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Human Rights Committee concludes first reading of Draft General Comment on the right to liberty and security of person

Human Rights Committee

25 March 2014

The Human Rights Committee today concluded its first reading of its draft General Comment on Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on the right of everybody to liberty and security of person.
 
The Committee discussed a new paragraph stating that security or administrative detention or internment solely because a person was suspected of being a threat represented a severe risk of arbitrary detention, and could only be used under the most exceptional circumstances.  The paragraph listed a series of guarantees to be protected, including guarantees of proportionality and absolute necessity, when such detention was being used.  The Committee also discussed a new version of paragraph 69 reiterating the requirements of strict necessity and proportionality for any derogating measures involving security detention. 
 
The draft General Comment would now be sent to States parties and other stakeholders for their consideration and comments, which would be taken into account during a second reading tabled for the next session of the Committee in July this year.
 
The draft General Comment on Article 9 addresses the issues of arbitrary and unlawful detention, the requirement of notice for reasons of arrest and criminal charge, judicial control of detention in the context of criminal charge, the right to proceedings for release from unlawful or arbitrary detention, the right to compensation for unlawful or arbitrary detention, and the relationship of Article 9 with other Articles of the Covenant. 
 
The next public meeting of the Committee will be on the last day of the session, Friday 28 March, when it will hold a short meeting on working methods at noon, followed by the closing of the session, at 3 p.m.
 
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For use of the information media; not an official record