International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty that commits nations to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.[3] It was adopted by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) on 16 December 1966 and entered into force on 23 March 1976 after its thirty-fifth ratification or accession.[A] As of June 2022, the Covenant has 173 parties and six more signatories without ratification, most notably the People's Republic of China and Cuba;[1] North Korea is the only state that has tried to withdraw.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Parties and signatories of the ICCPR
  State party
  Signatory that has not ratified
  State party that attempted to withdraw
  Non-party; non-signatory
TypeUnited Nations General Assembly resolution
Signed16 December 1966[1]
LocationUnited Nations Headquarters, New York City
Effective23 March 1976[1]
DepositarySecretary-General of the United Nations
LanguagesFrench, English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish[2]
Full text at Wikisource

The ICCPR is considered a seminal document in the history of international law and human rights, forming part of the International Bill of Human Rights, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).[4]

Compliance with the ICCPR is monitored by the United Nations Human Rights Committee,[B] which reviews regular reports of states parties on how the rights are being implemented. States must report one year after acceding to the Covenant and then whenever the Committee requests (usually every four years). The Committee normally meets at the UN Office at Geneva, Switzerland and typically holds three sessions per year.

History edit

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The ICCPR (International Covenant On Civil and Political Rights) has its roots in the same process that led to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[5] A "Declaration on the Essential Rights of Man" had been proposed at the 1945 San Francisco Conference which led to the founding of the United Nations, and the Economic and Social Council was given the task of drafting it.[4] Early on in the process, the document was split into a declaration setting forth general principles of human rights, and a convention or covenant containing binding commitments. The former evolved into the UDHR and was adopted on 10 December 1948.[4]

Drafting continued on the convention, but there remained significant differences between UN members on the relative importance of negative Civil and Political versus positive Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.[6] These eventually caused the convention to be split into two separate covenants, "one to contain civil and political rights and the other to contain economic, social and cultural rights".[7] The two covenants were to contain as many similar provisions as possible, and be opened for signature simultaneously.[7] Each would also contain an article on the right of all peoples to self-determination.[8]

The first document became the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the second the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The drafts were presented to the UN General Assembly for discussion in 1954 and adopted in 1966.[9] As a result of diplomatic negotiations the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was adopted shortly before the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Together, the UDHR and the two Covenants are considered to be the foundational human rights texts in the contemporary international system of human rights.[5]

Articles of the Covenant edit

The Covenant follows the structure of the UDHR and ICESCR, with a preamble and fifty-three articles, divided into six parts.[10]

Part 1 (Article 1) recognizes the right of all peoples to self-determination, including the right to "freely determine their political status",[11] pursue their economic, social and cultural goals, and manage and dispose of their own resources. It recognises a negative right of a people not to be deprived of its means of subsistence,[12] and imposes an obligation on those parties still responsible for non-self governing and trust territories (colonies) to encourage and respect their self-determination.[13]

Part 2 (Articles 2 – 5) obliges parties to legislate where necessary to give effect to the rights recognised in the Covenant, and to provide an effective legal remedy for any violation of those rights.[14] It also requires the rights be recognised "without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,"[15] and to ensure that they are enjoyed equally by women.[16] The rights can only be limited "in time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation,"[17] and even then no derogation is permitted from the rights to life, freedom from torture and slavery, the freedom from retrospective law, the right to personhood, and freedom of thought, conscience, religion and freedom from medical or scientific experimentation without consent.[18]

Part 3 (Articles 6 – 27) lists the rights themselves. These include rights to:

  • physical integrity, in the form of the right to life and freedom from torture and slavery (Articles 6, 7, and 8);
  • liberty and security of the person, in the form of freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention and the right to habeas corpus (Articles 9 – 11);
  • procedural fairness in law, in the form of rights to due process, a fair and impartial trial, the presumption of innocence, and recognition as a person before the law (Articles 14, 15, and 16);
  • individual liberty, in the form of the freedoms of movement, thought, conscience and religion, speech, association and assembly, family rights, the right to a nationality, and the right to privacy (Articles 12, 13, 17 – 24);
  • prohibition by law of any propaganda for war as well as any advocacy of national or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence (Article 20);
  • political participation, including the right to the right to vote (Article 25);
  • Non-discrimination, minority rights and equality before the law (Articles 26 and 27).

Many of these rights include specific actions which must be undertaken to realize them.

Part 4 (Articles 28 – 45) governs the establishment and operation of the Human Rights Committee and the reporting and monitoring of the Covenant. It also allows parties to recognize the competence of the committee to resolve disputes between parties on the implementation of the Covenant (Articles 41 and 42).

Part 5 (Articles 46 – 47) clarifies that the Covenant shall not be interpreted as interfering with the operation of the United Nations or "the inherent right of all peoples to enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources".[19]

Part 6 (Articles 48–53) governs ratification, entry into force, and amendment of the Covenant.

Rights to physical integrity edit

Article 6 of the Covenant recognises the individual's "inherent right to life" and requires it to be protected by law.[20] It is a "supreme right" from which no derogation can be permitted, and must be interpreted widely.[21] It therefore requires parties to take positive measures to reduce infant mortality and increase life expectancy, as well as forbidding arbitrary killings by security forces.[21]

While Article 6 does not prohibit the death penalty, it restricts its application to the "most serious crimes"[22] and forbids it to be used on children and pregnant women[23] or in a manner contrary to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.[24] The UN Human Rights Committee interprets the Article as "strongly suggest[ing] that abolition is desirable",[21] and regards any progress towards abolition of the death penalty as advancing this right.[21] The Second Optional Protocol commits its signatories to the abolition of the death penalty within their borders.

Article 7 prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and non-consensual medical or scientific experimentation.[25] As with Article 6, it cannot be derogated from under any circumstances.[18] The article is now interpreted to impose similar obligations to those required by the United Nations Convention Against Torture, including not just prohibition of torture, but active measures to prevent its use and a prohibition on refoulement.[26] In response to Nazi human experimentation during WW2 this article explicitly includes a prohibition on medical and scientific experimentation without consent.[25]

Article 8 prohibits slavery and enforced servitude in all situations.[27] The article also prohibits forced labour, with exceptions for criminal punishment, military service and civil obligations.[28]

Liberty and security of person edit

Article 9 recognises the rights to liberty and security of the person. It prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, requires any deprivation of liberty to be according to law,[29] and obliges parties to allow those deprived of their liberty to challenge their imprisonment through the courts.[30] These provisions apply not just to those imprisoned as part of the criminal process, but also to those detained due to mental illness, drug addiction, or for educational or immigration purposes.[31]

Articles 9.3 and 9.4 impose procedural safeguards around arrest, requiring anyone arrested to be promptly informed of the charges against them, and to be brought promptly before a judge.[32] It also restricts the use of pre-trial detention,[33] requiring that it not be 'the general rule'.[31]

Article 10 requires anyone deprived of liberty to be treated with dignity and humanity.[34] This applies not just to prisoners, but also to those detained for immigration purposes or psychiatric care.[35] The right complements the Article 7 prohibition on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.[35] The article also imposes specific obligations around criminal justice, requiring prisoners in pretrial detention to be separated from convicted prisoners, and children to be separated from adults.[36] It requires prisons to be focused on reform and rehabilitation rather than punishment.[37]

Article 11 prohibits the use of imprisonment as a punishment for breach of contract.[38]

Procedural fairness and rights of the accused edit

Article 14 recognizes and protects a right to justice and a fair trial. Article 14.1 establishes the ground rules: everyone must be equal before the courts, and any hearing must take place in open court before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal, with any judgment or ruling made public.[39] Closed hearings are only permitted for reasons of privacy, justice, or national security, and judgments may only be suppressed in divorce cases or to protect the interests of children.[39] These obligations apply to both criminal and civil hearings, and to all courts and tribunals.[40] Article 14.3 mandates that litigants must be informed promptly and in detail in a language which they understand.[39]

The rest of the article imposes specific and detailed obligations around the process of criminal trials in order to protect the rights of the accused and the right to a fair trial. It establishes the Presumption of innocence[41] and forbids double jeopardy.[42] It requires that those convicted of a crime be allowed to appeal to a higher tribunal,[43] and requires victims of a Miscarriage of justice to be compensated.[44] It establishes rights to a speedy trial, to counsel, against self-incrimination, and for the accused to be present and call and examine witnesses.[45]

Article 15 prohibits prosecutions under ex post facto law and the imposition of retrospective criminal penalties, and requires the imposition of the lesser penalty where criminal sentences have changed between the offence and conviction.[46] One exception is criminal proceedings held for violations of peremptory norms (jus cogens) under customary international law,[47] such as genocide, slavery, torture, and wars of aggression.

Article 16 requires states to recognize everyone as a person before the law.[48]

Individual liberties edit

Article 12 guarantees freedom of movement, including the right of persons to choose their residence, to leave and return to a country.[49] These rights apply to legal aliens as well as citizens of a state,[50] and can be restricted only where necessary to protect national security, public order or health, and the rights and freedoms of others.[51] The article also recognises a right of people to enter their own country: the right of return.[52] The Human Rights Committee interprets this right broadly as applying not just to citizens, but also to those stripped of or denied their nationality.[50] They also regard it as near-absolute; "there are few, if any, circumstances in which deprivation of the right to enter one's own country could be reasonable".[50]

Article 13 forbids the arbitrary expulsion of resident aliens and requires such decisions to be able to be appealed and reviewed.[53]

Article 17 mandates the right of privacy.[54] This provision, specifically article 17(1), protects private adult consensual sexual activity, thereby nullifying prohibitions on homosexual behaviour,[55] however, the wording of this covenant's marriage right (Article 23) excludes the extrapolation of a same-sex marriage right from this provision.[56] Article 17 also protects people against unlawful attacks to their honor and reputation. Article 17 (2) grants the protection of the law against such attacks.[54]

Article 18 mandates freedom of religion or belief.[57]

Article 19 mandates freedom of expression.[58]

Article 20 mandates sanctions against inciting war and hatred.[59]

Article 21 mandates freedom of assembly and 22 mandates freedom of association. These provisions guarantee the right to freedom of association, the right to trade unions and also defines the International Labour Organization.[60][61]

Article 23 mandates the right of marriage.[62] The wording of this provision neither requires nor prohibits same-sex marriage.[63]

Article 24 mandates special protection, the right to a name, and the right to a nationality for every child.[64]

Article 27 mandates the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minority to enjoy their own culture, to profess their own religion, and to use their own language.[65]

Political rights edit

Article 3 provides an accessory non-discrimination principle. Accessory in the way that it cannot be used independently and can only be relied upon in relation to another right protected by the ICCPR.

In contrast, Article 26 contains a revolutionary norm by providing an autonomous equality principle which is not dependent upon another right under the convention being infringed. This has the effect of widening the scope of the non-discrimination principle beyond the scope of ICCPR.

Optional protocols edit

There are two Optional Protocols to the Covenant. The First Optional Protocol establishes an individual complaints mechanism, allowing individuals to complain to the Human Rights Committee about violations of the Covenant.[66] This has led to the creation of a complex jurisprudence on the interpretation and implementation of the Covenant. As of September 2019, the First Optional Protocol has 116 parties.[67]

The Second Optional Protocol abolishes the death penalty; however, countries were permitted to make a reservation allowing for use of death penalty for the most serious crimes of a military nature, committed during wartime.[68] As of June 2022, the Second Optional Protocol had 90 parties.[67]

Reservations edit

A number of parties have made reservations and interpretative declarations to their application of the Covenant.[69]

Argentina will apply the fair trial rights guaranteed in its constitution to the prosecution of those accused of violating the general law of nations.[1]

Australia reserves the right to progressively implement the prison standards of Article 10, to compensate for miscarriages of justice by administrative means rather than through the courts, and interprets the prohibition on racial incitement as being subject to the freedoms of expression, association and assembly. It also declares that its implementation will be effected at each level of its federal system.[1]

Austria reserves the right to continue to exile members of the House of Habsburg, and limits the rights of the accused and the right to a fair trial to those already existing in its legal system.[1]

Bahamas, due to problems with implementation, reserves the right not to compensate for miscarriages of justice.[1]

Bahrain interprets Articles 3 (no sexual discrimination), 18 (freedom of religion) and 23 (family rights) within the context of Islamic Sharia law.[1]

Bangladesh reserves the right to try people in absentia where they are fugitives from justice and declares that resource constraints mean that it cannot necessarily segregate prisons or provide counsel for accused persons.[1]

Barbados reserves the right not to provide free counsel for accused persons due to resource constraints.[1]

Belgium interprets the freedoms of speech, assembly and association in a manner consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights. It does not consider itself obliged to ban war propaganda as required by Article 20, and interprets that article in light of the freedom of expression in the UDHR.[1]

Belize reserves the right not to compensate for miscarriages of justice, due to problems with implementation, and does not plan to provide free legal counsel for the same reasons as above. It also refuses to ensure the right to free travel at any time, due to a law requiring those travelling abroad to provide tax clearance certificates.[1]

Congo, as per the Congolese Code of Civil, Commercial, Administrative and Financial Procedure, in matters of private law, decisions or orders emanating from conciliation proceedings may be enforced through imprisonment for debt.[1]

Denmark reserves the right to exclude the press and the public from trials as per its own laws. Reservation is further made to Article 20, paragraph 1. This reservation is in accordance with the vote cast by Denmark in the XVI General Assembly of the United Nations in 1961 when the Danish Delegation, referring to the preceding article concerning freedom of expression, voted against the prohibition against propaganda for war.[1]

The Gambia, as per its constitution, will provide free legal assistance for accused persons charged with capital offences only.[1]

Pakistan, has made several reservations to the articles in the convention; "the provisions of Articles 3, 6, 7, 18 and 19 shall be so applied to the extent that they are not repugnant to the Provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan and the Sharia laws", "the provisions of Article 12 shall be so applied as to be in conformity with the Provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan", "With respect to Article 13, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan reserves its right to apply its law relating to foreigners", "the provisions of Article 25 shall be so applied to the extent that they are not repugnant to the Provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan" and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan "does not recognize the competence of the Committee provided for in Article 40 of the Covenant".

The United States has made reservations that none of the articles should restrict the right of free speech and association; that the US government may impose capital punishment on any person other than a pregnant woman, including persons below the age of 18; that "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment" refers to those treatments or punishments prohibited by one or more of the fifth, eighth, and fourteenth amendments to the US Constitution; that the third clause of Paragraph 1, Article 15 will not apply; and that, notwithstanding paragraphs 2(b) and 3 of Article 10 and paragraph 4 of Article 14, the US government may treat juveniles as adults, and accept volunteers to the military prior to the age of 18. The United States also submitted five "understandings", and four "declarations".[70]

Implementation and effects edit

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has 167 states parties, 67 by signature and ratification, and the remainder by accession or succession. Another five states have signed but have yet to ratify the treaty.[1]

According to a 2013 study, the ICCPR has significantly improved human rights practices on matters where evidence-production costs and standards of proof are low, but has had a limited impact for issue areas where legally admissible evidence is costly to produce and standards of proof are high. This means that the ICCPR has "significantly improved governments' respect for the freedoms of speech, association, assembly, and religion" but has had insignificant effects on respect to personal integrity rights.[71]

Australia edit

The Covenant is not directly enforceable in Australia, but its provisions support a number of domestic laws, which confer enforceable rights on individuals. For example, Article 17 of the convention has been implemented by the Australian Privacy Act 1988. Likewise, the Covenant's equality and anti-discrimination provisions support the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Finally, the Covenant is one of the major sources of 'human rights' listed in the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.[72] This law requires most new legislation and administrative instruments (such as delegated/subordinate legislation) to be tabled in parliament with a statement outlining the proposed law's compatibility with the listed human rights[73] A Joint Committee on Human Rights scrutinises all new legislation and statements of compatibility.[74] The findings of the Joint Committee are not legally binding.

Legislation also establishes the Australian Human Rights Commission[75] which allows the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to examine enacted legislation[76] (to suggest remedial enactments[77]), its administration[78] (to suggest avoidance of practices[79]) and general compliance[80] with the covenant which is scheduled to the AHRC legislation.[81]

In Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, the convention can be used by a plaintiff or defendant who invokes those jurisdiction's human rights charters.[82] While the Convention cannot be used to overturn a Victorian or ACT law, a Court can issue a 'declaration of incompatibility' that requires the relevant Attorney-General to respond in Parliament within a set time period.[84] Courts in Victoria and the ACT are also directed by the legislation to interpret the law in a way to give effect to a human right,[83] and new legislation and subordinate legislation must be accompanied by a statement of compatibility.[85] Efforts to implement a similar Charter at the national level have been frustrated and Australia's Constitution may prevent conferring the 'declaration' power on federal judges.[86]

Ireland edit

Ireland's use of Special Criminal Courts where juries are replaced by judges and other special procedures apply has been found to not violate the treaty: "In the Committee's view, trial before courts other than the ordinary courts is not necessarily, per se, a violation of the entitlement to a fair hearing and the facts of the present case do not show that there has been such a violation."[87]

New Zealand edit

New Zealand took measures to give effect to many of the rights contained within it by passing the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act in 1990, and formally incorporated the status of protected person into law through the passing of the Immigration Act 2009.[88]

Sri Lanka edit

Sri Lankan author Shakthika Sathkumara was arrested on 1 April 2019 for inciting religious violence, following a publication of a short story about homosexuality and child abuse at a Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. The author had been adjudged the best Sinhala language short story writer in Sri Lanka's National Youth Literary Festivals of 2010 and 2014, and was twice the recipient of the north western provincial state literary award. A group of Buddhist monks had stormed the author's workplace demanding punitive action against him after the story first appeared on Facebook; the ICCPR prohibits "advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence". Human rights organizations Civicus and the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) have asserted that the charges are spurious and a clear violation of the author's right to freedom of expression.[89][90]

United States edit

Reservations, understandings, and declarations edit

The United States Senate ratified the ICCPR in 1992, with five reservations, five understandings, and four declarations.[70] Some have noted that with so many reservations, its implementation has little domestic effect,[91] although it has been argued that the reason behind the Senate reservations is that Article 20(2) (regarding hate speech) of the ICCPR may be unconstitutional according to Supreme Court precedent.[92] Included in the Senate's ratification was the declaration that "the provisions of Article 1 through 27 of the Covenant are not self-executing",[93] and a Senate Executive Report stated that the declaration was meant to "clarify that the Covenant will not create a private cause of action in U.S. Courts".[94]

Where a treaty or covenant is not self-executing, and where Congress has not acted to implement the agreement with legislation, no private right of action within the US judicial system is created by ratification.[95] However, a reservation that is "incompatible with the object and purpose" of a treaty is void as a matter of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and international law,[96] and there is question as to whether the non-self-execution declaration is even constitutional[97] under the Supremacy Clause (Prof. Louis Henkin argues that it is not[98]). Prof. Jordan Paust criticizes the United States' ratification subject to the non-self-execution declaration as being an abuse of the treaty.[99]

Non-compliance edit

In 1994, the United Nations' Human Rights Committee expressed concerns with compliance:[100]

Of particular concern are widely formulated reservations which essentially render ineffective all Covenant rights which would require any change in national law to ensure compliance with Covenant obligations. No real international rights or obligations have thus been accepted. And when there is an absence of provisions to ensure that Covenant rights may be sued on in domestic courts, and, further, a failure to allow individual complaints to be brought to the Committee under the first Optional Protocol, all the essential elements of the Covenant guarantees have been removed.

In 2006, the Human Rights Committee expressed concern over what it interprets as material non-compliance, exhorting the United States to take immediate corrective action:[101]

The Committee notes with concern the restrictive interpretation made by the State party of its obligations under the Covenant, as a result in particular of (a) its position that the Covenant does not apply with respect to individuals under its jurisdiction but outside its territory, nor in time of war, despite the contrary opinions and established jurisprudence of the Committee and the International Court of Justice; (b) its failure to take fully into consideration its obligation under the Covenant not only to respect, but also to ensure the rights prescribed by the Covenant; and (c) its restrictive approach to some substantive provisions of the Covenant, which is not in conformity with the interpretation made by the Committee before and after the State party's ratification of the Covenant. The State party should review its approach and interpret the Covenant in good faith, in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to its terms in their context, including subsequent practice, and in the light of its object and purpose. The State party should in particular (a) acknowledge the applicability of the Covenant with respect to individuals under its jurisdiction but outside its territory, as well as its applicability in time of war; (b) take positive steps, when necessary, to ensure the full implementation of all rights prescribed by the Covenant; and (c) consider in good faith the interpretation of the Covenant provided by the Committee pursuant to its mandate.

Parties to the Covenant edit

There are a total of 174 parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.[102]

State party Signed Ratified or acceded Entry into force
  Afghanistan 24 January 1983 24 April 1983
  Albania 4 October 1991 4 January 1992
  Algeria 10 December 1968 12 September 1989 12 December 1989
  Andorra 5 August 2002 22 September 2006 22 December 2006
  Angola 10 January 1992 10 April 1992
  Antigua and Barbuda 3 July 2019 3 November 2019
  Argentina 18 February 1968 8 August 1986 8 November 1986
  Armenia 23 June 1993 23 September 1993
  Australia 18 December 1972 13 August 1980 13 November 1980
  Austria 10 December 1973 10 September 1978 10 December 1978
  Azerbaijan 13 August 1992 13 November 1992
  Bahamas, The 4 December 2008 23 December 2008 23 March 2009
  Bahrain 20 September 2006 20 December 2006
  Bangladesh 6 September 2000 6 December 2000
  Barbados 5 January 1973 23 March 1976
  Belarus 19 March 1968 12 November 1973 23 March 1976
  Belgium 10 December 1968 12 April 1983 12 July 1983
  Belize 10 June 1996 10 September 1996
  Benin 12 March 1992 12 June 1992
  Bolivia 12 August 1982 12 November 1982
  Bosnia and Herzegovina[C] 1 September 1993 6 March 1992
  Botswana 8 September 2000 8 September 2000 8 December 2000
  Brazil 24 January 1992 24 April 1992
  Bulgaria 8 October 1968 21 September 1970 23 March 1976
  Burkina Faso 4 January 1999 4 April 1999
  Burundi 8 May 1990 8 August 1990
  Cambodia[D] 17 October 1980 26 May 1992 26 August 1992
  Cameroon 27 January 1984 27 April 1984
  Canada 19 May 1976 19 August 1976
  Cape Verde 6 August 1993 6 November 1993
  Central African Republic 8 May 1981 8 August 1981
  Chad 9 June 1995 9 September 1995
  Chile 16 September 1969 10 February 1972 23 March 1976
  Colombia 21 December 1966 29 October 1969 23 March 1976
  Congo, Democratic Republic of the 1 November 1976 1 February 1977
  Congo, Republic of the 5 October 1983 5 January 1984
  Costa Rica 19 December 1966 29 November 1968 23 March 1976
  Côte d'Ivoire 26 March 1992 26 June 1992
  Croatia[C] 12 October 1992 12 January 1993
  Cyprus 19 December 1966 2 April 1969 23 March 1976
  Czech Republic[E] 22 February 1993 1 January 1993
  Denmark 20 March 1968 6 January 1972 23 March 1976
  Djibouti 5 November 2002 5 February 2003
  Dominica 17 June 1993 17 September 1993
  Dominican Republic 4 January 1978 4 April 1978
  East Timor 18 September 2003 18 December 2003
  Ecuador 4 April 1968 6 March 1969 23 March 1976
  Egypt 4 August 1967 14 January 1982 14 April 1982
  El Salvador 21 September 1967 30 November 1979 29 February 1980
  Equatorial Guinea 25 September 1987 25 December 1987
  Eritrea 22 January 2002 22 April 2002
  Estonia 21 October 1991 21 January 1992
  Ethiopia 11 June 1993 11 September 1993
  Fiji 16 August 2018 16 November 2018
  Finland 11 October 1967 19 August 1975 23 March 1976
  France 4 November 1980 4 February 1981
  Gabon 21 January 1983 21 April 1983
  Gambia, The 22 March 1979 22 June 1979
  Georgia 3 May 1994 3 August 1994
  Germany[F] 9 October 1968 17 December 1973 23 March 1976
  Ghana 7 September 2000 7 September 2000 7 December 2000
  Greece 5 May 1997 5 August 1997
  Grenada 6 September 1991 6 December 1991
  Guatemala 5 May 1992 5 August 1992
  Guinea 28 February 1967 24 January 1978 24 April 1978
  Guinea-Bissau 12 September 2000 1 November 2010 1 February 2011
  Guyana 22 August 1968 15 February 1977 15 May 1977
  Haiti 6 February 1991 6 May 1991
  Honduras 19 December 1966 25 August 1997 25 November 1997
  Hungary 25 March 1969 17 January 1974 23 March 1976
  Iceland 30 December 1968 22 August 1979 22 November 1979
  India 10 April 1979 10 July 1979
  Indonesia 23 February 2006 23 May 2006
  Iran 4 April 1968 24 June 1975 23 March 1976
  Iraq 18 February 1969 25 January 1971 23 March 1976
  Ireland 1 October 1973 8 December 1989 8 March 1990
  Israel 19 December 1966 3 October 1991 3 January 1992
  Italy 18 January 1967 15 September 1978 15 December 1978
  Jamaica 19 December 1966 3 October 1975 23 March 1976
  Japan 30 May 1978 21 June 1979 21 September 1979
  Jordan 30 June 1972 28 May 1975 23 March 1976
  Kazakhstan 2 December 2003 24 January 2006 24 April 2006
  Kenya 1 May 1972 23 March 1976
  Korea, North[G] 14 September 1981 14 December 1981
  Korea, South 10 April 1990 10 July 1990
  Kuwait 21 May 1996 21 August 1996
  Kyrgyzstan 7 October 1994 7 January 1995
  Laos 7 December 2000 25 September 2009 25 December 2009
  Latvia 14 April 1992 14 July 1992
  Lebanon 3 November 1972 23 March 1976
  Lesotho 9 September 1992 9 December 1992
  Liberia 18 April 1967 22 September 2004 22 December 2004
  Libya 15 May 1970 23 March 1976
  Liechtenstein 10 December 1998 10 March 1999
  Lithuania 20 November 1991 10 February 1992
  Luxembourg 26 November 1974 18 August 1983 18 November 1983
  North Macedonia[C] 18 January 1994 17 September 1991
  Madagascar 17 September 1969 21 June 1971 23 March 1976
  Malawi 22 December 1993 22 March 1994
  Maldives 19 September 2006 19 December 2006
  Mali 16 July 1974 23 March 1976
  Malta 13 September 1990 13 December 1990
  Marshall Islands 12 March 2018 12 June 2018
  Mauritania 17 November 2004 17 February 2005
  Mauritius 12 December 1973 23 March 1976
  Mexico 23 March 1981 23 June 1981
  Moldova 26 January 1993 26 April 1993
  Monaco 26 June 1997 28 August 1997 28 November 1997
  Mongolia 5 June 1968 18 November 1974 23 March 1976
  Montenegro[C] 23 October 2006 3 June 2006
  Morocco 19 January 1977 3 May 1979 3 August 1979
  Mozambique 21 July 1993 21 October 1993
  Namibia 28 November 1994 28 February 1995
    Nepal 14 May 1991 14 August 1991
  Netherlands 25 June 1969 11 December 1978 11 March 1979
  New Zealand 12 November 1968 28 December 1978 28 March 1979
  Nicaragua 12 March 1980 12 June 1980
  Niger 7 March 1986 7 June 1986
  Nigeria 29 July 1993 29 October 1993
  Norway 20 March 1968 13 September 1972 23 March 1976
  Pakistan 17 April 2008 23 June 2010 23 September 2010
  Palestine 2 April 2014 2 July 2014
  Panama 27 July 1976 8 March 1977 8 June 1977
  Papua New Guinea 21 July 2008 21 October 2008
  Paraguay 10 June 1992 10 September 1992
  Peru 11 August 1977 28 April 1978 28 July 1978
  Philippines 19 December 1966 23 October 1986 23 January 1987
  Poland 2 March 1967 18 March 1977 18 June 1977
  Portugal[H] 7 October 1976 15 June 1978 15 September 1978
  Qatar 21 May 2018 21 August 2018
  Romania 27 June 1968 9 December 1974 23 March 1976
  Russia 18 March 1968 16 October 1973 23 March 1976
  Rwanda 16 April 1975 23 March 1976
  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9 November 1981 9 February 1981
  Samoa 15 February 2008 15 May 2008
  San Marino 18 October 1985 18 January 1986
  São Tomé and Príncipe 31 October 1995 10 January 2017 10 April 2017
  Senegal 6 July 1970 13 February 1978 13 May 1978
  Serbia[C] 12 March 2001 27 April 1992
  Seychelles 5 May 1992 5 August 1992
  Sierra Leone 23 August 1996 23 November 1996
  Slovakia[E] 28 May 1993 1 January 1993
  Slovenia[C] 6 July 1992 6 October 1992
  Somalia 24 January 1990 24 April 1990
  South Africa 3 October 1994 10 December 1998 10 March 1999
  South Sudan 5 February 2024 5 May 2024
  Spain 28 September 1976 27 April 1977 27 July 1977
  Sri Lanka 11 June 1980 11 September 1980
  Sudan 18 March 1986 18 June 1986
  Suriname 28 December 1976 28 March 1977
  Swaziland 26 March 2004 26 June 2004
  Sweden 29 September 1967 6 December 1971 23 March 1976
   Switzerland 18 June 1992 18 September 1992
  Syria 21 April 1969 23 March 1976
  Tajikistan 4 January 1999 4 April 1999
  Tanzania 11 June 1976 11 September 1976
  Thailand 29 October 1996 29 January 1997
  Togo 24 May 1984 24 August 1984
  Trinidad and Tobago 21 December 1978 21 March 1979
  Tunisia 30 April 1968 18 March 1969 23 March 1976
  Turkey 15 August 2000 23 September 2003 23 December 2003
  Turkmenistan 1 May 1997 1 August 1997
  Uganda 21 June 1995 21 September 1995
  Ukraine 20 March 1968 12 November 1973 23 March 1976
  United Kingdom[I] 16 September 1968 20 May 1976 20 August 1976
  United States 5 October 1977 8 June 1992 8 September 1992
  Uruguay 21 February 1967 21 May 1967 23 March 1976
  Uzbekistan 28 September 1995 28 December 1995
  Vanuatu 29 November 2007 21 November 2008 21 February 2009
  Venezuela 24 June 1969 10 May 1978 10 August 1978
  Vietnam 24 September 1982 24 December 1982
  Yemen 9 February 1987 9 May 1987
  Zambia 10 April 1984 10 July 1984
  Zimbabwe 13 May 1991 13 August 1991

States not party to the Covenant edit

Most states in the world are parties to the ICCPR. As of 2024, the following 24 states have not become party to it, while six states have signed the Covenant but not ratified it.[102]

Signatories that have signed and not ratified edit

State Signed
  China[H][I] 5 October 1998
  Comoros 25 September 2008
  Cuba 28 February 2008
  Nauru 12 November 2001
  Palau 20 September 2011
  Saint Lucia 22 September 2011

States which are neither signatories nor parties edit

  1.   Bhutan
  2.   Brunei
  3.   Kiribati
  4.   Malaysia
  5.   Micronesia
  6.   Myanmar
  7.   Oman
  8.   Saint Kitts and Nevis
  9.   Saudi Arabia
  10.   Singapore
  11.   Solomon Islands
  12.   Tonga
  13.   Tuvalu
  14.   United Arab Emirates

Nonmembers of the UN edit

  1.   Cook Islands
  2.   Niue
  3.   Taiwan[J]
  4.   Vatican City (through the Holy See)[K]

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Article 49 allowed that the covenant would enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or accession
  2. ^ Not to be confused with the United Nations Human Rights Council.
  3. ^ a b c d e f   Yugoslavia signed the Covenant on 8 August 1967 and ratified it on 2 June 1971; it entered into force for Yugoslavia on 23 March 1976. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, the following states located in the former Yugoslavia made declarations regarding that status of the Covenant with regard to themselves:
    •   Bosnia and Herzegovina – On 1 September 1993, it declared that the Covenant was in force for it since 6 March 1992.
    •   Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – On 12 March 2001, it declared that the Covenant was in force for it since 27 April 1992. On 4 February 2003, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia changed its name to Serbia and Montenegro, and on 3 June 2006   Serbia succeeded Serbia and Montenegro. Therefore, for Serbia, the Covenant has retroactively been in force since 27 April 1992.
    •   Republic of Macedonia – On 18 January 1994, it declared that the Covenant was in force for it since 17 September 1991.
    •   Montenegro – On 23 October 2006, it declared that the Covenant was in force for it since 3 June 2006.
  4. ^ Although Cambodia signed the Covenant when it was known as Democratic Kampuchea, it filed an instrument of accession, not ratification, on 26 May 1992.
  5. ^ a b   Czechoslovakia signed the Covenant on 7 October 1968 and ratified it on 23 December 1975; it entered into force for Czechoslovakia on 23 March 1976. Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the   Czech Republic declared on 22 February 1993 that the Covenant was in force for it since 1 January 1993 and   Slovakia declared on 28 May 1993 that the Covenant was also in force for it since 1 January 1993.
  6. ^   East Germany signed the Covenant on 23 March 1973 and ratified it on 8 November 1973; it entered into force for East Germany on 23 March 1976. Following the reunification of Germany on 3 October 1990, East Germany ceased to exist.
  7. ^ On 25 August 1997, North Korea notified the Secretary-General of the United Nations that it was withdrawing from the Covenant. However, the Secretary-General still considers North Korea a state party to the Covenant because the Covenant does not allow for withdrawal and therefore withdrawal would only be possible if all other states parties allowed it, which has not occurred.
  8. ^ a b Portugal extended the territorial application of the Covenant to Macau on 27 April 1993. On 3 December 1999, China notified the Secretary-General of the United Nations that the Covenant would still be in force for Macau following the transfer of sovereignty on 20 December 1999.
  9. ^ a b Both China and the United Kingdom notified the Secretary-General that the Covenant would continue to remain in force for Hong Kong upon transfer of sovereignty on 1 July 1997.
  10. ^ The Republic of China signed the Covenant on 5 October 1967 but did not ratify it at the time. On 25 October 1971, it lost its United Nations membership. On 31 March 2009, the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China ratified it along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, but the deposit was rejected by the UN.
  11. ^ The Vatican is not a member of the United Nations but holds observer status.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "UN Treaty Collection - International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". Status of ratification
  2. ^ Article 53 of the ICCPR
  3. ^ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights
  4. ^ a b c "Fact Sheet No.2 (Rev.1), The International Bill of Human Rights". UN OHCHR. June 1996. Archived from the original on 13 March 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
  5. ^ a b Christopher N.J.Roberts. "William H. Fitzpatrick's Editorials on Human Rights (1949)". Quellen zur Geschichte der Menschenrechte. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  6. ^ Sieghart, Paul (1983). The International Law of Human Rights. Oxford University Press. p. 25.
  7. ^ a b United Nations General Assembly Resolution 543, 5 February 1952.
  8. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 545, 5 February 1952.
  9. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200, 16 December 1966.
  10. ^ The following section summarises the text of the Covenant.
  11. ^ ICCPR, Article 1.1.
  12. ^ ICCPR, Article 1.2.
  13. ^ ICCPR, Article 1.3.
  14. ^ ICCPR, Article 2.2, 2.3.
  15. ^ ICCPR, Article 2.1.
  16. ^ ICCPR, Article 3.
  17. ^ ICCPR, Article 4.1.
  18. ^ a b ICCPR, Article 4.2.
  19. ^ ICCPR, Article 47.
  20. ^ ICCPR, Article 6.1.
  21. ^ a b c d "CCPR General Comment No. 6: The right to life". UN OHCHR. 30 April 1982. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  22. ^ ICCPR, Article 6.2.
  23. ^ ICCPR, Article 6.5.
  24. ^ ICCPR, Article 6.3.
  25. ^ a b ICCPR, Article 7.
  26. ^ "CCPR General Comment No. 20: Replaces general comment 7 concerning prohibition of torture and cruel treatment or punishment". UN OHCHR. 10 March 1992. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  27. ^ ICCPR, Articles 8.1, 8.2.
  28. ^ ICCPR, Article 8.3.
  29. ^ ICCPR, Article 9.1.
  30. ^ ICCPR, Article 9.4.
  31. ^ a b "CCPR General Comment No. 08: Right to liberty and security of persons". UN OHCHR. 30 June 1982. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  32. ^ ICCPR, Articles 9.2, 9.3.
  33. ^ ICCPR, Article 9.3.
  34. ^ ICCPR, Article 10.1.
  35. ^ a b "General Comment No. 21: Replaces general comment 9 concerning humane treatment of persons deprived of liberty". UN OHCHR. 10 April 1992. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  36. ^ ICCPR, Article 10.2.
  37. ^ ICCPR, Article 10.3.
  38. ^ ICCPR, Article 11.
  39. ^ a b c ICCPR, Article 14.1.
  40. ^ "General Comment No. 13: Equality before the courts and the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent court established by law". UN OHCHR. 13 April 1984. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  41. ^ ICCPR, Article 14.2.
  42. ^ ICCPR, Article 14.7.
  43. ^ ICCPR, Article 14.5.
  44. ^ ICCPR, Article 14.6.
  45. ^ ICCPR, Article 14.3.
  46. ^ ICCPR, Article 15.
  47. ^ ICCPR, Article 15.2.
  48. ^ ICCPR, Article 16.
  49. ^ "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights".
  50. ^ a b c "CCPR: General Comment No. 27: Freedom of movement". UN OHCHR. 2 November 1999. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  51. ^ ICCPR, Article 12.3.
  52. ^ ICCPR, Article 12.4.
  53. ^ ICCPR, Article 13.
  54. ^ a b ICCPR, Article 17.
  55. ^ "Toonen v Australia Communication No. 488/1992 (1994) U.N. Doc CCPR/C/50/D/488/1992 at [8.1–8.6]".
  56. ^ "Joslin v New Zealand (2002) Comm. No. 902/1999 U.N. Doc. A/57/40 at 214 (2002) at [Appendix (My Lallah & Mr Scheinen)]".
  57. ^ ICCPR, Article 18.
  58. ^ ICCPR, Article 19.
  59. ^ ICCPR, Article 20.
  60. ^ ICCPR, Article 21.
  61. ^ ICCPR, Article 22.
  62. ^ ICCPR, Article 23.
  63. ^ Joslin v New Zealand (2002) Comm. No. 902/1999 U.N. Doc. A/57/40 at 214 (2002) at [8.2–9.0(majority)] & [1(Lallah & Scheinen JJ] "Joslin v New Zealand (2002) Comm. No. 902/1999 U.N. Doc. A/57/40 at 214 (2002)".
  64. ^ ICCPR, Article 24.
  65. ^ ICCPR, Ariticle 27.
  66. ^ OP1-ICCPR, Article 1.
  67. ^ a b "OHCHR Dashboard". United Nations. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  68. ^ OP2-ICCPR, Article 2.1
  69. ^ "United Nations Treaty Collection".
  70. ^ a b "U.S. reservations, declarations, and understandings, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 138 Cong. Rec. S4781-01". Minnesota: University of Minnesota Human Rights Library. 2 April 1992. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  71. ^ Lupu, Yonatan (2013). "Best Evidence: The Role of Information in Domestic Judicial Enforcement of International Human Rights Agreements". International Organization. 67 (3): 469–503. doi:10.1017/S002081831300012X. ISSN 0020-8183. S2CID 15372366. Archived from the original on 20 August 2022. Retrieved 20 August 2022.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  72. ^ Act No. 186 of 2011  : Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, ComLaw
  73. ^ Act No. 186 of 2011, Part 3.
  74. ^ Act No. 186 of 2011, Part 2
  75. ^ Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth).
  76. ^ Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) s 11(e).
  77. ^ Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) s 11(j).
  78. ^ Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) s 11(f)(i) – Conciliation & (ii) – Reporting.
  79. ^ Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) s 11(n).
  80. ^ Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) s 11(k) & (m).
  81. ^ "Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth), schedule 2".
  82. ^ Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic); Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).
  83. ^ a b c "Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT)" (PDF).
  84. ^ For example, Part 4, Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).[83]
  85. ^ For example, Part 4, Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).[83]
  86. ^ Vines, Timothy; Faunce, Thomas Alured (2012). "A Bad Trip for Health-Related Human Rights: Implications of Momcilovic v the Queen (2011) 85 ALJR 957". Journal of Law and Medicine. 19 (4). Rochester, NY: 685–98. PMID 22908613. SSRN 2257114.
  87. ^ Joseph Kavanagh v. Ireland, United Nations Human Rights Committee Communication No. 819/1998, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/71/D/819/1998 (2001).
  88. ^ "Immigration Act 2009 No 51 (as at 06 May 2016), Public Act Part 5 Refugee and protection status determinations – New Zealand Legislation".
  89. ^ "Sri Lanka: UN treaty invoked to imprison award winning writer". Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  90. ^ "Sri Lanka: Withdraw the charges against Shakthika Sathkumara, Protect Free Expression". Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development. 10 April 2019.
  91. ^ Black, Allinda; Hopkins, June, eds. (2003). "Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers. Hyde Park, New York: Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
  92. ^ Greene, Jamal (9 April 2012). "Hate Speech and the Demos". In Herz, Michael; Molnár, Péter (eds.). The Content and Context of Hate Speech: Rethinking Regulation and Responses. Cambridge University Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-521-19109-8.
  93. ^ 138 Cong. Rec. S4781-84 (1992)
  94. ^ S. Exec. Rep. No. 102-23 (1992)
  95. ^ Sei Fujii v. State 38 Cal.2d 718, 242 P.2d 617 (1952); also see Buell v. Mitchell 274 F.3d 337 Archived 17 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine (6th Cir., 2001) (discussing ICCPR's relationship to death penalty cases, citing to other ICCPR cases)
  96. ^ Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, art. 19, 1155 U.N.T.S. 331 (entered into force 27 January 1980) (specifying conditions under which signatory States can offer "reservations")
  97. ^ Yoo, John C. (1999). "Globalism and the Constitution: Treaties, Non-Self-Execution, and the Original Understanding". Colum. L. Rev. 99 (8): 1955–2094. doi:10.2307/1123607. JSTOR 1123607. At p. 1959.
  98. ^ Louis Henkin, U.S. Ratification of Human Rights Treaties: The Ghost of Senator Bricker, 89 Am. J. Int'l L. 341, 346 (1995)
  99. ^ Jordan J. Paust, International Law As Law of the United States 375 (2d ed. 2003)
  100. ^ Hum. Rts. Comm. General Comment No. 24 (52), para. 11, 18–19, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.6 (1994)
  101. ^ Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Comm.: United States of America, U.N. Doc. No. CCPR/C/USA/CO/3/Rev.1, para. 10 (2006)
  102. ^ a b "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". United Nations Treaty Collection. 28 February 2024. Retrieved 28 February 2024.

External links edit