ICCPR concluding observations 2015, paragraph 22

UN recommendation

Plain English recommendation

Government should: (a) Ensure any limits on fair trial guarantees for national security reasons (such as court hearings held without the non-government party being present) are in line with the ICCPR. They must not prevent state accountability, nor the victim’s right to a fair trial and effective remedy. (b) Review the test for miscarriage of justice to ensure it is in line with the ICCPR. (c) Ensure legal aid reforms do not breach people’s right to take legal action. Review restrictions on legal aid, address problems in the exceptional funding scheme, and review the need for the residence test. (d) Reduce delays in the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland, including by introducing limits on time spent in custody.

Original UN recommendation

The State party should: (a) Ensure that any restrictions or limitations on fair trial guarantees that are based on national security grounds, including the use of closed material procedures, are fully compliant with its obligations under the Covenant, and particularly that the use of closed material procedures in cases involving serious human rights violations does not create obstacles to the establishing of State responsibility and accountability or compromise the right of victims to a fair trial and an effective remedy. (b) Review the new test for miscarriage of justice with a view to ensuring its compatibility with article 14 (6) of the Covenant.

Date of UN examination


UN article number

2 (implementation at the national level), 14 (access to justice and fair trial rights)

Last updated on 11/09/2019