Reporting Killings as Human Rights Violations Handbook

Reporting Killings as Human Rights Violations Handbook

How to document and respond to potential violations of the right to life within the international system for the protection of human rights

By Kate Thompson and Camille Giffard

Handbook links: website home page
Table of Contents - Search - Part I: Essential Reading - Part II: Identifying a Potential Violation - Part III: How to Document Allegations of Unlawful Killings - Part IV: Responding to the Information Collected - Part V: Where can you Seek Further Help? - Appendices
IV. Responding to the Information Collected: section links...
1. Introduction to Possible Courses of Action - 2. What You Should Know About International Reporting Mechanisms and How To Use Them - 3. What You Should Know About International Complaint Procedures and How To Use Them - 4. The Mechanisms and Procedures: United Nations - 5. The Mechanisms and Procedures: Regional - 6. Comparative Evaluation Tables of the International Procedures - Summary of Part IV

PART IV - RESPONDING TO THE INFORMATION COLLECTED

6. COMPARATIVE EVALUATION TABLES OF THE INTERNATIONAL PROCEDURES

TABLE 36: COMPARATIVE EVALUATION I - CAT, HRC AND CERD (GENERAL)

 

CAT

HRC

CERD

 

SR

IP

IC

SR

IC

SR

IC

To what extent is the mechanism suited to:

             
  •  
 Drawing attention to a situation?
             
  
  • Is the procedure public?

Y

N

N

Y

N

Y

N

 
  • Are its findings public?

Y

may be

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

 
  • Can the mechanism carry out fact-finding visits?

N

Y

N

N

N

N

N

 
  • Are the findings of such a visit known to the public?

-

may be

-

-

-

-

-

  •  
 Seeking changes in a general situation?
             
 
  • Can the mechanism make recommendations of a general or systemic nature?

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those recommendations?

 

N

N

N

N

-

N

-

 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

varies

Y

Insufficient case-law

 

varies

- -

varies

-

 
  • Does the mechanism have a follow-up procedure?

 

next report

no, but could do so on a case by case basis

no, but not excluded

being developed

-

next report

 

-

 
  • Is there any special sanction the mechanism can impose on states which do not co-operate?

N

may publish summary of results

N

N

-

N

-

 Seeking an individual remedy?              
 

From a reporting mechanism:

             
 

Publicity of an individual case in the context of a general situation

             
 

Preventing deportation

             
 
  • Can the mechanism make recommendations in individual cases?

N

yes, though not often

 

 

N

 

N

 
 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those recommendations?

 

-

N

 

-

 

-

 
 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

-

Y

 

-

 

-

 
 
  • Does the mechanism have a follow-up procedure for individual cases?

-

N

 

N

 

N

 
 
  • Are urgent measures available?

-

Y

 

N

 

N

 
 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those measures?

-

N

         
 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

-

Y

         

Key: CAT = Committee Against Torture; HRC = Human Rights Committee; CERD = Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; SR = State reporting procedure; IP = Inquiry procedure; IC = Individual complaint procedure; Y = Yes; N = No

TABLE 37: COMPARATIVE EVALUATION II - CRC, CEDAW, SR-CHR AND 1503 (GENERAL)

 

CRC

CEDAW

SR-CHR

1503

 

SR

SR

IP

IC

COM

FF

COM

To what extent is the mechanism suited to:

           

4

 Drawing attention to a situation?              
 
  • Is the procedure public?

Y

Y

N

N

N

N

N

 
  • Are its findings public?

Y

Y

?

?

Y

Y

no, but the list of states considered is

 
  • Can the mechanism carry out fact-finding visits?

N

N

Y

N

N

Y

yes, but does not

usually do so

 
  • Are the findings of such a visit known to the public?

-

-

?

-

-

Y

N

 Seeking changes in a general situation?              
 
  • Can the mechanism make recommendations of a general or systemic nature?

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

yes, but on a confidential basis

 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those recommendations?

 

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

varies

varies

?

?

varies

often

varies

 
  • Does the mechanism have a follow-up procedure?

next report

next report

Y

Y

can continue dialogue

follow-up dialogue

can keep state under consideration until the following year

 
  • Is there any special sanction the mechanism can impose on states which do not co-operate?

N

N

N

N

N

can make statement when presenting report to UNCHR

may transfer to a public procedure. This may include appointing a Special Rapporteur

 Seeking an individual remedy?              
 

From a reporting mechanism:

             
 

Publicity of an individual case in the context of a general situation

             
 

Prevent deportation

             
 
  • Can the mechanism make recommendations in individual cases?

N

N

Y

 

Y

Y

 
 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those recommendations?

 

-

-

N

 

N

N

 
 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

-

-

?

 

varies

Regularly

 
 
  • Does the mechanism have a follow-up procedure for individual cases?

N

N

Y

 

opportunity for source to comment on state reply

can continue dialogue

 
 
  • Are urgent measures available?

N

N

Y

 

Y

Y

 
 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those measures?

-

-

N

 

N

N

 
 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

-

-

?

 

regularly

regularly

 

Key: CRC = Committee on the Rights of the Child; CEDAW = Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; 1503 = 1503 Procedure; SR-CHR = Special Rapporteurs/Working Groups/Independent Experts/Special Representatives of the UN Commission on Human Rights; SR = State reporting procedure; FF = Fact-finding; COM = Communication procedure; ? = not yet known as the procedure is newly established; Y = Yes; N = No

 

TABLE 38: COMPARATIVE EVALUATION III - CPT, IACN AND IACT (GENERAL)

 

CPT

IACN

IACT

 

FF

FF

IC

IC

To what extent is the mechanism suited to:

       
 Drawing attention to a situation?        
 
  • Is the procedure public?

N

N

N

N

 
  • Are its findings public?

see fact-finding

see fact-finding

not automatically

Y

 
  • Can the mechanism carry out fact-finding visits?

Y

Y

Y

Y

 
  • Are the findings of such a visit known to the public?

only if state agrees to publication: in practice most states have

usually

not automatically

referred to in judgment

 Seeking changes in a general situation?        
 
  • Can the mechanism make recommendations of a general or systemic nature?

Y

Y

Y

Y

 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those recommendations?

 

N

N

N

Y

 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

Y

varies

varies

Y

 
  • Does the mechanism have a follow-up procedure?

follow-up visits and ongoing dialogue

follow-up visits

may ask to be informed of steps taken

may ask to be informed of steps taken

 
  • Is there any special sanction the mechanism can impose on states which do not co-operate?

public statement

N

public report/ refer to court

N

 Seeking an individual remedy?        
 

From a reporting mechanism:

       
 

Publicity of an individual case in the context of a general situation

       
 

Prevent deportation

       
 
  • Can the mechanism make recommendations in individual cases?

Y

Y

   
 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those recommendations?

N

N

   
 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

Y

varies

   
 
  • Does the mechanism have a follow-up procedure for individual cases?

can happen

may enquire about case

   
 
  • Are urgent measures available?

can happen

Y

   
 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those measures?

N

N

   
 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

Y

varies

   

Key: CPT = European Committee for the Prevention of Torture; IACN = Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; IACT = Inter-American Court of Human Rights; FF = Fact-finding; IC = Individual complaint procedure; Y = Yes; N = No

 

TABLE 39: COMPARATIVE EVALUATION IV - ACNHR AND SREJEA (GENERAL)

 

ACNHR

SREJEA

 

SR

FF/ IDS

IC

FF

COM

To what extent is the mechanism suited to:

         
 Drawing attention to a situation?          
 
  • Is the procedure public?

Y

N

N

N

N

 
  • Are its findings public?

Y

usually

attached to annual report of ACHPR

reports to ACHPR

reports to ACHPR

 
  • Can the mechanism carry out fact-finding visits?

-

Y

in relation to groups of complaints

Y but rarely does so

Y but rarely does so

 
  • Are the findings of such a visit known to the public?

-

usually, but there can be long delays

can be

reported to ACHPR

reported to ACHPR

 Seeking changes in a general situation?          
 
  • Can the mechanism make recommendations of a general or systemic nature?

Y

Y

yes, if relates to a 'situation'

Y

Y

 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those recommendations?

 

N

N

N

N

N

 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

sometimes

sometimes

sometimes

no evidence

no evidence

 
  • Does the mechanism have a follow-up procedure?

next state report

may keep the item on the agenda

possibly through the OAU

follow-up missions not excluded

not excluded

 
  • Is there any special sanction the mechanism can impose on states which do not co-operate?

N

N

N

N

N

 Seeking an individual remedy?          
 

From a reporting mechanism:

         
 

Publicity of an individual case in the context of a general situation

         
 

Prevent deportation

         
 
  • Can the mechanism make recommendations in individual cases?

N

Y

 

Y

Y

 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those recommendations?

-

N

 

N

N

 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

-

sometimes

 

power rarely exercised

power rarely exercised

 
  • Does the mechanism have a follow-up procedure for individual cases?

-

N

 

N

not excluded

 
  • Are urgent measures available?

-

Y

 

Y

Y

 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those measures?

-

N

 

N

N

 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

-

sometimes

 

no evidence

no evidence

Key: ACNHR = African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights; SREJEA = Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions in Africa; SR = State reporting procedure; FF = Fact-finding; IDS = In-depth study; IC = Individual complaint procedure; COM = Communication procedure; Y = Yes; N = No

 

TABLE 40: COMPARATIVE EVALUATION IV - CAT, HRC AND CERD (INDIVIDUAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURE)

 

CAT

HRC

CEDAW

CERD

To what extent is the mechanism suited to:

       
 Seeking an individual remedy?        
 

From a complaint procedure:

       
 

Legal finding of violation

Y

Y

Y

Y

 

Prevent deportation

Y

Y

potentially

potentially

 
  • What form of reparation, if any, can be awarded?

indication of action necessary to restore compliance

indication of action necessary to restore compliance

indication of action necessary to restore compliance

indication of action necessary to restore compliance

 
  • Are states legally obliged to comply with the final decision?

N

N

N

N

 
  • Do states usually comply with it?

usually

varies

no evidence

varies

 
  • Is there any way of enforcing the decision?

no, but may ask to be informed of any steps taken

 

N

request to report on steps in future state reports

N

 
  • Are provisional or urgent measures available?

Y

Y

Y

Y

 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those measures?

N

N

N

N

 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

usually

Y

no evidence

Y

Key: CAT = Committee Against Torture; HRC: Human Rights Committee; CEDAW = Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; CERD = Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

TABLE 41: COMPARATIVE EVALUATION V - ECTHR, IACN, IACT AND ACNHR (INDIVIDUAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURE)

 

ECTHR

IACN

IACT

ACNHR

To what extent is the mechanism suited to:

       
 Seeking an individual remedy?        
 

From a complaint procedure:

       
 

Legal finding of violation

Y

Y

Y

Y

 

Prevent deportation

Y

Y

Y

Y

 
  • What form of reparation, if any, can be awarded?

can include financial compensation

-

can include compensation and other less traditional remedies

-

 
  • Are states legally obliged to comply with the final decision?

Y

N

Y

N

 
  • Do states usually comply with it?

Y

varies

Y

sometimes

 
  • Is there any way of enforcing the decision?

may be taken up by the Committee of Ministers

no, although the potential for referral to the Court or publication of the IACN's findings may motivate compliance

may be pursued in the domestic courts

N

 
  • Are provisional or urgent measures available?

Y

Y

Y

Y

 
  • Is a state legally obliged to comply with those measures?

N

N

Y

N

 
  • Do states usually comply with them?

Y

varies

Y

sometimes

Key: ECTHR = European Court of Human Rights; IACN = Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; IACT = Inter-American Court of Human Rights; ACNHR = African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

top of page
Handbook links: website home page
Table of Contents - Search - Part I: Essential Reading - Part II: Identifying a Potential Violation - Part III: How to Document Allegations of Unlawful Killings - Part IV: Responding to the Information Collected - Part V: Where can you Seek Further Help? - Appendices
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