UN Human Rights Committee, CCPR General Comment 29 (2001) (excerpts)

UN Human Rights Committee, CCPR General Comment 29 (2001) (excerpts)

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16. Safeguards related to derogation, as embodied in article 4 of the Covenant, are based on
the principles of legality and the rule of law inherent in the Covenant as a whole. As certain
elements of the right to a fair trial are explicitly guaranteed under international humanitarian law
during armed conflict, the Committee finds no justification for derogation from these guarantees
during other emergency situations. The Committee is of the opinion that the principles of
legality and the rule of law require that fundamental requirements of fair trial must be respected
during a state of emergency. Only a court of law may try and convict a person for a criminal
offence. The presumption of innocence must be respected. In order to protect non-derogable
rights, the right to take proceedings before a court to enable the court to decide without delay on
the lawfulness of detention, must not be diminished by a State party’s decision to derogate from
the Covenant.