Skip to main content

All States parties to the Covenant should submit reports to the Committee on the enjoyment of civil and political rights in their State.

The simplified reporting procedure

In 2010, the Committee adopted an optional reporting procedure called the simplified reporting procedure (CCPR/C/99/4) in order to make reporting more focused and reduce the burden of reporting for States parties.

Under the standard procedure, three principal documents are exchanged between States parties and the Committee before the interactive dialogue takes place: a report by the State party; a list of issues adopted by the Committee; and replies by the State. Under the simplified procedure, only two such documents are exchanged: a list of issues prior to reporting, drawn up by the Committee; and replies by the State. The replies constitute the State party’s report.

In 2018 following the study on the impact of the simplified reporting procedure (CCPR/C/123/3) this approach was formally adopted as part of the Committee’s working methods. 

At its 126th session in July 2019, the Committee decided to:

  1. Move in 2020 to an eight-year predictable review cycle.
  2. Shift from an opt-in model of simplified reporting procedure to an opt-out model.
  3. Introduce the simplified reporting procedure for initial reports.
  4. Continue its efforts to align its methods of work and the lists of issues it produces with other treaty bodies.

Furthermore, the Committee amended Rule 73 of the Rules of Procedure to reflect its decision.

The Predictable Review Cycle

The predicable eight-year review cycle was adopted to improve predictability in reporting and to ensure regular reporting by all States parties, in line with resolution 68/268.

Read more about the Predictable Review Cycle.

The standard reporting procedure

The States party opting out from the simplified reporting procedure should follow the standard procedure and refer to the reporting guidelines. The State party is required to submit within a year of the Covenant’s entry into force for that State an initial report on the measures it has adopted, which give effect to the rights recognized in the Covenant and progress made in their enjoyment. Periodic reports should be submitted whenever the Committee so requests (art. 40, para. 1, of the Covenant). For subsequent periodic reports, the Committee has adopted a practice of stating, at the end of its concluding observations, a date by which the following periodic report should be submitted.

The Committee shall then, prior to the meeting at which the State party report is to be reviewed, forward to it a list of issues indicating the topics relating to the implementation of the Covenant on which the Committee wishes the State party to provide further specific information. The State party will be invited to submit its responses to the list of issues in writing by a specified date, prior to the meeting with the Committee.

Relevant documents