View Adopted: 2021.07.07
The author is a Norwegian national who was arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced of a drug-related crime. After his initial arrest, the author claims he was not brought before a judge within 48 hours, in violation of his rights under article 9 (3) of the Covenant. He claims that the State party provided no reasons for not bringing him before a judge earlier. The author was brought to the courthouse 48 hours and 35 minutes following his arrest, and was presented to a judge 52 hours and 15 minutes after being apprehended.
The Committee found the communication admissible on the following grounds: (i) the Committee was not precluded under article 5 (2) (a) or (b) of the Optional Protocol from being seized of the complaint, and (ii) the author had sufficiently substantiated his claim under article 9 (3) for the purposes of admissibility.
The Committee found no violation by the State party of article 9 (3) of the Covenant. It relied on previous jurisprudence which held that the meaning of the term “promptly” in article 9 (3) must be determined on a case-by-case basis. The Committee found that the delay of four hours was due to logistics and court scheduling, and was neither excessive nor arbitrary. Further, for those four hours, the author was in the courthouse and had access to his lawyer. Consequently, the Committee considered that this delay was absolutely exceptional and justified by the circumstances, contrary to the author’s claims.
January 7, 2022