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General comment No. 35 on Article 9, Liberty and security of person

Issued by



Issued by Treaty bodies

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Topic Article 9, Liberty and security of person
Date adopted 31 October 2014
General discussion 25 October 2012

On the occasion of its 106th session in Geneva in 2014, the Human Rights Committee held a half day of general discussion in preparation for a general comment on Article 9 (Liberty and Security of Person) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The submissions received are posted below.

The purpose of the general discussion was to commence the Committee’s process of developing a general comment on article 9, expanding upon its general comment No. 8, from 1982, considering later experience obtained in the review of State reports and communications, and in the adoption of general comments on related issues.

Following this day of general discussion, a first draft of the comment was presented to the Committee by the Rapporteur during the 107th session during which the Committee commenced its first reading of the draft. The first reading finished at the 110th session, after which there was a general call for written comments on the draft.

At the 111th session, the Committee commenced its second reading of the draft which was finally adopted during the 112th session. This general comment replaces general comment No. 8, adopted in 1982.


Article 9 recognizes and protects both liberty of person and security of person. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 3 proclaims that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. That is the first substantive right protected by the Universal Declaration, which indicates the profound importance of article 9 of the Covenant both for individuals and for society as a whole.

Liberty and security of person are precious for their own sake, and also because the deprivation of liberty and security of person have historically been principal means for impairing the enjoyment of other rights.

The general comment goes on to cover the following topics:

II. Arbitrary detention and unlawful detention;

III. Notice of reasons for arrest and any criminal charges;

IV. Judicial control of detention in connection with criminal charges;

V. The right to take proceedings for release from unlawful or arbitrary detention;

VI. The right to compensation for unlawful or arbitrary arrest or detention; and

VII. Relationship of article 9 with other articles of the Covenant.

Inputs Received
Inputs Received
Written contributions for the 2012 half day of discussion
Other written contributions for the 2012 half day of discussion
Oral statements for the 2012 half day of discussion