International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

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News: The International Commission of Jurists(ICJ) has said that the conviction of civil rights lawyer Prashant Bhushan for criminal contempt seemed to be inconsistent with the freedom of expression law guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Facts:

  • International Commission of Jurists (ICJ): It is an international human rights non-governmental organization founded in 1952.
    • Composition: It is a standing group of 60 eminent jurists including senior judges, attorneys and academics.
    • Functions: To develop national and international human rights standards through the law.
    • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: It is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966 and in force from 1976.
    • Purpose: The covenant commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.
    • Monitored by: The treaty is monitored by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
    • Parties: As of September 2019, the Covenant has 173 parties and six more signatories without ratification.India is a party to this treaty.