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United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

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United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

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  1. United NationsOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights The individual complaints procedure under the treaty bodies

  2. Treaties with individual complaints procedure • Optional Protocol (OP) to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) • International Convention against Torture or Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

  3. Treaties with individual complaints procedure • OP to the Convention on the Elimination OF All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) • OP to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [OP to the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families and OP to the Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights are not yet in force]

  4. Monitoring Treaties are monitored by « treaty bodies » - Committees of independent experts, composed of between 10 and 23 experts - Elected biannually by States parties to the ICCPR, having regard to equitable geographic distribution

  5. Ratifications by Ireland

  6. Violations against Ireland Violation of ICCPR in one case: No. 819/1998, Kavanagh v. Ireland (violation article 26) No cases registered against Ireland before the CERD, CAT, or CEDAW

  7. The Human Rights Committee “The Committee considers that the State party has failed to demonstrate that the decision to try the author before the Special Criminal Court was based upon reasonable and objective grounds. Accordingly, the Committee concludes that the author's right under article 26 to equality before the law and to the equal protection of the law has been violated.”

  8. The individual complaints procedure Who can complain? Any individual under the jurisdiction of a State party What can be complained of? Violations by the State party of one or more of the rights protected under the relevant treaty How are submissions made? In principle, the procedure is written and confidential – there are no oral hearings

  9. Principal admissibility criteria (continued): • exhaustion of domestic remedies • should not be pendingbefore another instance of international investigation or settlement

  10. Principal admissibility criteria events took place after the entry into force of the complaint mechanism - ratione temporis must be a vicitm of a violation - not actio popularis adequate substantiation compatible with the provisions of the treaty - ratione materiae

  11. Interim measures of protection • Basis: Committees’ rules of procedures • Objective: to avoid « irreparable harm» to the author • Categories of cases in which such measures are requested: risk of imminent execution, extradition, deportation

  12. Views: effect and follow-up • Views become public documents • On finding a violation , State party is requested to offer an effective remedy • Legal status : no legally enforceable title, but good faith obligation on States parties to implement • Special Rapporteur on follow-up to Views

  13. For further information Contact: Petitions Unit Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Palais Wilson CH-1201 Geneva Fax: +41 22 917 90 22 E-mail: tb-petitions@ohchr.org