The Legal Effects of the Final Views of the Human Rights Committee



Under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee has the competence to receive and consider communications from individuals who claim to be victims of violations by a State Party to the Optional Protocol of any of the rights set forth in the Covenant. According to article 5(4) of the Optional Protocol, the Committee shall forward its (final) Views to the State Party concerned and also to the individual. However, the Optional Protocol is silent about the legal effects of these Views. It is unclear whether such Views are binding on the States Parties concerned or they are mere recommendations. The present article examines this issue from a theoretical perspective and in State practice as well.