International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
|International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.|
|Type||United Nations General Assembly Resolution|
|Signed||16 December 1966|
|Location||United Nations Headquarters, New York|
|Effective||23 March 1976|
|Depositary||Secretary General of the United Nations|
|Citations||Works related to United Nations Trusteeship Agreements listed by the General Assembly as Non-Self-Governing at Wikisource|
|Languages||French, English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish|
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966, and in force from 23 March 1976. It commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial. As of May 2013[update], the Covenant had 74 signatories and 167 parties.
The ICCPR is part of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, International Bill of Human Rights, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The ICCPR is monitored by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (a separate body to the United Nations Human Rights Council), which reviews regular reports of States parties on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially one year after acceding to the Covenant and then whenever the Committee requests (usually every four years). The Committee normally meets in Geneva and normally holds three sessions per year.
- 1 Genesis
- 2 Summary
- 3 Core provisions
- 4 Optional protocols
- 5 Reservations
- 6 National implementation and effects
- 7 Parties to the covenant
- 8 Withdrawal
- 9 States not members of the Covenant
- 10 Notes
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The ICCPR has its roots in the same process that led to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A "Declaration on the Essential Rights of Man" had been proposed at the 1945 San Francisco Conference which led to the founding of the United Nations, and the Economic and Social Council was given the task of drafting it. Early on in the process, the document was split into a declaration setting forth general principles of human rights, and a convention or covenant containing binding commitments. The former evolved into the UDHR and was adopted on 10 December 1948.
The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.
Drafting continued on the convention, but there remained significant differences between UN members on the relative importance of negative Civil and Political versus positive Economic, Social and Cultural rights. These eventually caused the convention to be split into two separate covenants, "one to contain civil and political rights and the other to contain economic, social and cultural rights." The two covenants were to contain as many similar provisions as possible, and be opened for signature simultaneously. Each would also contain an article on the right of all peoples to self-determination.
The first document became the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the second the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The drafts were presented to the UN General Assembly for discussion in 1954, and adopted in 1966. As a result of diplomatic negotiations the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was adopted shortly before the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Covenant follows the structure of the UDHR and ICESCR, with a preamble and fifty-three articles, divided into six parts.
Part 1 (Article 1) recognizes the right of all peoples to self-determination, including the right to "freely determine their political status", pursue their economic, social and cultural goals, and manage and dispose of their own resources. It recognises a negative right of a people not to be deprived of its means of subsistence, and imposes an obligation on those parties still responsible for non-self governing and trust territories (colonies) to encourage and respect their self-determination.
Part 2 (Articles 2 – 5) obliges parties to legislate where necessary to give effect to the rights recognised in the Covenant, and to provide an effective legal remedy for any violation of those rights. It also requires the rights be recognised "without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status," and to ensure that they are enjoyed equally by women. The rights can only be limited "in time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation," and even then no derogation is permitted from the rights to life, freedom from torture and slavery, the freedom from retrospective law, the right to personhood, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Part 3 (Articles 6 – 27) lists the rights themselves. These include rights to
- physical integrity, in the form of the right to life and freedom from torture and slavery (Articles 6, 7, and 8);
- liberty and security of the person, in the form of freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention and the right to habeas corpus (Articles 9 – 11);
- procedural fairness in law, in the form of rights to due process, a fair and impartial trial, the presumption of innocence, and recognition as a person before the law (Articles 14, 15, and 16);
- individual liberty, in the form of the freedoms of movement, thought, conscience and religion, speech, association and assembly, family rights, the right to a nationality, and the right to privacy (Articles 12, 13, 17 – 24);
- prohibition of any propaganda for war as well as any advocacy of national or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence by law (Article 20);
- political participation, including the right to join a political party and the right to vote (Article 25);
- Non-discrimination, minority rights and equality before the law (Articles 26 and 27).
Many of these rights include specific actions which must be undertaken to realise them.
Part 4 (Articles 28 – 45) governs the establishment and operation of the Human Rights Committee and the reporting and monitoring of the Covenant. It also allows parties to recognise the competence of the Committee to resolve disputes between parties on the implementation of the Covenant (Articles 41 and 42).
Part 5 (Articles 46 – 47) clarifies that the Covenant shall not be interpreted as interfering with the operation of the United Nations or "the inherent right of all peoples to enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources".
Part 6 (Articles 48 – 53) governs ratification, entry into force, and amendment of the Covenant.
Rights to physical integrity
Article 6 of the Covenant recognises the individual's "inherent right to life" and requires it to be protected by law. It is a "supreme right" from which no derogation can be permitted, and must be interpreted widely. It therefore requires parties to take positive measures to reduce infant mortality and increase life expectancy, as well as forbidding arbitrary killings by security forces.
While Article 6 does not prohibit the death penalty, it restricts its application to the "most serious crimes" and forbids it to be used on children and pregnant women or in a manner contrary to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The UN Human Rights Committee interprets the Article as "strongly suggest[ing] that abolition is desirable", and regards any progress towards abolition of the death penalty as advancing this right. The Second Optional Protocol commits its signatories to the abolition of the death penalty within their borders.
Article 7 prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. As with Article 6, it cannot be derogated from under any circumstances. The article is now interpreted to impose similar obligations to those required by the United Nations Convention Against Torture, including not just prohibition of torture, but active measures to prevent its use and a prohibition on refoulement. In response to Nazi human experimentation during WW2 this article explicitly includes a prohibition on medical and scientific experimentation without consent.
Article 8 prohibits slavery and enforced servitude in all situations. The article also prohibits forced labour, with exceptions for criminal punishment, military service and civil obligations.
Liberty and security of person
Article 9 recognises the rights to liberty and security of the person. It prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, requires any deprivation of liberty to be according to law, and obliges parties to allow those deprived of their liberty to challenge their imprisonment through the courts. These provisions apply not just to those imprisoned as part of the criminal process, but also to those detained due to mental illness, drug addiction, or for educational or immigration purposes.
Articles 9.3 and 9.4 impose procedural safeguards around arrest, requiring anyone arrested to be promptly informed of the charges against them, and to be brought promptly before a judge. It also restricts the use of pre-trial detention, requiring it to be imposed only in exceptional circumstances and for as short a period of time as possible.
Article 10 requires anyone deprived of liberty to be treated with dignity and humanity. This applies not just to prisoners, but also to those detained for immigration purposes or psychiatric care. The right complements the Article 7 prohibition on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The article also imposes specific obligations around criminal justice, requiring prisoners in pretrial detention to be separated from convicted prisoners, and children to be separated from adults. It requires prisons to be focused on reform and rehabilitation rather than punishment.
Article 11 prohibits the use of imprisonment as a punishment for breach of contract.
Procedural fairness and rights of the accused
Article 14 recognizes and protects a right to justice and a fair trial. Article 14.1 establishes the ground rules: everyone must be equal before the courts, and any hearing must take place in open court before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal, with any judgment or ruling made public. Closed hearings are only permitted for reasons of privacy, justice, or national security, and judgments may only be suppressed in divorce cases or to protect the interests of children. These obligations apply to both criminal and civil hearings, and to all courts and tribunals.
The rest of the article imposes specific and detailed obligations around the process of criminal trials in order to protect the rights of the accused and the right to a fair trial. It establishes the Presumption of innocence and forbids double jeopardy. It requires that those convicted of a crime be allowed to appeal to a higher tribunal, and requires victims of a Miscarriage of justice to be compensated. It establishes rights to a speedy trial, to counsel, against self-incrimination, and for the accused to be present and call and examine witnesses.
Article 15 prohibits prosecutions under Ex post facto law and the imposition of retrospective criminal penalties, and requires the imposition of the lesser penalty where criminal sentences have changed between the offence and conviction.
Article 16 requires states to recognize everyone as a person before the law.
Article 12 guarantees freedom of movement, including the right of persons to choose their residence and to leave a country. These rights apply to legal aliens as well as citizens of a state, and can be restricted only where necessary to protect national security, public order or health, and the rights and freedoms of others. The article also recognises a right of people to enter their own country. The Human Rights Committee interprets this right broadly as applying not just to citizens, but also to those stripped of or denied their nationality. They also regard it as near-absolute; "there are few, if any, circumstances in which deprivation of the right to enter one's own country could be reasonable".
Article 13 forbids the arbitrary expulsion of resident aliens and requires such decisions to be able to be appealed and reviewed.
Article 17 mandates the right of privacy. This provision, specifically article 17(1), protects private adult consensual sexual activity, thereby nullifying prohibitions on homosexual behaviour, however, the wording of this covenant's marriage right (Article 23) excludes the extrapolation of a same-sex marriage right from this provision. Article 17 also protects people against unlawful attacks to their honor and reputation. Article 17 (2) grants the protection of the Law against such attacks
Article 18 mandates freedom of religion.
Article 19 mandates freedom of expression.
Article 20 mandates sanctions against inciting hatred.
Articles 21 and 22 mandate freedom of association. These provisions guarantee the right to freedom of association, the right to trade unions and also defines the International Labour Organisation.
Article 24 mandates special protection, the right to a name, and the right to a nationality for every child.
Article 3 provides an accessory non-discrimination principle. Accessory in the way that it cannot be used independently and can only be relied upon in relation to another right protected by the ICCPR.
In contrast, Article 26 contains a revolutionary norm by providing an autonomous equality principle which is not dependant upon another right under the convention being infringed. This has the effect of widening the scope of the non-discrimination principle beyond the scope of ICCPR.
There are two Optional Protocols to the Covenant. The First Optional Protocol establishes an individual complaints mechanism, allowing individuals to complain to the Human Rights Committee about violations of the Covenant. This has led to the creation of a complex jurisprudence on the interpretation and implementation of the Covenant. As of July 2013[update], the First Optional Protocol has 114 parties.
The Second Optional Protocol abolishes the death penalty; however, countries were permitted to make a reservation allowing for use of death penalty for the most serious crimes of a military nature, committed during wartime. As of July 2013[update], the Second Optional Protocol had 77 parties.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2010)|
A number of parties have made reservations and interpretative declarations to their application of the Covenant.
Australia reserves the right to progressively implement the prison standards of Article 10, to compensate for miscarriages of justice by administrative means rather than through the courts, and interprets the prohibition on racial incitement as being subject to the freedoms of expression, association and assembly. It also declares that its implementation will be effected at each level of its federal system.
Bahamas, due to problems with implementation, reserves the right not to compensate for miscarriages of justice.
Bahrain interprets Articles 3 (no sexual discrimination), 18 (freedom of religion) and 23 (family rights) within the context of Islamic Sharia law.
Bangladesh reserves the right to try people in absentia where they are fugitives from justice and declares that resource constraints mean that it cannot necessarily segregate prisons or provide counsel for accused persons.
Barbados reserves the right not to provide free counsel for accused persons due to resource constraints.
Belgium interprets the freedoms of speech, assembly and association in a manner consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights. It does not consider itself obliged to ban war propaganda as required by Article 20, and interprets that article in light of the freedom of expression in the UDHR.
Belize reserves the right not to compensate for miscarriages of justice, due to problems with implementation, and does not plan to provide free legal counsel for the same reasons as above. It also refuses to ensure the right to free travel at any time, due to a law requiring those travelling abroad to provide tax clearance certificates.
Congo, as per the Congolese Code of Civil, Commercial, Administrative and Financial Procedure, in matters of private law, decisions or orders emanating from conciliation proceedings may be enforced through imprisonment for debt.
Denmark reserves the right to exclude the press and the public from trials as per its own laws. Reservation is further made to Article 20, paragraph 1. This reservation is in accordance with the vote cast by Denmark in the XVI General Assembly of the United Nations in 1961 when the Danish Delegation, referring to the preceding article concerning freedom of expression, voted against the prohibition against propaganda for war.
Gambia, as per its constitution, will provide free legal assistance for accused persons charged with capital offences only.
The United States has made reservations that none of the articles should restrict the right of free speech and association; that the US government may impose capital punishment on any person other than a pregnant woman, including persons below the age of 18; that "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment" refers to those treatments or punishments prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth and/or Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution; that Paragraph 1, Article 15 will not apply; and that, notwithstanding paragraphs 2(b) and 3 of Article 10 and paragraph 4 of Article 14, the US government may treat juveniles as adults, and accept volunteers to the military prior to the age of 18. The United States also submitted five "understandings", and four "declarations".
National implementation and effects
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has 167 states parties, 67 by signature and ratification, and the remainder by accession or succession. Another five states have signed but have yet to ratify the treaty.
The Covenant is not directly enforceable in Australia, however its provisions support a number of domestic laws which confer enforceable rights on individuals. For example, Article 17 of the Convention has been implemented by the Australian Privacy Act 1988. Likewise, the Covenant’s equality and anti-discrimination provisions support the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Finally, the Covenant is one of the major sources of 'human rights' listed in the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011. This law requires most new legislation and administrative instruments (e.g. delegated/subordinate legislation) to be tabled in parliament with a statement outlining the proposed law's compatibility with the listed human rights A Joint Committee on Human Rights scrutinises all new legislation and statements of compatibility. The findings of the Joint Committee are not legally binding.
Legislation also exists which establishes the Australian Human Rights Commission  which allows the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to examine enacted legislation (to suggest remedial enactments), its administration (to suggest avoidance of practices) and general compliance with the covenant which is schedule to the AHRC legislation.
In Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory the Convention can be used by a plaintiff or defendant who invokes those jurisdiction's human rights charters . While the Convention cannot be used to overturn a Victorian or ACT law, a Court can issue a 'declaration of incompatibility' which requires the relevant Attorney-General to respond in Parliament within a set time period. Courts in Victoria and the ACT are also directed by the legislation to interpret the law in such a way as to give effect to a human right, and new legislation and subordinate legislation must be accompanied by a statement of compatibility. Efforts to implement a similar Charter at the National level have been frustrated and Australia's Constitution may prevent conferring the 'declaration' power on federal judges.
While New Zealand has not incorporated the ICCPR into law, it took measures to give effect to many of the rights contained within it by passing the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act in 1990.
Reservations, understandings, and declarations
The United States Senate ratified the ICCPR in 1992, with five reservations, five understandings, and four declarations. Some have noted that with so many reservations, its implementation has little domestic effect. Included in the Senate's ratification was the declaration that "the provisions of Article 1 through 27 of the Covenant are not self-executing", and in a Senate Executive Report stated that the declaration was meant to "clarify that the Covenant will not create a private cause of action in U.S. Courts."
Where a treaty or covenant is not self-executing, and where Congress has not acted to implement the agreement with legislation, no private right of action within the U.S. judicial system is created by ratification. Thus while the ICCPR is binding upon the United States as a matter of international law, it does not form part of the domestic law of the nation.
As a reservation that is "incompatible with the object and purpose" of a treaty is void as a matter of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and international law, there is some issue as to whether the non-self-execution declaration is even legal under domestic law. Taking the opposing view, it is argued by many U.S. Senators and legal scholars that, since for any treaty to be enforceable in the United States, it must strictly conform to the terms of ratification issued by the Senate; and, that no term of any treaty which is subject to the Senate's reservation(s) can be interpreted to have been confirmed, lawful or enforceable in the United States, according to the sovereign operation of the Constitution.
Prominent critics in the human rights community, such as Prof. Louis Henkin (non-self-execution declaration incompatible with the Supremacy Clause) and Prof. Jordan Paust ("Rarely has a treaty been so abused") have denounced the United States' ratification subject to the non-self-execution declaration as a blatant fraud upon the international community, especially in light of its subsequent failure to conform domestic law to the minimum human rights standards as established in the Covenant and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights over the last thirty years.
It has been argued that Article 20(2) of the ICCPR, as well as Article 4 of the ICERD, may be unconstitutional according to Supreme Court precedent, which is the reason behind the Senate reservations.
Of particular concern are widely formulated reservations which essentially render ineffective all Covenant rights which would require any change in national law to ensure compliance with Covenant obligations. No real international rights or obligations have thus been accepted. And when there is an absence of provisions to ensure that Covenant rights may be sued on in domestic courts, and, further, a failure to allow individual complaints to be brought to the Committee under the first Optional Protocol, all the essential elements of the Covenant guarantees have been removed.
Indeed, the United States has not accepted a single international obligation required under the Covenant. It has not changed its domestic law to conform with the strictures of the Covenant. Its citizens are not permitted to sue to enforce their basic human rights under the Covenant. It has not ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). As such, the Covenant has been rendered ineffective, with the bone of contention being United States officials' insistence upon preserving a vast web of sovereign, judicial, prosecutorial, and executive branch immunities that often deprives its citizens of the "effective remedy" under law the Covenant is intended to guarantee.
In 2006, the Human Rights Committee expressed concern over what it interprets as material non-compliance, exhorting the United States to take immediate corrective action:
The Committee notes with concern the restrictive interpretation made by the State party of its obligations under the Covenant, as a result in particular of (a) its position that the Covenant does not apply with respect to individuals under its jurisdiction but outside its territory, nor in time of war, despite the contrary opinions and established jurisprudence of the Committee and the International Court of Justice; (b) its failure to take fully into consideration its obligation under the Covenant not only to respect, but also to ensure the rights prescribed by the Covenant; and (c) its restrictive approach to some substantive provisions of the Covenant, which is not in conformity with the interpretation made by the Committee before and after the State party’s ratification of the Covenant.
The State party should review its approach and interpret the Covenant in good faith, in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to its terms in their context, including subsequent practice, and in the light of its object and purpose. The State party should in particular (a) acknowledge the applicability of the Covenant with respect to individuals under its jurisdiction but outside its territory, as well as its applicability in time of war; (b) take positive steps, when necessary, to ensure the full implementation of all rights prescribed by the Covenant; and (c) consider in good faith the interpretation of the Covenant provided by the Committee pursuant to its mandate.
Parties to the covenant
|State||Date signed||Date ratified, acceded or succeeded||Notes|
|Afghanistan||24 Jan 1983||Acceded as the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan|
|Albania||4 Oct 1991|
|Algeria||10 Dec 1968||12 Sep 1989|
|Andorra||5 Aug 2002||22 Sep 2006|
|Angola||10 Jan 1992|
|Argentina||19 Feb 1968||8 Aug 1986|
|Armenia||23 Jun 1993|
|Australia||18 Dec 1972||13 Aug 1980|
|Austria||10 Dec 1973||10 Sep 1978|
|Azerbaijan||13 Aug 1992|
|Bahamas||4 Dec 2008||23 Dec 2008|
|Bahrain||20 Sep 2006|
|Bangladesh||6 Sep 2000|
|Barbados||5 Jan 1973|
|Belarus||19 Mar 1968||12 Nov 1973||Signed and ratified as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic|
|Belgium||10 Dec 1968||21 Apr 1983|
|Belize||10 Jun 1996|
|Benin||12 Mar 1992|
|Bolivia||12 Aug 1982||Acceded as the Republic of Bolivia|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1 Sep 1993||Succeeded as Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia|
|Botswana||8 Sep 2000||8 Sep 2000|
|Brazil||12 Dec 1991||24 Jan 1992|
|Bulgaria||8 Oct 1968||21 Sep 1970||Signed and ratified as the People's Republic of Bulgaria|
|Burkina Faso||4 Jan 1999|
|Burundi||9 May 1990|
|Cambodia||17 Oct 1980||26 May 1992||Signed as Democratic Kampuchea|
|Cameroon||27 Jun 1984|
|Canada||19 May 1976|
|Cape Verde||6 Aug 1993|
|Central African Republic||8 May 1981|
|Chad||9 Jun 1995|
|Chile||16 Sep 1969||10 Feb 1972|
|China||5 Oct 1998||Republic of China had signed on 5 October 1967|
|Colombia||21 Dec 1966||29 Oct 1969|
|Comoros||25 Sep 2008|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the / (Kinshasa)||1 Nov 1976||Ratified as the Republic of Zaire|
|Congo, Republic of the / (Brazzaville)||5 Oct 1983||Ratified as the People's Republic of the Congo|
|Costa Rica||19 Dec 1966||29 Nov 1968|
|Côte d'Ivoire||26 Mar 1992|
|Croatia||12 October 1992||Succeeded from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia|
|Cuba||28 Feb 2008|
|Cyprus||19 Dec 1966||2 Apr 1969|
|Czech Republic||22 Feb 1993||Signed 7 October 1968 and ratified 23 December 1975 as Czechoslovak Socialist Republic|
|Denmark||20 Mar 1968||6 Jan 1972|
|Djibouti||5 Nov 2002|
|Dominica||17 Jun 1993|
|Dominican Republic||4 Jan 1978|
|East Timor||18 Sep 2003|
|Ecuador||4 Apr 1968||6 Mar 1969|
|Egypt||4 Aug 1967||14 Jan 1982||Signed as the United Arab Republic|
|El Salvador||21 Sep 1967||30 Nov 1979|
|Eritrea||22 Jan 2002|
|Estonia||21 Oct 1991|
|Ethiopia||11 Jun 1993|
|Equatorial Guinea||25 Sep 1987|
|Finland||11 Oct 1967||19 Aug 1975|
|France||4 Nov 1980|
|Gabon||21 Jan 1983|
|Gambia||22 Mar 1979|
|Georgia||3 May 1994|
|Germany||9 Oct 1968||17 Dec 1973||The German Democratic Republic had signed on 23 March 1973 and ratified on 8 November 1973 the Covenant with reservations and declarations|
|Ghana||7 Sep 2000||7 Sep 2000|
|Greece||5 May 1997|
|Grenada||6 Sep 1991|
|Guatemala||5 May 1992|
|Guinea||28 Feb 1967||24 Jan 1978|
|Guinea-Bissau||12 Sep 2000||1 Nov 2010|
|Guyana||22 Aug 1968||15 Feb 1977|
|Haiti||6 Feb 1991|
|Honduras||19 Dec 1966||25 Aug 1997|
|Hungary||25 Mar 1969||17 Jan 1974||Signed and ratified as the People's Republic of Hungary|
|Iceland||30 Dec 1968||22 Aug 1979|
|India||10 Apr 1979|
|Indonesia||23 Feb 2006|
|Iran||4 Apr 1968||24 Jun 1975||Signed and ratified as Empire of Iran|
|Iraq||18 Feb 1969||25 Jan 1971|
|Ireland||1 Oct 1973||8 Dec 1989|
|Israel||19 Dec 1966||3 Oct 1991|
|Italy||18 Jan 1967||15 Sep 1978|
|Jamaica||19 Dec 1966||3 Oct 1975|
|Japan||30 May 1978||21 Jun 1979|
|Jordan||30 Jun 1972||28 May 1975|
|Kazakhstan||2 Dec 2003||24 Jan 2006|
|Kenya||1 May 1972|
|Korea (North), Democratic People's Republic of||14 Sep 1981||Sought withdrawal on 25 August 1997 but Secretariat stated Covenant has no withdrawal provision so could not withdraw without approval of all states|
|Korea (South), Republic of||10 Apr 1990|
|Kuwait||21 May 1996|
|Kyrgyzstan||7 Oct 1994|
|Laos||7 Dec 2000||25 Sep 2009|
|Latvia||14 Apr 1992|
|Lebanon||3 Nov 1972|
|Lesotho||9 Sep 1992|
|Liberia||18 Apr 1967||22 Sep 2004|
|Libya||15 May 1970||Signed and ratified as the Libyan Arab Republic|
|Liechtenstein||10 Dec 1998|
|Lithuania||20 Nov 1991|
|Luxembourg||26 Nov 1974||18 Aug 1983|
|Republic of Macedonia||18 Jan 1994||The former Yugoslavia had signed the Covenant on 8 August 1967 and ratified it on 2 June 1971|
|Madagascar||17 Sep 1969||21 Jun 1971||Signed and ratified as the Malagasy Republic|
|Malawi||22 Dec 1993|
|Maldives||19 Sep 2006|
|Mali||16 Jul 1974|
|Malta||13 Sep 1990|
|Mauritania||17 Nov 2004|
|Mauritius||12 Dec 1973|
|Mexico||23 Mar 1981|
|Moldova||26 Jan 1993|
|Monaco||26 Jun 1997||28 Aug 1997|
|Mongolia||5 Jun 1968||18 Nov 1974||Signed and ratified as the Mongolian People's Republic|
|Montenegro||23 Oct 2006|
|Morocco||19 Jan 1977||3 May 1979|
|Mozambique||21 Jul 1993|
|Namibia||28 Nov 1994|
|Nauru||12 Nov 2001|
|Nepal||14 May 1991||Signed as the Kingdom of Nepal|
|Netherlands||25 Jun 1969||11 Dec 1978|
|New Zealand||12 Nov 1968||28 Dec 1978|
|Nicaragua||12 Mar 1980|
|Niger||7 Mar 1986|
|Nigeria||29 Jul 1993|
|Norway||20 Mar 1968||13 Sep 1972|
|Pakistan||17 Apr 2008||23 Jun 2010|
|Palau||20 Sep 2011|
|Panama||27 Jul 1976||8 Mar 1977|
|Papua New Guinea||21 Jul 2008|
|Paraguay||10 Jun 1992|
|Peru||11 Aug 1977||28 Apr 1978|
|Philippines||19 Dec 1966||23 Oct 1986|
|Poland||2 Mar 1967||18 Mar 1977||Signed and ratified as the People's Republic of Poland|
|Portugal||7 Oct 1976||15 Jun 1978|
|Romania||27 Jun 1968||9 Dec 1974||Signed and ratified as Socialist Republic of Romania|
|Russia||18 Mar 1968||16 Oct 1973||Succeeded from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics|
|Rwanda||16 Apr 1975|
|Samoa||15 Feb 2008|
|San Marino||18 Oct 1985|
|Sao Tome and Principe||31 Oct 1995|
|Senegal||6 Jul 1970||13 Feb 1978|
|Serbia||12 Mar 2001||The former Yugoslavia had signed the Covenant on 8 August 1967 and ratified it on 2 June 1971|
|Seychelles||5 May 1992|
|Sierra Leone||23 Aug 1996|
|Slovakia||28 May 1993||Signed 7 October 1968 and ratified 23 December 1975 as Czechoslovakia|
|Slovenia||6 Jul 1992||The former Yugoslavia had signed the Covenant on 8 August 1967 and ratified it on 2 June 1971|
|Somalia||24 Jan 1990|
|South Africa||3 Oct 1994||10 Dec 1998|
|Spain||28 Sep 1976||27 Apr 1977|
|Sri Lanka||11 Jun 1980|
|St. Lucia||22 Sep 2011|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||9 Nov 1981|
|Sudan||18 Mar 1986||Acceded as the Democratic Republic of Sudan|
|Suriname||28 Dec 1976|
|Swaziland||26 Mar 2004|
|Sweden||29 Sep 1967||6 Dec 1971|
|Switzerland||18 Jun 1992|
|Syria||21 Apr 1969|
|Tajikistan||4 Jan 1999|
|Thailand||29 Oct 1996|
|Togolese Republic||24 May 1984|
|Trinidad and Tobago||21 Dec 1978|
|Tunisia||30 Apr 1968||18 Mar 1969|
|Turkey||15 Aug 2000||23 Sep 2003|
|Turkmenistan||1 May 1997|
|Uganda||21 Jun 1995|
|Ukraine||20 Mar 1968||12 Nov 1973||Signed and ratified as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||16 Sep 1968||20 May 1976|
|Tanzania||11 Jun 1976|
|United States of America||5 Oct 1977||8 Jun 1992|
|Uruguay||21 Feb 1967||1 Apr 1970|
|Uzbekistan||28 Sep 1995|
|Vanuatu||29 Nov 2007||21 Nov 2008|
|Venezuela||24 Jun 1969||10 May 1978|
|Vietnam||24 Sep 1982|
|Yemen||9 Feb 1987|
|Zambia||10 Apr 1984|
|Zimbabwe||13 May 1991|
On 23 August 1997 the Democratic People's Republic of Korea drafted a notification of withdrawal from the Covenant. On 23 September the Secretary-General forwarded an aide-mémoire to the government of the DPRK and the other signatories stating that, since the covenant did not contain a mechanism for withdrawal it would not be possible for the DPRK to leave the covenant except with the agreement of all other state parties.
States not members of the Covenant
The majority of states in the world are parties to the ICCPR. As of March 2012[update] the following 25 states have either not yet signed the convention, or have signed but have not yet ratified the convention.
Signed but not ratified
- People's Republic of China (1998-10-05)[notes 1]
- Comoros (2008-09-25)
- Cuba (2008-02-28)
- Nauru (2001-11-12)
- Palau (2011-09-20)
- Sao Tome and Principe (1995-10-31)
- Saint Lucia (2011-09-22)
Neither signed nor ratified
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Burma (Myanmar)
- Marshall Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saudi Arabia
- Solomon Islands
- United Arab Emirates
Non-members of the UN
- Except the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, and the Special Administrative Region of Macau, in which the ICCPR is binding. See Human rights in Hong Kong and Human rights in Macau.
- The ROC lost its United Nations seat in 1971 (replaced as the representative of China by the People's Republic of China under Resolution 2758). The Republic of China government signed the Covenant in 1967 but did not ratify; in 2009 the ROC government finally ratified it, but the deposit was rejected by the UN.
- Kosovo, although not a UN member state, is obliged in international law to respect the ICCPR as as it was part of the former Yugoslavia which signed and ratified the convention before its dissolution. Kosovo has recognised that obligation in its own legal order through its acceptance of the Ahtisaari Plan and by article 22(1) of its 2008 constitution.
- The Vatican is not a member of the United Nations though it holds observer status.
- United Nations Human Rights Committee
- United Nations Human Rights Council
- United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 66 (I)
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV)
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV)
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1654 (XVI)
- "UN Treaty Collection: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". United Nations. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- "Fact Sheet No.2 (Rev.1), The International Bill of Human Rights". UN OHCHR. June 1996. Archived from the original on 13 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Part I, Article 1, paragraph 3.
- Sieghart, Paul (1983). The International Law of Human Rights. Oxford University Press. p. 25.
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 543, 5 February 1952.
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 545, 5 February 1952.
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200, 16 December 1966.
- The following section summarises the text of the Covenant.
- ICCPR, Article 1.1.
- ICCPR, Article 1.2.
- ICCPR, Article 1.3.
- ICCPR, Article 2.2, 2.3.
- ICCPR, Article 2.1.
- ICCPR, Article 3.
- ICCPR, Article 4.1.
- ICCPR, Article 4.2.
- ICCPR, Article 47.
- ICCPR, Article 6.1.
- "CCPR General Comment No. 6: The right to life". UN OHCHR. 30 April 1982. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- ICCPR, Article 6.2.
- ICCPR, Article 6.5.
- ICCPR, Article 6.3.
- ICCPR, Article 7.
- "CCPR General Comment No. 20: Replaces general comment 7 concerning prohibition of torture and cruel treatment or punishment". UN OHCHR. 10 March 1992. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- ICCPR, Articles 8.1, 8.2.
- ICCPR, Article 8.3.
- ICCPR, Article 9.1.
- ICCPR, Article 9.4.
- "CCPR General Comment No. 08: Right to liberty and security of persons". UN OHCHR. 30 June 1982. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- ICCPR, Articles 9.2, 9.3.
- ICCPR, Article 9.3.
- ICCPR, Article 10.1.
- "General Comment No. 21: Replaces general comment 9 concerning humane treatment of persons deprived of liberty". UN OHCHR. 10 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- ICCPR, Article 10.2.
- ICCPR, Article 10.3.
- ICCPR, Article 11.
- ICCPR, Article 14.1.
- "General Comment No. 13: Equality before the courts and the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent court established by law". UN OHCHR. 13 April 1984. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- ICCPR, Article 14.2.
- ICCPR, Article 14.7.
- ICCPR, Article 14.5.
- ICCPR, Article 14.6.
- ICCPR, Article 14.3.
- ICCPR, Article 15.
- ICCPR, Article 16.
- ICCPR, Article 12.
- "CCPR: General Comment No. 27: Freedom of movement". UN OHCHR. 2 November 1999. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- ICCPR, Article 12.3.
- ICCPR, Article 12.4.
- ICCPR, Article 13.
- ICCPR, Article 17.
- "Toonen v Australia Communication No. 488/1992 (1994) U.N. Doc CCPR/C/50/D/488/1992 at [8.1–8.6]".
- "Joslin v New Zealand (2002) Comm. No. 902/1999 U.N. Doc. A/57/40 at 214 (2002) at [Appendix (My Lallah & Mr Scheinen)]".
- ICCPR, Article 18.
- ICCPR, Article 19.
- ICCPR, Article 20.
- ICCPR, Article 22.
- ICCPR, Article 23.
- Joslin v New Zealand (2002) Comm. No. 902/1999 U.N. Doc. A/57/40 at 214 (2002) at [8.2–9.0(majority)] & [1(Lallah & Scheimin JJ] "Joslin v New Zealand (2002) Comm. No. 902/1999 U.N. Doc. A/57/40 at 214 (2002)".
- ICCPR, Article 24.
- ICCPR, Ariticle 27.
- OP1-ICCPR, Article 1.
- "UN Treaty Collection: Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". United Nations. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
- OP2-ICCPR, Article 2.1
- "UN Treaty Collection: Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty". United Nations. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- U.S. reservations, declarations, and understandings, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 138 Cong. Rec. S4781-01 (daily ed., April 2, 1992).
- Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, ComLaw, http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2012C00726
- Ibid. Part 3.
- Ibid. Part 2
- "Australian Human Rights Commission 1986 (Cth)".
- "Australian Human Rights Commission 1986 (Cth), s11(e)".
- "Australian Human Rights Commission 1986 (Cth), s11(j)".
- "Australian Human Rights Commission 1986 (Cth), s11(f) i.e. (f)(i) – Conciliation (f)(iI) – Reporting".
- "Australian Human Rights Commission 1986 (Cth), s11(n)".
- "a) Australian Human Rights Commission 1986 (Cth), s11(k) b) Australian Human Rights Commission 1986 (Cth), s11(m)".
- "Australian Human Rights Commission 1986 (Cth), schedule 2".
- Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic); Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).
- For example, Part 4, Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).
- For example, ibid, Part 5.
- Vines, Timothy and Faunce, Thomas Alured, A Bad Trip for Health-Related Human Rights: Implications of Momcilovic v the Queen (2011) 85 ALJR 957 (2012). (2012) 19 Journal of Law and Medicine 685 <http://ssrn.com/abstract=2257114>
- Joseph Kavanagh v. Ireland, United Nations Human Rights Committee Communication No. 819/1998, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/71/D/819/1998 (2001).
- Black, Allinda; Hopkins, June, eds. (2003). "Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers. Hyde Park, New York: Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
- 138 Cong. Rec. S4781-84 (1992)
- S. Exec. Rep. No. 102-23 (1992)
- Sei Fujii v. State 38 Cal.2d 718, 242 P.2d 617 (1952); also see Buell v. Mitchell 274 F.3d 337 (6th Cir., 2001) (discussing ICCPR's relationship to death penalty cases, citing to other ICCPR cases)
- Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, art. 19, 1155 U.N.T.S. 331 (entered into force 27 January 1980) (specifying conditions under which signatory States can offer "reservations")
- Yoo, John C. (1999). "Globalism and the Constitution: Treaties, Non-Self-Execution, and the Original Understanding". Colum. L. Rev 99 (8): 1955–2094. At p. 1959.
- Louis Henkin, U.S. Ratification of Human Rights Treaties: The Ghost of Senator Bricker, 89 Am. J. Int’l L. 341, 346 (1995)
- Jordan J. Paust, International Law As Law of the United States 375 (2d ed. 2003)
- Greene, Jamal. "Hate Speech and the Demos". In Herz, Michael; Molnár, Péter. The Content and Context of Hate Speech: Rethinking Regulation and Responses. Cambridge University Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-521-19109-8.
- Hum. Rts. Comm. General Comment No. 24 (52), para. 11, 18–19, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.6 (1994)
- Hain v. Gibson, 287 F.3d 1224 (10th Cir. 2002) (noting that Congress has not done so)
- Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Comm.: United States of America, U.N. Doc. No. CCPR/C/USA/CO/3/Rev.1, para. 10 (2006)
- "Human Rights Committee : Sessions". ohchr.org. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
- (Romanian)PACTUL INTERNAŢIONAL CU PRIVIRE LA DREPTURILE CIVILE ŞI POLITICE
- Status of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights , United Nations Treaty Collection, 9 March 2009.
- Kosovo Declaration of Independence, 17 February 2008
- Constitution of Kosovo (2008).
- Text of the Covenant
- List of parties
- article 2 Bimonthly publication highlighting article 2 of the ICCPR
- Introductory note by Christian Tomuschat, procedural history note and audiovisual material on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in the Historic Archives of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- Lecture by Ruth Wedgwood entitled The Work of the United Nations Human Rights Committee: Enforcing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law