the ICJ on behalf of one of its citizens. What was at stake was Liechtenstein? The case, and in particular the elements that comprise the?
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Get updates on human rights issues from around the globe. Join our movement today. Donate Now. The General Comment concluded: The wording of article 12, paragraph 4, does not distinguish between nationals and aliens "no one".
The language of article 12, paragraph 4, moreover, permits a broader interpretation that might embrace other categories of long-term residents, including but not limited to stateless persons arbitrarily deprived of the right to acquire the nationality of the country of such residence" Link to Own Country In summary, the General Comment adopts an inclusive interpretation of "own country" to protect all those with "special ties" or connections with a country -- those who can not be considered "mere aliens.
Article 40 stipulates that State Parties are obliged to submit reports to the Committee on measures they have taken to implement the Covenant.The right to life enunciated in article 6 of the Covenant has been dealt with in all State reports.
It is the supreme right from which no derogation is permitted even in time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation art. However, the Committee has noted that quite often the information given concerning article 6 was limited to only one or other aspect of this right.
It is a right which should not be interpreted narrowly. The Committee observes that war and other acts of mass violence continue to be a scourge of humanity and take the lives of thousands of innocent human beings every year.
Under the Charter of the United Nations the threat or use of force by any State against another State, except in exercise of the inherent right of self-defence, is already prohibited. The Committee considers that States have the supreme duty to prevent wars, acts of genocide and other acts of mass violence causing arbitrary loss of life. Every effort they make to avert the danger of war, especially thermonuclear war, and to strengthen international peace and security would constitute the most important condition and guarantee for the safeguarding of the right to life.
In this respect, the Committee notes, in particular, a connection between article 6 and article 20, which states that the law shall prohibit any propaganda for war para. Moreover, the Committee has noted that the right to life has been too often narrowly interpreted.
In this connection, the Committee considers that it would be desirable for States parties to take all possible measures to reduce infant mortality and to increase life expectancy, especially in adopting measures to eliminate malnutrition and epidemics. You must be Logged in to post comment. Download full text : English. Please use the comments box below to inform us of new developments, express your opinion, link to related commentary or to make corrections to this entry.
Corrections will be incorporated directly into the post and will not be made public. All comments will be moderated. Click here to cancel reply.The adoption of this general comment — which is in effect an explanation or translation of Article 21 — could not have come at a more opportune moment.
The right of peaceful assembly, guaranteed by the ICCPR and encapsulated in Article 21, relates directly to the ability to gather, to voice a point of view, and to also challenge authority. This is a standalone right in and of itself but is also linked to guarantees of other protected rights within the covenant. Hence, the significance of this provision, which states:.
No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order ordre publicthe protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. General comment No. While the timing is apt, it is also worth noting that the adoption of the general comment has been the culmination of a lengthy and transparent process, lead by Professor Christof Heyns.
The intention of this post is not to highlight all the aspects of the general comment, but to focus on a few issues that have arisen as a result of protests in recent months.
The first aspect that the general comment addresses is the scope of protection and what would entail obligations on the state. The document is clear — an assembly that is peaceful falls within the scope of protection, covering coordinated as well as spontaneous gatherings. If there are some who are violent, this would not taint the entire assembly. Another aspect highlighted in the general comment is the use of technology, and that such gatherings may be online as well as offline. Hence, technology that would facilitate these gatherings may not be curtailed.
This would apply to internet bans as well as other invasive uses of technology. The committee stressed that participation in a peaceful assembly does not obviate the inherent right to privacy, an important safeguard in these times. The Human Rights Committee has rightly discussed police action and use of force by the state in some detail in the comment.
The emphasis that the police should de-escalate situations in case of the potential for violence, and not resort to the use of force, is clear.
Yet another aspect is the requirement for self-identification even for police officers in plain clothes, and that the use of preventive detention is illegal as a means to prevent gathering. In the ultimate analysis, the comment provides much needed and clear guidance in the interpretation of Article 21 — and puts states on notice in regard to their obligations under the ICCPR. General Comment No. No Comments. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.II How to submit complaints and inquiries.
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On the one hand, it allows for a State party unilaterally to derogate temporarily from a part of its obligations under the Covenant. The restoration of a state of normalcy where full respect for the Covenant can again be secured must be the predominant objective of a State party derogating from the Covenant.
In this general comment, replacing its General Comment No 5, adopted at the thirteenth sessionthe Committee seeks to assist States parties to meet the requirements of article 4.
Measures derogating from the provisions of the Covenant must be of an exceptional and temporary nature. Before a State moves to invoke article 4, two fundamental conditions must be met: the situation must amount to a public emergency which threatens the life of the nation, and the State party must have officially proclaimed a state of emergency.
The latter requirement is essential for the maintenance of the principles of legality and rule of law at times when they are most needed. When proclaiming a state of emergency with consequences that could entail derogation from any provision of the Covenant, States must act within their constitutional and other provisions of law that govern such proclamation and the exercise of emergency powers; it is the task of the Committee to monitor the laws in question with respect to whether they enable and secure compliance with article 4.
In order that the Committee can perform its task, States parties to the Covenant should include in their reports submitted under article 40 sufficient and precise information about their law and practice in the field of emergency powers. Not every disturbance or catastrophe qualifies as a public emergency which threatens the life of the nation, as required by article 4, paragraph 1.
The Covenant requires that even during an armed conflict measures derogating from the Covenant are allowed only if and to the extent that the situation constitutes a threat to the life of the nation. If States parties consider invoking article 4 in other situations than an armed conflict, they should carefully consider the justification and why such a measure is necessary and legitimate in the circumstances.
On a number of occasions the Committee has expressed its concern over States parties that appear to have derogated from rights protected by the Covenant, or whose domestic law appears to allow such derogation in situations not covered by article 4. A fundamental requirement for any measures derogating from the Covenant, as set forth in article 4, paragraph 1, is that such measures are limited to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation.
This requirement relates to the duration, geographical coverage and material scope of the state of emergency and any measures of derogation resorted to because of the emergency. Derogation from some Covenant obligations in emergency situations is clearly distinct from restrictions or limitations allowed even in normal times under several provisions of the Covenant.
Moreover, the mere fact that a permissible derogation from a specific provision may, of itself, be justified by the exigencies of the situation does not obviate the requirement that specific measures taken pursuant to the derogation must also be shown to be required by the exigencies of the situation.
In practice, this will ensure that no provision of the Covenant, however validly derogated from will be entirely inapplicable to the behaviour of a State party.
This condition requires that States parties provide careful justification not only for their decision to proclaim a state of emergency but also for any specific measures based on such a proclamation. If States purport to invoke the right to derogate from the Covenant during, for instance, a natural catastrophe, a mass demonstration including instances of violence, or a major industrial accident, they must be able to justify not only that such a situation constitutes a threat to the life of the nation, but also that all their measures derogating from the Covenant are strictly required by the exigencies of the situation.Upcoming elections for all treaty bodies.
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HRC General Comment No. 6: Article 6 (Right to Life)
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The Committee commenced the process of drafting the General Comment with a half day of general discussion during the th session, on 20 March During its th session, the Committee commenced its first reading of the draft and completed its review at the th session. All the submissions received have been posted below.
HRC General Comment on Article 12 of the ICCPR
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