1999

UNHRC

Rawle Kennedy v Trinidad and Tobago

1987 A murder was committed, Kennedy was sentenced to death Claimant alleged to be victim of violations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. He was not informed of charges until 5 days after his arrest, there were delays in proceedings, and death penalty was imposed irrespective of circumstances. 26 May 1998, Trinidad denounced the optional protocol of ICCPR and the same day She re-acceded with a reservation ‘ Trinidad re-accedes to the OP to the ICCPR with a reservation to art 1 to the effect that the HR Committee shall not be competent to receive and consider communication relating to any prisoner who is under sentence of death in respect of matters relating to his prosecution, detention, conviction, sentence, or the carrying out of the death sentence’ The protocol does not govern the permissibility of reservations. 19 VCLT a reservation can be made as long as it is compatible with the object and purpose.

It is a general principle that the body to whose jurisdiction a purported reservation is addressed decides on the validity and effect of that reservation, it must be the Committee not the State party to determine the validity of the reservation In general Comment 24 (1994) the Committee stated: ‘The function of the 1st protocol is to allow claims in respect covenant’s rights to be tested before the Committee. A reservation to an obligation of a State to respect a right contained in the Covenant made under the 1st protocol, when it has not previously been made in respect to the same rights under the covenant, does not affect the State’s duty to comply with its substantive obligation’ The present reservation (1998) was made after the publication of the GC 24 (1994). The committee cannot accept a reservation which singles out a certain group of individuals for lesser procedural protection than is enjoyed by the rest of the population. This runs contrary to the Convention. The committee is not precluded from considering the present communication under the optional protoco