Factsheet - 2
State party review by the HR Committee

State reporting procedure

All States parties to the ICCPR are obliged to regularly report to the Committee on how the ICCPR is implemented in the country. Based on this reporting, and the reports submitted by other stakeholders including civil society, the Committee reviews the situation and recommends actions to be taken by the State concerned. This process is referred to as “State review procedure”, or “State reporting procedure”.

In order to increase the efficiency of the procedure and ensure more regular review of States parties, the Committee introduced the newly updated “predictable review cycle” in 2020. With this method, the Committee intends to review all State parties every 8 years, based on the calendar developed by the Committee. It was also announced that a State party review can take place even if the relevant State report is not submitted, in order to ensure that one review cycle of a State party is completed in 8 years, with the next cycle beginning immediately after the previous one. The review of States parties by the HR Committee, through its State reporting procedure, is a long-term process of continuous cycles.

The three phases of the State reporting procedure

The review process conducted as part of the State reporting procedure is conducted in three phases:

  • Phase I: Adoption of the List of Issues (LOI) or List of Issues Prior to Reporting (LOIPR)
  • Phase II: Review
  • Phase III: Follow-up

Phase I is a preparatory stage for the main review, where stakeholders, such as NGOs and other civil society actors, can submit written reports to the HR Committee. Phase II is where the Committee carries out the actual review, through an interactive dialogue with representatives of States parties, and through the issuing of recommendations in its Concluding observations. Phase III is the stage where States parties are obliged to implement recommendations from the Committee. Details of each phase, including how civil society actors can engage in the process, can be found in the sheets No.3-5.

Figure: Three phases of one review cycle

Figure: Cycles and phases of the State reporting procedure

  • Phase I:
  • Phase II:
  • Phase III:
Initial review cycle
  • Phase I:
  • Phase II:
  • Phase III:
2nd review cycle
  • Phase I:
  • Phase II:
  • Phase III:
3rd review cycle

Non-reporting States

Some States fail to report regularly or on time to the HR Committee. To ensure that States parties who fail to report are still subjected to a review, the Committee decided in 2020 to review States parties in the absence of a report, if there is a significant delay in the States’ reporting.

CSO engagement

Civil society actors play a crucial role in the implementation of the ICCPR on the ground by engaging with the HR Committee. Civil society actors including NGOs and academia provide an important and independent source of information for the HR Committee, and their inputs are essential for the Committee to have up to date, concrete and correct information to carry out its mandate.

Civil society actors can engage with the HR Committee at different phases of its State review cycle. In order to better plan your actions and increase their impact, it is advisable to first check the predictable review calendar and the website for the session schedule of the Committee, or contact CCPR Centre, and find out which stage of the review cycle your country is at.

While there are some differences between the former standard and simplified reporting procedures (see sheet No.3 “Phase I: Adoption of the LOI/LOIPR”), it is important to note that the reviews of all States parties are carried out in accordance with the predictable review calendar, even if the relevant State report / reply is not submitted (in time).

Details of how civil society can engage in the process at each phase can be found in the sheets No.3-5 respectively.

  • Is your country a State party to the ICCPR?
  • Has your country already gone through a cycle or more cycles of review, or is it the initial cycle?
  • At which phase of the review cycle your country is at - phase I, II or III?
    • If Phase I, see sheet No.3
    • If Phase II, see sheet No.4
    • If Phase III, see sheet No.5