Intervention of the United States of America
Human Rights Council 27 – Geneva
Panel on the Administration of Justice
As Delivered by Kevin Whelan
September 10, 2014
Thank you, Mr. Vice-President.
The United States welcomes this panel discussion on the protection of the human rights of persons deprived of their liberty. We agree with the main conclusion of the Secretary General’s report A/68/261 on Human rights in the administration of justice, which is that while a comprehensive framework for the protection of all persons deprived of their liberty exists, the main challenges lie in the implementation of relevant human rights obligations and commitments at the domestic level.
We stress the importance of judicial oversight, including remedies such as habeas corpus to challenge the basis of detention and causes of action for redress of rights violations during detention. We remain concerned over cases of excessive and unjust use of pretrial detention, and are particularly concerned with impunity for violations during detention. These concerns are even more pronounced in the case of members of vulnerable groups, such as women, children, and persons with disabilities. We encourage states to seek technical assistance and capacity building on these issues from OHCHR and other international mechanisms.
We thank the panelists for an interesting discussion and ask them to explore in more detail the best means of ensuring effective oversight for violations of human rights of persons in detention. We also ask whether there is effective coordination and collaboration among the UN mechanisms addressing this issue?