Overview of the Follow-up Procedure of the Human Rights Committee
Published on 12 Jun 2023, 03:21 PM
The follow-up procedure to the Concluding Observations changed several times since 2001 - here are the main steps
The Human Rights Committee in Session (March 2023) (c) CCPR Centre
The Follow-up to Concluding observations process started in 2001 and it is enshrined on Rule 75 of the Rules of procedure of the Committee.
In 2002, at the 75th session, the Committee decided to name a Special Rapporteur for follow-up on concluding observations who establishes, maintains, or restores a dialogue with the State party on the follow-up procedure. The Rapporteur updates the Committee every session on the information submitted by State parties on the measures taken to meet the recommendations of the Committee.
The Follow-up procedure has evolved over the years, here is a brief overview since 2001.
First Procedure (2001-2008)
At the beginning, the Committee used to engage in a multiple-round system in which it went back and forth with the State party until the next periodic report was submitted and this dialogue was closed. The gradings provided by the Committee did not involve the letter system, but rather the following categories:
- Partially satisfactory
Two-Rounds Procedure (2008-2017)
In 2008, the Committee changed to a two-round system. Here, after the initial State report on follow-up, the Committee would assess the information and then the State had a second opportunity to update the Committee further. Thus, the Committee would publish two assessments of a State per cycle. The grading was the following:
- A Response largely satisfactory
Reply/action partially satisfactory
- B1 Substantive action taken, but additional information required
- B2 Initial action taken, but additional information and measures required
Reply/action not satisfactory
- C1 Response received but actions taken do not implement the recommendation
- C2 Response received but not relevant to the recommendations
No cooperation with the Committee
- D1 No response received within the deadline, or no reply to a specific question in the report
- D2 No response received after reminder(s)
The measures taken are contrary to the Committee’s recommendations
- E The response indicates that the measures taken are contrary to the Committee’s
Current One Round Procedure (from 2017)
Finally, the current system was adopted in 2017. Now, there is only one round: the State has 3 years to submit follow-up information, and then the Committee publishes just one assessment. It is a letter system, but without the adjacent numbers. The reports containing the gradings can be found in the Committee’s website, under the name ‘Follow-up Report of the Special Rapporteur on follow-up on Concluding Observations’.
The procedure is detailed by the Committee here, and the grading system is as follows:
A Information/action largely satisfactory:
The State party has provided evidence of significant action taken towards the implementation of the recommendation made by the Committee. In this case, the Committee may request additional information from the State party to be provided in the next periodic report.
B Information/action partially satisfactory:
The State party has taken steps towards the implementation of the recommendation, but additional information or action remains necessary. In this case, the Committee requests additional information to be provided in the next periodic report, on specific points of the State party’s previous reply that require clarification, or on additional steps taken by the State party to implement the recommendation.
C Information/action not satisfactory:
A response has been received, but action taken or information provided by the State party is not relevant or does not implement the recommendation. Information provided by the State party that reiterates information previously made available to the Committee prior to the concluding observations is considered not relevant for these purposes. The Committee renews the request for information on steps taken to implement the recommendation.
D No cooperation with the Committee:
No information has been received from the State party. The State party has not replied with the deadline, nor after it has received the reminder sent by the Special Rapporteur for follow-up on concluding observations.
E Information or measures taken are contrary to or reflect rejection of the recommendation:
The State party adopted measures that are contrary to or have results or consequences that are contrary to the recommendation of the Committee or reflect rejection of the recommendation.
For the first world map on ICCPR Implementation on recommendations selected for the follow-up procedure click here.