Dalhousie Law Journal


Jurisprudence, human rights committee, role, examination, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights


Referring to the role of the Human Rights Committee in the examination of reports submitted by States parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Canadian representative in the Third Committee of the General Assembly in 1966, expected that the Committee would "examine, analyse, appraise and evaluate the reports ... in a searching and critical fashion." ' After two years, during which five sessions of the Human Rights Committee were held, how does the Committee measure up to this standard? This will be the main inquiry of the present article during the course of which the following aspects will also be kept in mind: (1) What are the basic lines of approach of the Human Rights Committee in discharging its functions? (2) How is the Committee seeking to ensure the fullest attainable compliance with the Covenant and its Optional Protocol? (3) To what extent can it be said that the Committee is following a judicial approach or judicial standards in the discharge of its functions? (4) Is the Committee pursuing a liberal or a conservative approach in applying the provisions of the Covenant and the Protocol?