Integrity of the judicial system

24 July 2020
Issued by:
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
At the 45th session of the HRC


This report was submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 37/3. In preparing the report, contributions were sought from Member States and other relevant stakeholders. In addition, the High Commissioner draws on a range of public sources.


The High Commissioner examines different types of extraterritorial detention that may have an impact on the integrity of the judicial system with implications for human rights. These include extraterritorial detention by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, extraterritorial detention in armed conflicts and detention by third parties that States facilitate outside their territory.

While there are situations that may require States to resort to extraterritorial detention, such measures bear a high risk of being implemented without the due protection of law, notably with respect to sufficiency of judicial oversight, with a commensurate impact on the integrity of the judiciary.

Whether undertaken in the context of counter-terrorism or other law enforcement and intelligence operations, or during armed conflict, extraterritorial detention has often led to human rights violations such as arbitrary and unlawful deprivation of liberty, torture and other forms of ill-treatment.