Canterbury Law Review
An important weapon in the armoury of any tribunal is the ability to issue and secure effective and expeditious compliance with any interlocutory or injunctive orders made by it pending final disposal of the litigation. The requirement to issue such orders may arise for a variety of reasons and it is essential that the tribunal is able to develop the application of coherent principles in its jurisprudence to act as theoretical bedrock for an eclectic range of orders. Equally, the tribunal must be mindful that to issue orders in circumstances which are likely to be disregarded may well bring its authority into some disrepute. All these considerations apply particularly to human rights tribunals where the safety or life itself of the petitioner may be at stake. This article considers the success of the Human Rights Committee in balancing these competing principles.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the (First) Optional Protocol, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 (opened for signature and ratification in New York on 19 December 1966), entered into force on 23 March 1976. As of 28 July 2006 (the closing date of the 87th session of the Committee), there were 157 States parties to the Covenant and 105 States parties to the (First) Optional Protocol. In addition, 48 States had made the declaration envisaged under art 41(1) of the Covenant accepting the inter-State complaints procedure. The Human Rights Committee has appealed repeatedly to States to make the declaration under art 41(1) and to use this mechanism, with a view to making the implementation of the Covenant more effective. Indeed, in General Comment 31  on the nature of the general legal obligation imposed on States parties to the Covenant, the Committee states expressly that '[it] reminds States parties of the desirability of making the declaration under article 41. It further reminds those States parties already having made the declaration of the potential value of availing themselves of the formal procedure under the article'.
The Second Optional Protocol, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, was adopted and opened for signature, ratification or accession by the General Assembly in Resolution 44/128 of 15 December 1989. This Protocol entered into force on 11 July 1991. As of 28 July 2006, there were 57 States parties to the Protocol.
The Covenant establishes the Human Rights Committee as the principal international organ of its implementation. The Committee consists of 18 individuals who are charged with carrying out the functions stipulated in the Covenant and the (First) Optional Protocol to the Covenant.
The Covenant and the (First) Optional Protocol provide for three distinct procedures as measures of implementation; in each of these procedures, the Committee plays a central role. First, the Committee's function is to study the reports submitted by States parties in accordance with art 40 of the Covenant. Secondly, the Committee regulates the optional inter-State complaints procedure established by arts 41 and 42 of the Covenant, which has never been used. Thirdly, the Committee receives and considers individual communications submitted under the (First) Optional Protocol: it is within the confines of this last supervisory function that issues relating to interim measures of relief have arisen.
As indicated in the Introduction, a tribunal such as the Human Rights Committee needs the weapon of injunctive relief. At its very first session, the Committee, appreciating the need for the authority to issue interim orders, adopted such a provision. The current provision is contained in Rule 92 of the Rules of Procedure. It states:
The Committee may, prior to forwarding its Views on the communication to the State party concerned, inform that State of its Views as to whether interim measures may be desirable to avoid irreparable damage to the victim of an alleged violation. In doing so, the Committee shall inform the State party concerned that such an expression of its Views on interim measures does not imply a determination on the merits of the communication.
It should also be observed that interim measures are excluded from the Rules concerning confidentiality stipulated in Rule 102, and 'shall be made public'. Furthermore, it is clear that, in the interest of prompt response, the possibility of the imposition of interim measures in respect of any particular communication should not be dependent on the prior inclusion of that communication in the lists of communications prepared under Rule 85(1) and submitted to the Committee for its attention under Rule 84(1). Thus, the twin principles of 'preservation' and 'protection' pending the resolution of the complaint are at the jurisprudential heart of the interim measures doctrine.
The adoption of these Rules by the Committee has given it a secure platform on which to protect the victim in a variety of different circumstances that might require the Committee's intervention. Whether this potential has been realised and the difficulties faced in enforcing such decisions will now be examined. At the outset, it is interesting to observe the frequency with which these requests for interim measures have been granted:
• 1999-2000 Annual Report, 11 requests for interim measures of protection were issued by the Special Rapporteur on New Communications (Mr Kretzmer);
• 2000-2001 Annual Report, 6 requests issued (Mr Kretzmer and Mr Scheinin);
• 2001-2002 Annual Report, 27 requests issued (Mr Scheinin);
• 2002-2003 Annual Report, 28 requests issued (Mr Scheinin);
• 2003-2004 Annual Report, 32 requests issued (Mr Scheinin);
• 2004-2005 Annual Report, 17 requests issued (Mr Kalin); and
• 2005-2006 Annual Report, 6 requests issued (Mr Kalin).
No firm conclusions can be drawn from these statistics. It would be premature to speculate on the reason for the sudden decline in interim measures requests; it seems to be more appropriate to wait and see if a consistent pattern begins to emerge.
Situations in which interim measures have been issued can be divided into six broad categories: where an individual's health and well-being are at risk; where a life or lives are in jeopardy; deportation and extradition cases; threats to the traditional way of life of a community; preservation of evidence; and, most significantly, to seek to stay the exercise of the death penalty by a State where there is an allegation that the trial was not a fair one.
One of the main areas in which the Committee has issued interim measures has been in relation to the health of the alleged victim. On a number of occasions, the Committee has requested that up to date medical reports be produced by doctors on the alleged victim's state of health and the administration of all appropriate medical treatment where a particular concern has been expressed about a detainee's general health and well being. In one case, where the author alleged that he had been the victim of an unfair trial, the Committee requested that the author's imprisonment be postponed in the light of his fragile state of health. The experience of the Committee in this sort of case has been varied, with some modest degree of success achieved. In Altesor v Uruguay, the State party only grudgingly produced the medical bulletins requested by the Committee and procrastinated at every opportunity. In Sendic v Uruguay, the State party ignored completely the repeated requests for information made by the Committee regarding the victim's health and medical treatment given to him. Yet, in another case, the Chairperson was able to mention the case of an alleged victim of violations of human rights, whose life had probably been saved by the fact that the Committee had asked for her to be examined by a doctor.
Similar to these cases are situations where the author's life appears to be in jeopardy possibly because he has availed himself of the right of individual communication to the Committee. In Fernando v Sri Lanka, the Committee requested the State party to adopt all necessary measures to protect the life, safety and personal integrity of the author and his family so as to avoid irreparable damage to them, and to inform the Committee of the measures taken within 30 days. That request was made following a submission from the author stating that he had received death threats from an unknown person who demanded that he withdraw his complaints before, for example, the Human Rights Committee. Subsequently, the State party informed the Committee about the measures taken in response to its request, including keeping his residence under surveillance by plain-clothed officers, but denied that the author had received death threats to his life because of his communication to the Committee.
By contrast, in Tshishimbi v Zaire, which involved the abduction of the alleged victim, whose subsequent whereabouts were unknown, although the State party was requested to avoid any action which might cause irreparable harm to the alleged victim, it failed completely to respond to the request. At the consideration of the merits, the Committee could only note with alarm that no information had been received on the fate of Mr Tshishimbi from the State party.
The two cases mentioned above both concerned the preservation of the life or physical integrity of an individual person. Whether the Committee was prepared to issue an interim measures order in a case where the lives of a very substantial group of persons was alleged to be threatened arose for consideration in the case of Bordes & Temeharo v France, which concerned the resumption of French nuclear weapons testing underground in the South Pacific after June 1995. The authors alleged that the French authorities had failed to take sufficient measures to protect their life and security before resuming nuclear weapons testing. They claimed that the government had not been able to demonstrate that underground nuclear tests did not constitute a danger to the lives of the inhabitants of the South Pacific (and to the environment). They requested the Committee to issue a Rule 92 order requesting the government to desist from any nuclear weapons testing until an independent international commission had confirmed their safety. On two occasions (during its 54th and 55th sessions), the Committee declined to issue the interim relief sought. The decision of the Committee is explicable on the basis that the authors had failed to show, on the face of it, a threat of danger, the burden being on them to do so. On the other hand, it would have been very surprising if the Committee had intervened in a case such as this, where a fundamental aspect of a State's defence policy was called into question. Perhaps, the Committee was reluctant to interfere in a case where it realised that its request would be unlikely to be observed, and thereby preserved its authority, rather than risk undermining it.
Another very important example of the application of interim measures has been in situations where the State party has been requested not to expel, deport or extradite the alleged victim to a country when there are substantial grounds for believing that he might be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or where he might face the death penalty. Once again, such requests have not always been zealously observed.
In Ominayak, Chief of the Lubicon Lake Band v Canada, the jurisdiction to grant interim measures was extended to cases where it has been contended that the traditional way of life, culture, religion, structure and political economy of a group of indigenous people was being threatened by irreparable harm as a result of government policy. The Committee granted the request on the basis that the allegation was that the Band of Cree Indians was on the verge of extinction, but only some three and a half years after the submission of the communication. The long delay in issuing the request for interim order in this case is likely to have rendered the decision to do so to some extent impotent.
Of course, in such cases, the Committee has the power to rescind an interim measure request if the State party has given a sufficient undertaking to refrain from conducting any further activity which might cause irreparable harm to the culture and livelihood of the applicants. In the case ofJouni Lansman v Finland, where it was alleged that excessive logging had caused irreparable harm to the environment and was seriously damaging the Sami way of life of reindeer husbandry, the Committee rescinded the interim measure request on the undertaking given by the State party not to develop further plans for logging in the area in question and, indeed, to reduce logging by 25% pending the Committee's final decision. However, in Lansman III v Finland the Committee (acting through its Chairperson) once again requested the State party to refrain from conducting logging activities that would affect the exercise by Mr Jouni Lansman and others of reindeer husbandry while their case was under consideration by the Committee.
Recently, the applicability of Rule 92 requests was developed further in the case of Shin v Republic of Korea. In this case, the Special Rapporteur on New Communications issued a request under Rule 92 in which he requested the State party not to destroy the painting for the production of which the author had been convicted, whilst the case was under consideration by the Committee. This was the first time that an inanimate object had been made the subject of an interim measures request.
The most significant area in which the Committee has sought to use its powers under Rule 92 has been in granting interim relief by way of a request for a stay of execution in death penalty cases where there are allegations of denial of a fair trial. In view of the urgency of the matter the Committee has requested States parties not to carry out executions while the cases are under consideration by it. Initially, and for a number of years, these cases arose from several of the Caribbean States parties to the Covenant. Since then, the cases have also concerned a variety of other States. On the first occasion that this issue arose in 1988, the Committee had to consider a number of cases against two particular States parties. It requested these States parties respectively not to carry out the death sentences until 'the Committee has had the opportunity to render a final decision in this case' and until 'the Committee has had the opportunity to consider further ... the question of admissibility of the present communication'. Stays of execution were granted subsequently in these cases.
However, since the mid-1990s, there has been a worrying increase in the number of stays of execution which have been deliberately ignored by the State party. The list of States ignoring Rule 92 requests for stays includes: the Philippines, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (Austria and Canada have ignored such requests in other cases such as extradition/deportation). This has raised serious issues regarding the authority of the Committee. The first instance of this worrying trend arose in the case of Ashby v Trinidad & Tobago. Mr Ashby was sentenced to death and scheduled to be executed on 14 July 1994. On 13 July the Committee issued a Rule 92 request that the execution be stayed while the case was under consideration by the Committee. Despite this, Mr Ashby was executed the following morning. Subsequently, the State party was requested to explain its non-compliance with the Committee's request, but declined to do so. Thereafter, the Committee adopted a formal decision on the matter held during a public meeting on 26 July, in which the Committee expressed its indignation at Jamaica's failure to observe the request to stay the execution in question and asked the State party to ensure that a similar result did not recur in the future in a full page decision. This decision was transmitted to the State party on 27 July 1994.
Similarly, in Bullock v Trinidad & Tobago, the State party refused to give an undertaking to stay the execution in this case because it considered that the communication was inadmissible. The Committee responded by declaring that it was not for the State party to decide whether or not a communication was inadmissible, but for the Committee. The Committee further requested the State party to cooperate fully in the future regarding such matters. The disease of non-compliance in death penalty cases spread in Ross v Guyana. In this case, a communication dated 2 June 1996 and received by the Secretariat on 3 June concerned the execution of the author, scheduled to take place on 4 June at 8 am local time. A request for a stay of execution was authorised immediately by the Committee Chairperson and communicated by all available channels to the Guyanan authorities, including a fax to the Presidency, a telephone call to the Superintendent of the State Prison in Georgetown and the dictation of the request to the assistant of the Superintendent. Despite all these efforts, Mr Ross was hanged at the scheduled time on 4 June. In a reply to a subsequent letter written by the Chairperson, expressing disquiet at the execution, the State party alleged that the Committee's request for a stay had reached the authorities too late to stop the execution.
Finally, the question also arises as to what criteria the Committee adopts when making a request under Rule 92. The Committee elaborated on the applicable requirements in the case of Stewart v Canada, a case involving the deportation of the author, the Committee observed:
what may constitute 'irreparable damage' to the victim within the meaning of [the Rule] cannot be determined generally. The essential criterion is indeed the irreversibility of the consequences, in the sense of the inability of the author to secure his rights should there later be a finding of a violation of the Covenant on the merits. The Committee may decide, in any given case, not to issue a request [for interim measures] where it believes that compensation would be an adequate remedy. Applying these criteria to deportation cases the Committee would require to know that an author would be able to return, should there be a finding in his favour on the merits.
These principles were applied subsequently in Canepa v Canada, in which the Committee decided that the victim's deportation to Italy could not be considered to constitute 'irreparable damage' in respect of the rights he considered to be violated by his deportation from Canada. This was because, if the Committee found in favour of the author and concluded that his deportation violated his rights under the Covenant, the State partywould be under an obligation to permit the author to re-enter Canada. Accordingly, the consequences of the deportation, however disagreeable they might be to the victim, did not cause 'irreparable damage'.
Naturally, the question arises as to how the Committee can implement effectively its interim measures requests in the face of the difficulties it has encountered with non-compliance.
The leading authority on this issue is the case of Piandiong v The Philippines. Here, the applicants, who had been sentenced to death, claimed violations of arts 6 and 14 of the Covenant in a communication, dated 15 June 1999. A request for Presidential clemency was denied on 6 April, but a 3-month reprieve of execution was granted. Despite the Committee's request under Rule 92 (then Rule 86) delivered on 23 June not to execute them while their case was under consideration by the Committee, the State party issued a warrant on 7 July for their execution on 8 July. After making contact with the State party's representatives to the UN Office at Geneva, the Committee was informed that the executions would go ahead as scheduled since the State party considered that the applicants had received a fair trial. On the afternoon of 8 July, the applicants were executed by lethal injection. At the consideration of the merits of this case on 19 October 2000, the Committee delivered a blistering attack on the State party's failure to respect the Committee's request for interim measures.
[b]y adhering to the Optional Protocol, a State party to the Covenant recognises the competence of the Human Rights Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals claiming to be victims of violations of any of the rights set forth in the Covenant (Preamble and article 1). Implicit in a State's adherence to the Protocol is an undertaking to cooperate with the Committee in good faith so as to permit and enable it to consider such communications, and after examination to forward its views to the State party and to the individual (art 5 (1), (4)). It is incompatible with these obligations for a State party to take any action that would prevent or frustrate the Committee in its consideration and examination of the communication, and in the expression of its Views.
Quite apart then from any violation of the Covenant charged to a State party in a communication, a State party commits grave breaches of its obligations under the Optional Protocol if it acts to prevent or frustrate consideration by the Committee of a communication alleging a violation of the Covenant, or to render examination by the Committee moot and the expression of its Views nugatory and futile. In respect of the present communication, the authors allege that the alleged victims were denied rights under articles 6 and 14 of the Covenant. Having been notified of the communication, the State party breaches its obligations under the Protocol, if it proceeds to execute the alleged victims before the Committee concludes its consideration and examination, and the formulation and communication of its Views. It is particularly inexcusable for the State to do so after the Committee has acted under its rule  to request that the State party refrain from doing so.
The Committee also expresses great concern about the State party's explanation for its action. The Committee cannot accept the State party's argument that it was inappropriate for counsel to submit a communication to the Committee after they had applied for Presidential clemency and this application had been rejected. There is nothing in the Optional Protocol that restricts the right of an alleged victim of a violation of his or her rights under the Covenant from submitting a communication after a request for clemency or pardon has been rejected, and the State party may not unilaterally impose such a condition that limits both the competence of the Committee and the right of alleged victims to submit communications. Furthermore, the State party has not shown that by acceding to the Committee's request for interim measures the course of justice would have been obstructed.
Interim measures pursuant to rule  of the Committee's rules adopted in conformity with article 39 of the Covenant, are essential to the Committee's role under the Protocol. Flouting of the Rule, especially by irreversible measures such as the execution of the alleged victim or his/her deportation from the country, undermines the protection of Covenant rights through the Optional Protocol.
Illustrative of a complete disregard for interim measures of relief requested by the Committee is the case of Mansaraj v Sierra Leone, where communications were submitted to the Committee on 12 and 13 October 1998. On 13 and 14 October, the Special Rapporteur issued decisions under Rule 92 requesting the State party to refrain from executing the authors. However, on 19 October, 12 of the 18 authors were executed by firing squad. In its final 'Views', finding violations of art 6 and 14 of the Covenant, the Committee held also that the State party had breached its obligations under the Optional Protocol in the same terms as in the Piandiong case.
The Committee, mindful of the possible disregard of Rule 92 requests, has developed a range of ancillary means by which it can put pressure on a State party to comply with its Optional Protocol obligations. Thus, in Saidov v Tajikistan, the Special Rapporteur issued a Rule 92 decision requesting a stay of execution, which was transmitted to the State party on 12 January 2001. The Committee learned subsequently that Mr Saidov was executed on 4 April 2001. On 19 June 2001, the Committee Chairperson wrote a letter to the Permanent Representative of Tajikistan to the UN in New York, deploring the execution. During the Committee's 72nd session, the matter was discussed and a note was sent to the State party requesting information on: (1) what steps were taken to give effect to the Committee's request to stay the execution; (2) on what grounds did the State party decide not to stay the execution as requested by the Committee; and (3) what measures were being taken by the State party to guarantee compliance with possible Rule 92 requests in the future. No responses were received from the State party. In its final 'Views', finding violations of art 6, 7, 10(1), 14(1), (2), (3)(b), (d), (g) and (5) of the Covenant, the Committee once again held that the State party had breached its obligations under the Optional Protocol in the same terms as in the Piandiong case.
Of course, it is true that such ancillary means are of no help whatsoever to the authors of communications where their relatives have been executed already. However, such measures may serve the useful purpose of focusing the attention of the authorities of the State party in questions on the necessity to observe interim measures requests in the future. However, in the case of some of the most egregious violators, even this approach is unlikely to yield positive results as illustrated by the case of Khalilov v Tajikistan, in which the Committee noted that the State party had proceeded to execute the author's son despite the fact that a request for interim measures of protection had been addressed to the State party in this regard. In its final 'Views', finding violations of art 6(1), 7, 10(1), and 14(2), (3)(g) and (5), the Committee reiterated its jurisprudence delineated in the Piandiong, Mansaraj and Saidov cases.
The State party that has been one of the most trenchantly dismissive of the Committee's requests for interim measures is Trinidad & Tobago. In the Ashby v Trinidad & Tobago case, as mentioned above, the victim was executed while the Special Rapporteur had issued a decision requesting a stay of execution pending consideration by the Committee. On 21 March 2002, the Committee adopted its final 'Views' in the case. In language reminiscent of that used in the Piandiong case (but briefer), the Committee held unequivocally that
With regard to Mr Ashby's execution, the Committee recalls its jurisprudence that apart from any violation of the rights under the Covenant, the State party commits a serious breach of its obligations under the Optional Protocol if it engages in any acts which have the effect of preventing or frustrating consideration by the Committee of a communication alleging any violation of the Covenant, or to render examination by the Committee moot and the expression of its Views nugatory and futile. The behaviour of the State party represents a shocking failure to demonstrate even the most elementary good faith required of a State party to the Covenant and the Optional Protocol. The Committee finds that the State party breached its obligations under the Protocol, by proceeding to execute Mr Ashby before the Committee could conclude its examination of the communication, and the formulation of its Views. It was particularly inexcusable for the State to do so after the Committee had acted under its rule  requesting the State party to refrain from doing so. Flouting of the Rule, especially by irreversible measures such as the execution of the alleged victim, undermines the protection of Covenant rights under the Optional Protocol.
On 24 July 2003, the Committee issued a press release and sent a letter to the Uzbek authorities deploring the execution of six individuals whose cases were pending before the Committee: Muzaffar Mirzaev, Shukrat Andasbaev, Ulugbek Eshov, Ilkhon Babadzhanov, Maksud Ismailov and Azamat Uteev. The Committee reminded the State party of its position that it amounted to a grave breach of the Optional Protocol to execute an individual whose case is pending before the Committee, in particular when a request for interim measures under Rule 92 had been issued.
Death penalty cases are not the only situations in which the Committee has clashed with States parties over its interim measures jurisprudence. Weiss v Austria was an extradition case in which a refusal to heed a Rule 92 decision arose for consideration by the Committee. On 24 May 2002, the applicant lodged a communication with the Human Rights Committee. On the same day the Special Rapporteur for New Communications requested the State party pursuant to Rule 92 not to extradite the author until the Committee had received and addressed the State party's submission on whether or not there was a risk of irreparable harm to the author as alleged by counsel. On 9 June 2002, the State party, without having made any submissions to the Committee, extradited the author to the United States of America. On 2 August 2002, the Chairperson of the Committee dispatched a letter to the State party's representative in Geneva, expressing considerable regret at the author's extradition, in contravention of its request for interim protection. The Committee sought a written explanation about the reasons which lead to disregard of the Committee's request for interim measures together with an explanation of how it intended to secure compliance with such requests in the future. By note of the same date the Special Rapporteur requested the State party to monitor closely the situation and treatment of the author subsequent to his extradition, and to make such representations to the Government of the United States that were deemed pertinent to prevent irreparable harm to the author's Covenant rights. In submissions dated 15 October 2002, the State party replied that on 25 May 2002 the Federal Minister of Justice had ordered the Vienna Public Prosecutor's Office to file a request with the investigating judge of the Vienna Regional Criminal Court seeking suspension of the extradition. On the same day, the Court refused to comply with this request, on the basis that interim measures decisions could not invalidate judicial orders or restrict the jurisdiction of an independent domestic court. On 6 June 2002, the investigating judge ordered the surrender of the author. The State party added that a request under Rule 92 'does not as such have any binding effect under international law'. Interestingly, among other arguments, counsel for the alleged victim submitted that there was an express obligation under international law, the Covenant and the Optional Protocol derived both from art 2(3) of the Covenant, and from the recognition, upon adherence to the Optional Protocol, of the Committee's competence to determine violations of the Covenant, which must also imply, subsidiarily, respect for the Committee's properly promulgated Rules of Procedure.
The Committee found that
in the circumstances of the case the State party breached its obligations under the Protocol, by extraditing the author before the Committee could address the author's allegations of irreparable harm to his Covenant rights. In particular, the Committee is concerned by the sequence of events in this case in that, rather than requesting interim measures of protection directly upon an assumption that irreversible harm could follow the author's extradition, it first sought, under rule  of its rules of procedure, the State party's views on the irreparability of harm. In so doing, the State party could have demonstrated to the Committee that extradition would not result in irreparable harm.
Interim measures pursuant to rule  of the Committee's rules adopted in conformity with article 39 of the Covenant are essential to the Committee's role under the Optional Protocol. Flouting of the rule, especially by irreversible measures such as the execution of the alleged victim or his/her deportation from the country, undermines the protection of Covenant rights through the Optional Protocol.
Commenting on the Committee's decision in Weiss, Naldi suggests:
The significance of this case lies in the fact that, first, establishing 'irreparable harm' is no longer a condition precedent for the granting of interim measures and secondly, that interim measures that are issued while the Committee considers whether they are justified are similarly considered binding. These developments broaden the protective scope of interim measures.
However, this does not seem to be a strictly accurate reflection of the position. The position would appear to be that initially the request for interim measures is granted on the assumption of 'irreparable harm', subject to the Committee then hearing argument on whether the interim measure should be rescinded. That this is the appropriate position seems to be supported by Mr Scheinin, who at the third informal meeting with States parties on 28 October 2004, stated:
States parties were not heard by the Committee before requests were issued, in order to guarantee the equal treatment of all States, although if the Committee required clarification on the facts of the case, the State party could be asked to comment. It was possible for States parties to request the lifting of the rule 92 measure if they could provide evidence that there was no risk of irreversible damage.
In recent years, Canada has emerged as one of the most vigorous and consistent opponents of the binding quality ascribed by the Committee to its interim measures jurisprudence. Ahighly controversial and politically charged case, one which involved deportation to Iran where the deportee alleged that he would face torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment if he were returned to Iran because of his antecedent background, was Ahani v Canada. The author's communication was lodged on 10 January 2002. On 11 January the Special Rapporteur on New Communications pursuant to Rule 92 requested the State party 'to refrain from deportation until the Committee has had an opportunity to consider the allegations, in particular those that relate to torture, other inhuman treatment or even death as a consequence of the deportation'. On 17 May 2002, on being informed by counsel that there was a real risk that Canada would not comply with the request for interim measures, the Committee reiterated its request. On 10 June 2002, the State party, on national security grounds, deported the author, whom the Government suspected of involvement in terrorist activities and assassinations, to Iran. The Committee then sought the same assurances from the State party as it had in the Weiss case (above). Once again, the State party noted that neither the Covenant nor the Optional Protocol provided for interim measures (which were a product of the Rules of Procedure of the Human Rights Committee) and that such requests for interim measures were recommendatory rather than binding. The Committee found:
in the circumstances of the case, that the State party breached its obligations under the Optional Protocol, by deporting the author before the Committee could address the author's allegation of irreparable harm to his Covenant rights. The Committee observes that torture is, alongside the imposition of the death penalty, the most grave and irreparable of possible consequences to an individual of measures taken by the State party. Accordingly, action by the State party giving rise to risk of such harm, as indicated a priori by the Committee's request for interim measures, must be scrutinised in the strictest light.
The Committee then repeated verbatim the second paragraph of the extract in Weiss cited above.
In its Concluding Observations on the fifth periodic report of Canada, the Committee
note[d] with concern the State party's reluctance to consider that it is under an obligation to implement the Committee's requests for interim measures of protection. The Committee recall[ed] that, in acceding to the Optional Protocol, the State party recognised the Committee's competence to receive and examine complaints from individuals under the State party's jurisdiction. Disregard of the Committee's requests for interim measures is inconsistent with the State party's obligations under the Covenant and the Optional Protocol.
Thus, the Committee recommended expressly that the State party should adhere to its obligations under the Covenant and the Optional Protocol, in accordance with the principle ofpacta sunt servanda, and take the necessary measures to avoid similar violations in future.
An unusual application of Rule 92 occurred in the case of Boucherfv Algeria, which concerned the disappearance of the alleged victim. Counsel requested interim measures relating to the State party's draft amnesty law (Projet de Charte pour la Paix et la Reconciliation Nationale), which was submitted to referendum on 29 September 2005. According to counsel, the draft law was likely to cause irreparable harm to the victims of disappearances, putting at risk those persons who were still disappeared and deprived victims of an effective remedy as well as rendering the views of the Committee ineffective. Counsel therefore requested the Committee to invite the State party to suspend its referendum until the Committee had delivered its 'Views' in three cases, including the instant case. Subsequently, a request for interim measures was transmitted to the State party for comments, but none were received. Thereafter, the Special Rapporteur requested the State party not to invoke the provisions of the new amnesty law against individuals who had submitted, or might submit, communications to the Committee.
The problem of compliance with interim measures requests is one that simply refuses to go away. Certain former republics of the Soviet Union such as Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are emerging as among the worst violators in this regard. In Ruzmetov v Uzbekistan, the Committee noted the author's allegation that the State party violated its obligations under the Optional Protocol by executing her sons, despite the interim measures request issued by the Committee. No reply was received from the State party on the request for interim measures, and no explanations were provided in relation to the author's allegation that her sons were executed after the registration of the communication by the Committee, and after a request for interim measures was issued to the State party. The Committee recalled that 'interim measures were essential to the Committee's role under the Protocol; flouting of the rule, especially by irreversible measures such as the execution of the alleged victims, undermines the protection of Covenant rights through the Optional Protocol'. In these circumstances, the Committee considered that the facts, as submitted by the author, disclosed a breach of the Optional Protocol. The Committee reached the same conclusion in Shukurova v Tajikistan, where the victims were allegedly executed before the Committee concluded its consideration of the case, and in spite of several reminders of the interim measures request addressed to the State party.
Inextricably linked with the evolution of the proclaimed binding nature of interim measures is one particular aspect of General Comment 31  on the nature of the general legal obligation imposed on States parties to the Covenant. At the Committee's 74th session, Sir Nigel Rodley submitted an initial draft of a General Comment on art 2, which was discussed at that session. Based on that discussion, a revised draft was prepared for discussion at the 76th and 77th sessions of the Committee, and the first reading of the draft concluded during the 77th session. In accordance with the decision of the Committee's bureau of 20 March 2002, this revised draft General Comment was to be made available to other treaty bodies, in addition to other interested intergovernmental and NGOs, for comments and observations; several observations and comments were received. On 29 March 2004, during its 80th session, the Committee adopted formally the General Comment.
For our purposes, reference needs to be made to paragraph 19 of the General Comment which states:
The Committee further takes the view that the right to an effective remedy may in certain circumstances require States parties to provide for and implement provisional or interim measures to avoid continuing violations and to endeavour to repair at the earliest possible opportunity any harm that may have been caused by such violations.
It is interesting to note that an earlier version of the draft in its paragraph 19 read partially that
Failure to implement provisional measures indicated by the Committee in cases under the Optional Protocol with a view to avoiding irreparable harm pending the Committee's consideration of a case should be regarded as incompatible with the obligation to respect in good faith the Covenant, in particular its article 2 and the right of individual communication under the Optional Protocol.
It will be noticed immediately that this seems on the face of it a much bolder pronouncement of the binding quality to be attributed to interim measures. However, whatever the difference in terminology, it is clear that the Committee did not intend to resile in any way from the jurisprudence in Piandiong and subsequent cases.
The Committee has made it crystal clear through a series of decisions originating with the Piandiong case that interim measures decisions are binding. It has done this through the medium of the provisions of the Optional Protocol, incorporating the right of individual communication. The Committee's constant jurisprudence has been that unfettered access to the Committee and cooperation in good faith is essential and implicit under the terms of the Optional Protocol. Accordingly, it is axiomatic that if a State party acts in such a way that prevents or frustrates the consideration of a communication by the Committee or renders the expression of its 'Views' nugatory or futile, then a State commits a grave breach of the Optional Protocol. The Committee's position is entirely in harmony with that of the International Court of Justice (LaGrand case) and other human rights bodies such as the European Court of Human Rights (Mamatkulov case). Also, other international human rights bodies have adopted similar stances. In some cases, the power to indicate interim measures is contained in the treaty itself setting up the tribunal in question. In other cases the power is dependent on rules of procedure adopted in conformity with the appropriate treaty stipulations. Of course, compared to the Hague Court and the Strasbourg Court, the Human Rights Committee is not in any sense a court, though when considering Optional Protocol business, it can be described properly as having a 'quasi-judicial' status, in the sense that it operates in a manner as nearly as possible to that in which a court of law acts, in reaching a reasoned decision on the merits of cases. Much debate has taken place about the precise nature of the Committee's 'Views'. However, whatever the precise legal position is, it is manifest that the Committee's decisions import some sort of a legal obligation on a State to provide an effective and enforceable remedy in cases in which a violation has been established under art 2(3) of the Covenant. Indeed, a standard clause to that effect is issued as the final paragraph in which any violation of the Covenant has been found. Further, in both Bradshaw v Barbados and Roberts v Barbados, the Committee stated:
To this extent, it is an obligation for the State party to adopt appropriate measures to give legal effect to the views of the Committee as to the interpretation and application of the Covenant in particular cases arising out of the Optional Protocol. This includes the Committee's views under rule  of the rules of procedure on the desirability of interim measures of protection to avoid irreparable damage to the victim of the alleged violation.
In this regard, it is instructive to examine the issue which arose for decision by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Tangiora v Wellington District Legal Services Committee. The sole question in this appeal was whether legal aid was available in respect of proceedings brought before the Human Rights Committee by some 19 petitioners, including the applicant, alleging various breaches of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, under the relevant domestic legislation in force in New Zealand. The answer depended on whether the Human Rights Committee was an 'administrative tribunal or judicial authority' within the meaning of s 19(l)(e),(v) of the Legal Services Act 1991. No argument was advanced suggesting that the Human Rights Committee was an 'administrative tribunal'. Therefore, the only question was whether it was a 'judicial authority'. The Court of Appeal held unanimously that it was not. The applicant appealed to the Judicial Committee. Lord Millett, delivering the judgment of the Committee, stated:
Given that the section creates a charge on the public funds of New Zealand, it should be limited by imposing a requirement importing some relevant connection with New Zealand and its legal system. The real question is what should be the nature of the necessary connection. ...
Their Lordships consider that the nature of the necessary connection with New Zealand sufficiently appears when consideration is given to the evident legislative purpose of the section and the nature of the courts and tribunals which it designates. Every such body forms part of the legal system of New Zealand in that it exercises the adjudicative functions of New Zealand. The jurisdiction of such a body is coercive, not consensual. It exercises in the name of the state the sovereign adjudicative power of the state. The jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee is very different. It is not an organ of a sovereign state but the creation of an international convention. Its jurisdiction over states parties is consensual. By signing the Optional Protocol New Zealand submitted to its jurisdiction, and can be said to have conferred jurisdiction upon it. But it did not cede to it its own sovereign power of adjudication over the inhabitants of New Zealand. The Human Rights Committee does not exercise the adjudicative functions of New Zealand, but its own independent jurisdiction derived from an international instrument and the submission of state parties.
It is this independent source of jurisdiction which, in their Lordships' view, distinguishes the Human Rights Committee from the other bodies listed in section 19, and which makes it impossible to regard it as part of the legal system of New Zealand. There is nothing in section 19 to suggest that the public funds of New Zealand should be available for proceedings before such a body.
However, it is interesting to observe that the Judicial Committee was not willing to rule out the possibility that the Committee was a 'judicial authority' outside the meaning of s 19. Indeed Lord Millett stated expressly that the Judicial Committee was
not wholly persuaded that the function of the Human Rights Committee is not adjudicative. ... Moreover, there is much force in the provisional view ... that its functions are adjudicative. ... [W]hen it reaches a final view that a state party is in breach of its obligations under the Covenant, it makes a definitive and final ruling which is determinative of an issue that has been referred to it.
However, in the end the Judicial Committee found it unnecessary to express a concluded view on this question.
It may be argued perhaps that it is easier for an international tribunal that is recognised as a 'court' in its constitutive document, or where the power to deliver interim or provisional measures is recognised specifically in that document itself, to gain credence for its decisions that such interim measures are formally binding. The Human Rights Committee does not share these advantages: it is a 'Committee' and its 'Views' are, in the end analysis, not strictly speaking legally binding in an absolute sense. Neither is the Committee given the express power to issue interim decisions in the Covenant itself. Rather this has been granted through appropriate machinery under art 39(2) of the Covenant to promulgate Rules of Court. It is, in some sense, unfortunate that the wording of Rule 92 repeats the terminology of art 5(4) of the Covenant in its use of the word 'Views'. But, perhaps this is just no more than an inevitable consequence. Arguably, the word 'decision' would have been more appropriate. As the Committee does not have the benefit of any express provision entitling it to make interim requests, it has made the very best use of the 'implied breach of the Optional Protocol' argument. It should be pointed out that in the Weiss case (above), there was a dissonance between the views of the government (which appeared to support the Committee's request) and those of the judiciary which refused to ascribe a binding quality to the Committee's request for interim measures, whereas in the Ahani case (above) the Canadian Government was complicit in refusing to recognise interim measures requests as binding. This is a not problem unique to the Committee. The Hague Court has had to face similar difficult issues of compliance after the LaGrand judgment as well.
The Committee has provided a powerful and cogent argument for its interim measures requests to be binding. It is now up to recalcitrant State parties to accept the judgment of the Committee. After all, as has been explained above, the State party is entitled to request that the Rule 92 measure be lifted if there is no evidence of 'irreversible consequences'.
The problems associated with the Committee's interim measures jurisprudence must be viewed in the overall context of the Committee's work and position in the hierarchy of UN human rights treaty bodies.
There is no doubt that the Human Rights Committee faces major challenges in the new millennium in this regard. There is wide ranging and on going discussion about the reform and future of the whole UN human rights treaty body system. In her Plan of Action, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, indicated that she would develop proposals for a unified standing treaty body and invite States parties to the seven human rights treaties to an intergovernmental meeting in 2006 to consider the various options. The High Commissioner then produced a Concept Paper elaborating on her proposal and providing a basis on which options for reform could be explored. The intention is to issue further background papers on specific issues relevant to the establishment of a unified standing treaty body, such as legal considerations, membership and resource requirements. While discussions with stakeholders on the Commissioner's proposal proceed, efforts to strengthen the human rights treaty reporting system are to continue. In addition, other ideas aimed at strengthening the system are to be explored. The Human Rights Committee held a discussion with the High Commissioner on her Plan of Action at the Palais Wilson in Geneva on 20 July 2005, chaired by Ms Chanet. A number of Committee members made comments. Ms Chanet concluded the discussion by stating:
the Committee was open to the High Commissioner's proposals. It would approach the idea of a unified treaty body with some caution, since there must be no opportunity for States to use it as a means of evading their obligations. The legal aspects of the treaty body system must be stable and irreversible, and consultations on the reform process must be held at all levels. States must not be given any opportunity to retract from their obligations.
The Concept Paper on the High Commissioner's Proposal for a Unified Standing Treaty Body was published in 2006. The paper was placed as agenda item 6 for the provisional agenda for the 18th meeting of chairpersons of the human rights treaty bodies at Geneva on 22-23 June 2006. The Human Rights Committee met at the Palais Wilson in Geneva on 26 October 2006 to formulate its opinion on the idea of creating a single human rights treaty body. A wide ranging discussion followed, subsequent to which the Committee adopted its 'Opinion'. In its 'Opinion', the Committee declares that it
[c]onsiders that the creation of a standing unified treaty body to replace the seven existing treaty bodies raises legal and political problems that cannot be solved in the short or medium term, and deems that, for the time being, it is more appropriate to ensure, without delay, better coordination of the working methods of the treaty bodies without it being necessary to amend the treaty.
Dissatisfaction with the Committee's jurisprudence on interim measures is simply symptomatic of a much more deep seated suspicion by States parties of other aspects of the Committee's jurisprudence.
Thus, although by and large, the jurisprudence of the Committee has been well received, nevertheless, there have been points of friction between the Committee and States parties. General Comment No. 24  on issues relating to reservations made upon ratification or accession to the Covenant or the Optional Protocols thereto, or in relation to declarations under art 41 of the Covenant proved to be very controversial at the time of its adoption. This provoked the USA to deliver its own observations on the General Comment under art 40(5) of the Covenant transmitted by letter dated 28 March 1995. The UK Government's observations followed shortly thereafter by letter dated 21 July 1995. The French Government followed suit by delivering its observations by letter dated 8 September 1995.
The 'death penalty' jurisprudence has provoked a serious reaction from some Commonwealth Caribbean States parties. Jamaica denounced the Optional Protocol with effect from 23 January 1998. Trinidad & Tobago denounced the Optional Protocol and re-acceded subject to reservations with effect from 26 August 1998. Following the decision of the Committee in Kennedy v Trinidad & Tobago, declaring the reservation invalid, Trinidad & Tobago again denounced the Optional Protocol with effect from 20 June 2000. In addition, Guyana denounced the Optional Protocol and re-acceded subject to reservations with effect from 5 April 1999.
More seriously, the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea purported to denounce the Covenant by notice dated 27 August 1997 As a result of this communication, the Committee considered urgently the question whether denunciation was permissible under the Covenant. On 29 October 1997, the Committee adopted General Comment No 26  on issues relating to the continuity of obligations under the Covenant, declaring denunciation of the Covenant to be impermissible in international law. Furthermore, on the same day the Chairperson of the Committee wrote to the Ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea emphasising that the Committee was the only competent body established by the Covenant to address questions relating to States parties' reports under art 40. The letter enclosed also a copy of the General Comment and expressed the hope that the Government would reconsider its decision and continue its cooperation with the Committee in accordance with the provisions of the Covenant.
Although the Committee must be careful not to antagonise States parties in order to preserve its authority, equally it must demonstrate to individuals that it is willing to develop its jurisprudence in an appropriate manner. The balance to be struck is a delicate one.
One of the criticisms levelled in the past at the Committee was its marked reluctance and, perhaps, inflexibility, in relation to any departure from its pre-existing jurisprudence. Naturally, in common with other international human rights tribunals, the Committee has adhered to the doctrine of binding precedent with considerable rigidity in order to enhance the orderly and consistent development of the law, without stating expressly that it is bound by its own previous decisions. However, in several cases the Committee has been pressed to depart from an earlier relevant decision in the interests of justice. Thus, in K V & C V v Germany, the Committee was asked to depart from the reasoning of two of its previous decisions relating to inadmissibility ratione temporis. The Committee declined to do so, on the basis that no reasons had been advanced in support, thus leaving open the possibility of later review. In Johnson v Jamaica, the Committee was asked to depart from its constant and controversial jurisprudence that prolonged detention on death row does not in itself constitute a violation of arts 7 and 10(1) of the Covenant; despite a number of dissenting individual opinions, the Committee chose to stand by its previous decision with reference to some highly subjective reasoning. At least in Aduayom, Diasso & Dobou v Togo, the Committee indicated that it would be willing to review its jurisprudence on non-retroactivity of the Optional Protocol when dealing with issues of inadmissibility ratione temporis at an appropriate time in the future.
Accordingly, the decision of the Committee in Judge v Canada represents a radical development. This case concerned the extradition of the author to face the death penalty in the USA and involved the consideration of a precedent established in the case of Kindler v Canada, and followed ever since. In its 'Views', the Committee recalled that in Kindler, it considered that
as Canada itself had not imposed the death penalty but had extradited the author to the United States to face capital punishment, a State which had not abolished the death penalty, the extradition itself would not amount to a violation by Canada unless there was a real risk that the author's rights under the Covenant would be violated in the United States. On the issue of assurances, the Committee found that the terms of article 6 did not necessarily require Canada to refuse to extradite or to seek assurances but that such a request should at least be considered by the removing State.
The Committee then explained that although consistency and coherence of its jurisprudence were necessary, there might be some situations in which a review of the scope of protection offered by the Covenant was required, where an alleged violation involved the most fundamental right to life, particularly where there had been significant factual and legal developments in international legal opinion. The Committee declared that the Kindler jurisprudence was now some 10 years old and there was a broadening international consensus in favour of the abolition of the death penalty, and in States which had retained the death penalty, an increasing consensus not to carry it out. In addition, the Supreme Court of Canada had held that the Government of Canada must seek assurances in all but exceptional cases that the death penalty would not be applied prior to extraditing an individual to a State where he might face capital punishment in the case of United States v Burns. Furthermore, the Committee considered that the Covenant had to be considered as a living instrument and the rights protected under it should be applied in context and in the light of contemporary conditions. The Committee concluded:
For countries which have abolished the death penalty, there is an obligation not to expose a person to the real risk of its application. Thus, they may not remove, either by deportation or extradition, individuals from their jurisdiction if it may be reasonably anticipated that they will be sentenced to death, without ensuring that the death sentence would not be carried out.
Accordingly, the Committee considered that Canada (a State which had abolished the death penalty, irrespective of whether it has not yet ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty), violated the author's right to life under art 6(1) by deporting him to the USA, where he was under sentence of death, without ensuring that the death penalty would not be carried out.
The decision of the Committee in Judge is to be welcomed both from the substantive point of view and because the Committee has recognised at last that, although the doctrine of binding precedent can lead to the coherent development of the law, it can also be productive of injustice in individual cases, particularly in a jurisdiction in which there is no further opportunity of appeal and thus may hinder the proper development of the law.
There is no doubt that the Committee is facing a difficult moment in its existence. The problems range from institutional ones such as its independence, the generation of more knowledge and appreciation of its contribution to international human rights jurisprudence and the need for adequate resources, to structural ones, such as enforcing the obligations of States parties under the reporting procedure and pushing forward the frontiers of its own jurisprudence in an ever more 'human rights aware' culture permeating through all levels of international society. The new millennium has brought new challenges to the Committee's authority with difficulties in enforcing its 'interim measures' jurisprudence, for example. However, there is no reason to suppose that, given adequate resources and support and given a strong and robust membership of the Committee, it will not be able to surmount these challenges and vindicate the human rights under the Covenant, the protection of which is its prime responsibility. The Committee is the premier UN human rights treaty body and must discharge the heavy responsibilities that come with that accolade with complete impartiality in order to fulfil the functions with which it is charged under the Covenant.
Sandy Ghandhi is a Professor of Law at the University of Reading.
[*] I am extremely grateful to Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, Essex University, for his advice and comments on different issues involved in the preparation of this paper. I am also greatly indebted to Professor Jennifer James, De Montfort University, for her comments on earlier drafts.
 See generally: G Naldi, 'Interim Measures in the Human Rights Committee' (2004) 53 International & Comparative Law Quarterly 445.
 In accordance with the provisions of arts 49 of the Covenant and 9 of the (First) Optional Protocol respectively.
 UN GAOR, 60th sess, Supp No 40 (A/60/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 3; UN GAOR, 61st sess, Supp No 40 (A/61/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 3.
 UN GAOR, 59th sess, Supp No 40 (A/59/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 175.
 In accordance with the provisions of its art 8.
 The leading monographs on the work of the Committee are by: D McGoldrick, The Human Rights Committee: Its Role in the Development of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1991); P R Ghandhi, The Human Rights Committee and the Right of Individual Communication: Law and Practice (1998); I Boerefijn, The Reporting Procedure under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Practice and Procedures of the Human Rights Committee (1999). See also: S Joseph, J Schulz & M Castan, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Cases, Materials, and Commentary (2nd ed, 2004); A Conte, S Davidson & R Burchill, Defining Civil and Political Rights: The Jurisprudence of the Human Rights Committee (2004). See for reference: M Nowak, UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: CCPR Commentary (2nd ed, 2005). See in addition: T Opsahl, "The Human Rights Committee' in P Alston (ed), The United Nations and Human Rights: A Critical Appraisal (1992) 369-443; H J Steiner, 'Individual Claims in a World of Massive Violations: What Role for the Human Rights Committee?' in P Alston & J Crawford, The Future of UN Human Rights Treaty Monitoring (2000) 15-53. See generally: A F Bayefsky, The UN Human Rights Treaty System in the 21st Century (2000); A F Bayefsky, The UN Human Rights Treaty System: Universality at the Crossroads (2001). See further the report prepared for the American Bar Association by T Buergenthal, 'Recommendation for Consolidating into Two Committees the Existing [Seven] UN Committees Currently Monitoring UN Human Rights Treaties' (1999) 20 Human Rights Law Journal 272.
 Art 28(1).
 Formerly Rule 86.
 Rule 102(5) of the Rules of Procedure, CCPR/C/3/Rev 8, 22 September 2005.
 67th sess, 68th sess, 69th sess.
 70th sess, 71st sess, 72nd sess.
 There is some discrepancy in the Annual Report on this figure; elsewhere in the Report the figure 7 is given.
 73rd sess, 74th sess, 75th sess.
 76th sess, 77th sess, 78th sess.
 79th sess, 80th sess, 81st sess.
 82nd sess, 83rd sess, 84th sess.
 85th sess, 86th sess, 87th sess.
 UN GAOR, 47th sess, Supp No 40 (A/47/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee 161.
 UN GAOR, 37th sess, Supp No 40 (A/37/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee 122.
 Ibid 114.
 (1978-1980), Yearbook of the Human Rights Committee, CCPR/2 237.
 UN GAOR, 60th sess, Supp No 40 (A/60/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 226; it should be observed that a request for interim measures to release the author from prison in Sri Lanka, submitted at the same time as his communication, was rejected by the Special Rapporteur on New Communications.
 UN GAOR, 51st sess, Supp No 40 (A/51/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 116.
 UN GAOR, 51st sess, Supp No 40 (A/51/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2,268.
 OE v Jamaica, Selected Decisions of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 5; KC v Canada, UN GAOR, 47th sess, Supp No 40 (A/47/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, 445; Kindler v Canada, UN GAOR, 48th sess, Supp No 40 (A/48/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 138, wherein the State party refused to accede to the Committee’s request under Rule 92 (then Rule 86); Cox v Canada, UN GAOR, 50th sess, Supp No 40 (A/50/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 105; T v Australia, UN GAOR, 53rd sess, Supp No 40 (A/53/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 184.
 UN GAOR, 45th sess, Supp No 40 (A/45/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 1.
 A similar request for interim measures to prevent irreparable harm to the way of life of a traditional way of life of a group of people was granted in Sara et al v Finland, UN GAOR, 49th sess, Supp No 40 (A/49/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 257; in Ilmari Lansman etalv Finland, UN GAOR, 50th sess, Supp No 40 (A/50/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 66, the Committee had declared the request for interim measures premature.
 UN GAOR, 52nd sess, Supp No 40 (A/ 52/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 191.
 UN GAOR, 60th sess, Supp No 40 (A/60/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 90.
 UN GAOR, 59th sess, Supp No 40 (A/59/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 118.
 UN GAOR, 43rd sess, Supp No 40 (A/43/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, 154; see also, for example: Pratt & Morgan v Jamaica, UN GAOR, 44th sess, Supp No 40 (A/44/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, 222; Pinto v Trinidad & Tobago, UN GAOR, 45th sess, Supp No 40 (A/45/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 69, Reid v Jamaica 85, NAJ v Jamaica 137, AW v Jamaica 172.
 UN GAOR, 49th sess, Supp No 40 (A/49/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 70-71.
 UN GAOR, 50th sess, Supp No 40 (A/50/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 168.
 UN GAOR, 53rd sess, Supp No 40 (A/53/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 71.
 UN GAOR, 52nd sess, Supp No 40 (A/ 52/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 47, 55.
 Ibid 115.
 UN GAOR, 56th sess, Supp No 40 (A/56/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 181.
 Ibid 185-186 (emphasis added).
 Ibid 154-155. For the full text of the decision of the Committee of 4 November 1998 concerning the execution of the 12 persons in Sierra Leone employing language similar to that in the decision concerning the execution in the Ashby case, see UN GAOR, 54th sess, Supp No 40 (A/54/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 139-140.
 UN GAOR, 56th sess, Supp No 40 (A/56/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 116.
 UN GAOR, 59th sess, Supp No 40 (A/59/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 168.
 UN GAOR, 60th sess, Supp No 40 (A/60/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 77-78.
 UN GAOR, 57th sess, Supp No 40 (A/ 57/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2,22.
 UN GAOR, 58th sess, Supp No 40 (A/58/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2,84.
 UN GAOR, 58th sess, Supp No 40 (A/58/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 384.
 Above n 1, 450.
 Third Informal Meeting with States Parties to the Covenant, Geneva, 28 October 2004, CCPR/C/SR.2242, dated 4 November 2004; see for example: A RJ v Australia, UN GAOR, 52nd sess, Supp No 40 (A/52/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 205.
 UN GAOR, 59th sess, Supp No 40 (A/59/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 273.
 See generally on the Ahani case: J Harrington, 'Punting Terrorists, Assassins and Other Undesirables: Canada, the Human Rights Committee and Requests for Interim Measures of Protection' (2003) 48 McGill Law Journal 55; H Cullen, 'Comparing Attitudes to International Human Rights Petitions Systems' in C P M Waters (ed), British and Canadian Perspectives on International Law 131-148.
 UN GAOR, 61st sess, Supp No 40 (A/61/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1,21.
 UN GAOR, 61st sess, Supp No 40 (A/61/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 86-87.
 Ibid 86.
 On General Comments, see in particular: T Opsahl, 'The General Comments of the Human Rights Committee' in J Jekewitz et al (eds), Des Menschen Recht zwischen Freiheit und Verantwortung, Festschrift fur Karl Josef Partsch zum 75 (1989) 273-286.
 The process of drafting General Comments has been modified in order to allow all interested parties, particularly States and NGOs, to participate in the process, and that has increased their relevance; UN GAOR, 58th sess, Supp No 40 (A/58/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 20.
 UN GAOR, 59th sess, Supp No 40 (A/59/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 175-179.
 Ibid 179.
 CCPR/C/74/CRP 4/Rev 3 (General Comments), dated 5 May 2003; it is believed that Canada, in particular, objected to this draft paragraph, presumably in the light of the Ahani case.
 For a comparative analysis of the interim measures jurisdictions of other human rights courts and tribunals, and the ICJ, see the articles and the literature cited therein by: G. Naldi, above n 1; J. Harrington, above n 49; G S Letsas, 'International Human Rights and the Binding Force of Interim Measures'  European Human Rights Law Review 527; A Mowbray, ‘A New Strasbourg Approach to the Legal Consequences of Interim Measures' (2005) 5 Human Rights Law Review 377; B D Tittemore, 'Guantanamo Bay and the Precautionary Measures of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: A Case for International Oversight in the Struggle Against Terrorism' (2006) 6 Human Rights Law Review 378; A A Cancado Trindade, 'The Evolution of Provisional Measures of Protection under the Case-Law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (1987-2002)' (2003) 24 Human Rights Law Journal 162. For the leading monographs on provisional/interim measures of protection in international law generally, see: E Dumbauld, Interim Measures of Protection in International Controversies (1932); J B Elkind, Interim Protection: A Functional Approach (1981); R Bernhardt (ed), Interim Measures Indicated by International Courts (1994); S Rosenne, Provisional Measures in International Law: The International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (2005).
 See the literature cited at n 59 above and the cases discussed therein.
 See F Pocar, 'Legal Value of the Human Rights Committee's Views' (1991-1992) Canadian Human Rights Yearbook 119.
 UN GAOR, 49th sess, Supp No 40 (A/49/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 309, 325.
  UKPC 42;  1 NZLR 17;  1 WLR240.
 Ibid 245 - 246.
 Ibid 244 -245.
 See, for example, the Avena case; for commentary on the provisional measures order in the this case, see: S Ghandhi, 'Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v United States of America), Provisional Measures Order of 5 February 2003' (2004) 52 International & Comparative Law Quarterly 738; for commentary on the final judgment in the case, see: S Ghandhi, 'Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v United States of America), Judgment of 31 March 2005' (2005) 54 International & Comparative Law Quarterly 779.
 A/59/2005/Add 3, para 147; see in particular: R L Johnstone, 'Cynical Savings or Reasonable Reform? Reflections on a Single Unified UN Human Rights Treaty Body' (2007) 7 Human Rights Law Review 173; M Bowman, 'Towards a Unified Treaty Body for Monitoring Compliance with UN Human Rights Conventions? Legal Mechanisms for Treaty Reform' (2007) 7 Human Rights Law Review 225.
 CCPR/C/SR 2296, dated 26 July 2005.
 HRI/MC/2006/2, dated 22 March 2006; see in particular: M O'Flaherty & C O'Brien, 'Reform of the UN Human Rights Treaty Monitoring Bodies: A Critique of the Concept Paper on the High Commissioner's Proposal for a Unified Standing Treaty Body' (2007) 7 Human Rights Law Review 141.
 CCPR/C/SR 2412, dated 1 November 2006.
 CCPR/C/88/CRP 3/Rev 2.
 UN GAOR, 50th sess, Supp No 40 (A/50/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 124-130; see generally: C Redgwell, 'Reservations to Treaties and Human Rights Committee General Comment No 24 (52)' (1997) 46 International & Comparative Law Quarterly 390; R Higgins, 'The United Nations: Some Questions of Integrity' (1989) 52 Modern Law Review 1.
 Ibid 131-135.
 Ibid 135-139.
 UN GAOR, 51st sess, Supp No 40 (A/51/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 117-119.
 For a commentary on the case, see: P R Ghandhi, 'The Human Rights Committee and Reservations to the Optional Protocol' (2001) 14 Canterbury Law Review 13.
 Guyana's reservation elicited objections from six States parties to the Optional Protocol.
 UN GAOR, 53rd sess, Supp No 40 (A/53/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 1, 102.
 Ibid 61; interestingly, the Netherlands had considered denunciation of the Covenant in 1988 in reaction to the Committee's controversial art 26 jurisprudence, but was advised that it would be impermissible.
 UN GAOR, 49th sess, Supp No 40 (A/49/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 365.
 UN GAOR, 51st sess, Supp No 40 (A/51/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 174; for an analysis of the Committee’s 'death row phenomenon' jurisprudence see: P R Ghandhi, "The Human Rights Committee and the Death Row Phenomenon' (2003) 43 Indian Journal of International Law 1.
 Ibid 17.
 UN GAOR, 58th sess, Supp No 40 (A/58/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2,76.
 UN GAOR, 48th sess, Supp No 40 (A/48/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 138.
 UNGAOR,58th sess, Supp No40 (A/58/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 92.
  SCR 283.
 UN GAOR, 58th sess, Supp No 40 (A/58/40), Report of the Human Rights Committee, vol 2, 92.
 Ibid 93.