UN expert panel launches global talk on the right to challenge the lawfulness of detention

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GENEVA (28 August 2014) – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will convene in Geneva on 1 and 2 September to launch a global consultation* on the draft principles and guidelines on the right of anyone deprived of liberty to challenge the lawfulness of his or her detention before court.

Our aim is to develop concrete and practical guidance for Governments in fulfilling their obligation to avoid arbitrary deprivation of liberty,” said human rights expert Mads Andenas, who currently heads the five-member body.

“Special attention will be paid to the obstacles faced in bringing forth a court challenge by asylum-seekers and migrants, children, persons with disabilities, and those detained for counter-terrorism, national security or intelligence gathering purposes,” he added.

In preparation of these draft principles and guidelines, 15 regional experts will gather in Geneva to deliver presentations. The Group’s experts have approached Governments, UN human rights bodies, international and regional organizations, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and academia to seek their views on the essential aspects of the State obligations to achieve the full realization of this right.

In 2012, the UN Human Rights Council asked the Working Group to draft the basic principles and guidelines on the right to court review of detention, which will be officially presented in 2015.

The global consultation will take place at the UN headquarters in Geneva -Palais des Nations- in Room XIX, on 1-2 September 2014. The event will be open to the media.

(*) For all relevant documents on this event please see: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/ConsultationSept2014.aspx

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was established by the former Commission on Human Rights in 1991 to investigate instances of alleged arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Its mandate was clarified and extended by the Commission to cover the issue of administrative custody of asylum-seekers and immigrants. In 2013, the UN Human Rights Council confirmed the scope of the Working Group’s mandate and extended it for a further three-year period.

The Working Group is comprised of five independent expert members from various regions of the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Mads Andenas (Norway) and the Vice-Chair is Mr. Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine). The other members are Mr. Sètondji Roland Jean-Baptiste Adjovi (Benin), Mr. Seong-Phil Hong (Republic of Korea) and Mr. José Guevara (Mexico). Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/WGADIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests please contact Miguel de la Lama (+41 22 917 9289 / mdelalama@ohchr.org); Helle Iversen (+41 22 917 9421 / hiversen@ohchr.org); (Sulini Sarugaser-Hug (+41 22 917 9153 / wgadhabeascorpus@ohchr.org); or Melodie Giraudot (+41 22 917 9109 / mgiraudot@ohchr.org)

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