University of Minnesota

Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/79/Add.119 (2000).


United Kingdom and Northern Ireland - the Crown Dependencies of Jersey,
Guernsey and the Isle of Man

1. The Committee considered the fourth and fifth periodic reports of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland regarding the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man (CCPR/C/95/Add.10 and CCPR/C/UKCD/99/5) at its 1818th and 1819th meetings (see CCPR/C/SR.1818-1819) held on 17 March 2000 and adopted the following concluding observations at its 1827th meeting (see CCPR/C/SR.1827) held on 23 March 2000.

A. Introduction

2. The Committee welcomes the submission of the State party's fourth and fifth periodic reports concerning these territories and appreciates the opportunity to examine them, but regrets the delay in the submission of the fourth periodic report. The Committee also appreciates the useful core document submitted by the State party and the constructive and open dialogue it had with the State party's delegation.

3. The Committee welcomes the information provided in the reports on developments in domestic legislation relating to the promotion and protection of rights recognized under the Covenant. The Committee observes, however, that while the reports provide details on progress made through new legislation, they contain little information on actual practice. The State party should ensure that all concerns are reported upon, even when those concerns have not yet been addressed.

B. Positive aspects

4. The Committee notes with satisfaction that the domestic courts in several cases have had regard to the Covenant (art. 2).

5. The Committee welcomes the Administrative Decisions (Review) (Amendment) (Jersey) Law 1995 which provides for a system of administrative appeals against decisions of committees, departments and officials of the States of Jersey to an independent review board (arts. 2 and 14).

6. The Committee welcomes the withdrawal on 2 February 1993 of the State party's reservation to subparagraph (c) of article 25 which, inter alia, applied to jury service in the Isle of Man.

7. The Committee welcomes the various steps taken in all territories to combat any discrimination on the basis of sex and race. The Committee notes with appreciation the information provided by the delegation that all distinctions based on sex have been abolished with regard to inheritance of realty in Sark. The Committee also welcomes the steps taken in Jersey to eliminate differences between the rights of children born in wedlock and the rights of those born out of wedlock (arts. 3, 24 and 26).

C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations

8. The Committee strongly urges the State party to ensure that all Covenant rights are given effect in domestic law (art. 2).

9. The Committee recommends that human rights education be extended to members of the police force, the legal profession and other persons involved in the administration of justice, with a view to making it a part of their regular training. Human rights education should also be incorporated at every level of general education (art. 2).

10. The Committee recommends that the authorities in Guernsey and the Isle of Man give due consideration to establishing independent bodies with a mandate to review administrative decisions (arts. 2 and 14).

11. The Committee notes the information provided by the delegation that corporal punishment is not permitted in schools on the Isle of Man as a matter of policy, and recommends the adoption of legislation to outlaw corporal punishment (arts. 7 and 10).

12. The Committee notes the information provided by the delegation that steps are being taken in the United Kingdom to ensure that its anti-terrorism laws comply with article 9 of the Covenant, and urges Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man to take corresponding measures.

13. The Committee recommends that the authorities in Jersey consider amending relevant legislation to enable a withdrawal of the reservation to article 11 of the Covenant.

14. The Committee recommends that measures be taken to remove and prohibit any discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation (arts. 17 and 26).

15. The Committee notes with concern that the archaic and discriminatory provisions of the Criminal Code which make blasphemy a misdemeanour are still in force on the Isle of Man, and recommends that these be repealed (art. 19).

16. The Committee notes that consideration has been given in Jersey to amending the Separation and Maintenance Orders (Jersey) Law 1953 and recommends that all three jurisdictions introduce legislation and other effective measures to prohibit discrimination between women and men (arts. 3 and 26).

17. With reference to the withdrawal of the State party's reservation to article 25, the Committee urges the authorities to introduce further reforms that secure all their inhabitants full right of participation in the conduct of public affairs.

18. The Committee recommends that the authorities complete the current process of enacting legislation outlawing all racial discrimination. In accordance with article 26, the authorities should also promulgate legislation which prohibits any discrimination and guarantees to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

D. Dissemination of information about the Covenant (art. 2)

19. The Committee requests that the sixth periodic report concerning Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man be submitted together with the sixth report of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, at a date to be set after the examination of the pending fifth report. That report should be prepared in accordance with the revised Guidelines adopted by the Committee (CCPR/C/66/GUI/Rev.1) and should give particular attention to the issues raised in the present concluding observations. The Committee requests that these concluding observations and the next periodic report be widely disseminated in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.


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