On April 22, 2015, the Central African Republic’s transitional parliament voted to adopt a law to create a Special Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity that have been committed in the Central African Republic since 2003. In order for the Special Criminal Court to now be established, its acting president, Catherine Samba-Panza, must enact this law. [FIDH; Jurist]
Category Archives: civil society
The Human Rights Council is close to concluding its 22nd Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group which began on May 4 and will conclude on May 15, 2015 to examine 14 States’ human rights records. [OHCHR Press Release] During these Working Group discussions, UN Member States are reviewing the human rights practices of Belarus, Liberia, Malawi, Mongolia, Panama, Maldives, Andorra, Bulgaria, Honduras, the United States, Marshall Islands, Croatia, Jamaica, and Libya (listed in the order of their scheduled reviews). [OHCHR: Universal Periodic Review Timetable]
During its 72nd regular session in Geneva, which was held from April 20th through 29th, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention [hereinafter Working Group] adopted the final text of its draft “Basic Principles and Guidelines on Remedies and Procedures on the Right of Anyone Deprived of Their Liberty to Bring Proceedings Before a Court.” [OHCHR: Working Group] See General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on remedies and procedures on the right of anyone deprived of their liberty to bring proceedings before a court, UN Doc. A/HRC/30/xx, June 2015, 5 (hereinafter Basic Principles and Guidelines). In reference to the Basic Principles and Guidelines, Mads Andenas, the current head of the five-member Working Group, stated that the “right to have the detention reviewed in court without delay is a central element of everyone’s right to liberty and security.” [OHCHR: New Guidelines]
On March 31, 2015 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) released its judgment in Helsinki Committee of Armenia v. Armenia, concerning the State’s denial of a non-governmental human rights organization’s (NGO) application to hold an event dedicated to mourning the death of a murder investigation witness at the police station. See ECtHR, Helsinki Committee of Armenia v. Armenia, no. 59109/08, Judgment of 31 March 2015.
The Committee against Torture (CAT) is currently holding its 54th session in Geneva which began on April 20 and will continue through May 15. According to the agenda, CAT is considering the State reports of Colombia, the Republic of Congo, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Romania, Serbia, Spain, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on their implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Convention). During the session, representatives from each State will engage in a dialogue with members of CAT regarding the list of issues, which consists of those topics the Committee had previously asked each State to address in its report to CAT. The Committee will also review reports submitted by civil society organizations and national human rights institutions (NHRIs) concerning the States’ implementation of the Convention. At the conclusion of the review process, the Committee will issue concluding observations for each State, containing its concerns and recommendations on each State’s implementation of the Convention.
This week, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD Committee) will commence its 86th session in Geneva, Switzerland. The session will take place from April 27 to May 15, during which time the CERD Committee will review the State reports of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Germany, Guatemala, and Sudan. The Committee will also review reports submitted by civil society organizations and national human rights institutions (NHRIs) concerning the States’ implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
On March 26, 2015, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a Resolution which establishes a mandate on the right to privacy in the digital age and creates a new Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy. UN Human Rights Council, Resolution 28/L.27, Resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age, UN Doc. A/HRC/28/L.27, 24 March 2015. [UN Press Release] This resolution, which was adopted during the 28th regular session of the Human Rights Council, reaffirms the right to privacy; recognizes the global and open nature of the Internet; affirms that the right to privacy must be protected both online and offline; and, most significantly, creates the position of Special Rapporteur, or independent expert, for a period of three years to promote and protect this right. The resolution follows an earlier Resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age adopted by the General Assembly in December 2014. UN General Assembly, Resolution 69/166, The right to privacy in the digital age, UN Doc. A/RES/69/166, 10 February 2015. The Human Rights Council will appoint the Special Rapporteur at the 29th regular session of the Human Rights Council which will be held from June 15 to July 3, 2015.
Last month, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued its Annual Report 2014, summarizing the Court’s structure, jurisprudence, and activities throughout 2014. The Report discusses the Court’s functions, summarizes the status of cases before the Court, breaks down the Court’s budget, and describes additional activities the Court undertook in 2014. See Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Annual Report 2014. The majority of the Report focuses on the hearings that the Court held, cases that were submitted to the Court, and judgments that the Court delivered in 2014. See id. at 12–33, 39–66.
The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) is holding its 13th session from March 25 to April 17 in Geneva, Switzerland to review the State reports of Cook Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Germany, Mongolia, and Turkmenistan. During the session, representatives from each State will engage in a dialogue with Committee members based on each State party’s report as well as responses to the list of issues that the Committee has asked each State to address in relation to its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Committee will also take into account any additional reports from civil society organizations and national human rights institutions. Following the review, the Committee will issue concluding observations, which consist of concerns and recommendations with respect to each State’s implementation of the Convention. Archived webcasts of the 13th session can be viewed on the UN Treaty Body Webcast.
The UN Human Rights Committee is holding its 113th session from March 16 to April 2, to consider the State reports of Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Monaco, and Russia on their implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). During the session, representatives from each State will engage in a dialogue with members of the Human Rights Committee regarding the list of issues, which consists of those topics the Committee had previously asked each State to address in its report to the Human Rights Committee. At the conclusion of the review process, the Committee will issue concluding observations for each State, containing its concerns and recommendations on each State’s implementation of the ICCPR. Archived and livestream webcasts of the 113th session can be viewed on UN Treaty Body Webcast.