University of Minnesota

Decisions on Procedures of the Human Rights Committee, U.N. Doc. A/52/40, paras. 33-9 (1997).



Recent decisions on procedures : . 21/09/97.
A/52/40,paras.33-39. (Decision)

Convention Abbreviation: CCPR
Recent decisions on procedures

33. Matters which have been the subject of discussion and decision by the Committee in the past year, including those which arose at the meeting referred to above, are summarized in the following paragraphs.

34. The main topics on which recent decisions have been made include the format and focus of periodic reports, including a decision that notes verbales inviting States parties to submit reports should be sent one year in advance of the due date for the periodic report, and the Committee's concluding observations made in relation to the State's previous report should systematically be attached. The procedure for preparing the question list and the content of that list, the organization of questions and the drafting of the Concluding Observations were also the subject of decisions.

35. The Committee also decided to adopt a more flexible approach to setting the date for the next periodic report in the case of States parties which were late in the presentation of their reports to the Committee. At its 1614th meeting (sixtieth session), the Committee decided to ask States parties to submit their initial reports in time for consideration at a particular session when those reports were more than four years late.

36. At its fifty-ninth session, the Committee referred to the Working Group on article 40 the question of developing a mechanism to follow up on its Concluding Observations on State reports. At its sixtieth session, the Committee agreed that all procedures in relation to article 40 should be further studied by an ad hoc inter-sessional working group which would make its next report available to the Committee at its sixty-first session.

37. Other matters considered were ways to extend the use of interns to assist in the Committee's work and greater publicity for its work, including the possibility of publishing its General Comments separately.

38. The Committee discussed its work in developing General Comments and agreed that it should exercise caution in developing comments where the jurisprudence in an area was not sufficiently developed.

39. The Committee also discussed the input of non-governmental organizations and how to ensure that material from such organizations reached the Committee in good time and that they have adequate information about the Committee's work. The Committee recommends that States make their reports fully public and available to local non-governmental organizations well in advance of the Committee's examination. This is more feasible since the Committee decided that State reports to be examined are listed two sessions ahead.


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