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Summary record of the 30th meeting, held at Lake Success, New York, Wednesday, 12 May 1948 : Commission on Human Rights, Drafting Committee on an International Bill of Rights, 2nd session

UN Document Symbol E/CN.4/AC.1/SR.30
Convention International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
Document Type Summary Record
Session 2nd
Type Document

11 p.

Subjects Human Rights

Extracted Text

United Nations Nations Unies UNRESTRICTED
ECONOMIC CONSEIL E/CN.4/AC.1/SR.30 20 May 1948
Held at Lake Success, New York Wednesday, 12 May 1948 at 2.30 p.m.
Chairman: Mrs. Franklin D. ROOSEVELT United States of America
Rapporteur: Mr. MALIK Lebanon
Members: Mr.E. J. R. HEYWOOD Australia
Mr. T, Y. WU China
Mr. A. P. PAVLOV Union, of Soviet Socialist
Mr. G, WILSON, United Kingdom
Representative of a Specialized Agency:
Mr. B. W. COX International Labour Organiz
Consultants from Non-Governmental Organizations:
Miss T. SENDER American Federation of Labour
Mr. J. BOTTON World Federation of Trade Unions
Any corrections of this record should submittd in writting in either of the Working laanguages (English,or.French), and within twenty.
four hours, to Mr. E, Delavenay, Director, official Records Division Room cc-119, Lake Success. Corrections Should be accompanied by or incorporated in a letter, on hetepaper, bearing the approriate symbol numberand encolsed in an envelop marked "Urgent". Corrections
can be dealt with more speedily by the services concerned if delegations
will be good enough also to incorporate them in a mimeograpued copy of
the record.

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Article 6
The CHAIRMAN read Article 6 as adopted at the previous meeting, and the limitations proposed by the United States of America.
Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) suggested that the Article shauld read "...physical mutilation or such medical or scientific experimentation against his Will as are punishable by the laws of the country", to bring in the idea of domestic legislation.
He did not agree with the representative of the United Kingdom that his point was covered by Article 2. A general limitation should be made It would be difficult to list all exceptions. Innooulations, etc, as cited by the United States of America would not be punishable under:his amendment as these would be sanctioned by law. He would continue to abstain from voting on Article 6 unless his amendment were accepted.
Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) said he could not support the USSR amendment, which would make each country the sole judge.
The CHAIRMAN believed the USSR amendment would give too much latitude, and would allow for abuse, but vaccinations, etc. werennot implicit in Article 6 as it stood.
Mr. SANTA CRUZ (Chile) said a compromise solution should be found. The article was not acceptable in its present form. Some medical experiments involving mutilation were acknowledged to,be in the interests of humanity, but States should not be entirely free to judge. There should., however, be some limiting clause, or a general limitation.;

E/CN..4/AC.l/SR,30 Page 3
Mr. OKDOMNEAU (France) believed, the limitations cited by
the United States of America were covered by Article 6 as it stood,
It wag agreed by a vote of 4 to 0 with 4 abstentions that Article 6 should read: "Ho one shall be subjected to any form of physical muti-lation or medical or scientific experimentation against his will, except. with the limitation cited fry the United Statea of America foliowing, and with the understanding that other limitations might he added.
Mr. OEDOHEEAU (France) abstained from voting because he did not believe any of the limitations listed were true exceptions to the rule, Article 7
Mr. OEDOOTEAU (France) believed that the word "punishment" should be amended to "treatment". It would avoid the repetition of the words "cruel or inhuman" which had been pointed out by the representa tive of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, if Article 7 Were amended to read: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, Inhuman or degrading treatment".
The CHAIEMAN pointed out that it had been decided at the Second Session of the Commission that the words "cruel and inhuman" should be repeated for .purposes of clarification and for emphasis. She agreed with the representative of Lebanon that the French amendment did not include "indignity", but this was a matter of translation as the representative of France had not intended to change the substance of the Article but only to avoid repetition.
Mr. WILSON (United Kingdom) said he would abstain from voting on Article 7 as it stood because the words "cruel or inhuman" Were too

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subjective. What might be termed "cruel or inhuman" in one country might
not be considered so in another.
Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) explained that he would abstain from voting because the repetition of "cruel or inhuman" weakened the text. He would only vote on a Russian text where the words were not repeated as this was' more correct in his language. He asked the Committee to accept such a text regardless of the decision on the English version.
It was agreed by a vote of 6 to 0 with 2 abatentions that Article 7 in English should read as follows: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel or inhuman punishment or to cruel or inhuman indignity". Article 8
The CHAIRMAN said that with certain additions to paragraph 3 (b) the United Stated delegation found the text of Article 8 acceptable as It stood.
Mr, PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) proposed that paragraph 1 of Article 8 should read: "Slavery or servitude in any direct or indirect form is outlawed. Any attempt to establish or to hold slaves or to engage in slave traffic shall be punishable by law". This would also outlaw secret forms of slavery which the Geneva text did not cover.
Mr. WILSON (United Kingdom) supported by Mr. OHDOMKEAU (France), the CHAIRMAN and Mr. SANTA CRUZ (Chile) was in favour of the original draft which covered all the points raised by the USSR representative. No one could indulge in.slave trading if it were forbidden to hold anyone in slavery; there would be no slaves. The last sentence of the USSR amendment was the only real addition, but "attempts" would be difficult to judge.

Page 5 Mr. OEDONNEAU (France) proposed that Article 8, paragraph 3,. sub-paragraph (b) should read: "Any service exacted in cases of emergency, calamity or danger threatening life or the well-being of the community". The enumeration of cases was unnecessary. He would abstain from voting on the Article as it stood.
In reply to a question by Miss SENDER (American Federation of Labor) regarding sub-paragraph .(c), the CHAIRMAN said that "services of minors which have been agreed upon by parents or guardians" referred to work carried out in the normal course of family life.
Mr."WILSON. (United Kingdom) reserved his right to consider Article 8 further in the full Commission. He reminded the Committee that the International Labour Organization had made interesting criticisms
regarding paragraph 3 (c).
He agreed with Mr. MALIK (Lebanon) that the Geneva drafting of paragraph 3 (b) was the best, as it gave an exhaustive list based on the text, of the International Labour Organization Convention which represented the wide experience of that organization. The French amendment, gave too much latitude,
Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) said it was precisely because a detailed text existed elsewhere that it was unnecessary to repeat it in the Covenant. His text was no more vague than the Geneva draft which used such words as "similar calamities....
The CHAIRMAN supported the French amendment to sub-paragraph (b).
It was agreed by a vote of 5 to 2 with 1 abstention that the French text of Article 8, paragraph 3 sub-paragraph (b) should be accepted.
/The amendment

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The amendment to Article 8 pare raph 1, proposed, by the Union of Soviet. Socialist Republics was rejected by a vote of 5 to 1 with 2 abstentions.
It was agreed by 'a vote of 6 to 0 with 2 abstentions that Article 8 should be accepted as a whole with the French amendment to paragraph 3 sub-paragraph (b), with the alternative text suggested fry the International. Labour Organization for sub-paragraph (o) of paragraph 3, and the suggestions by the United States of America, due note being taken of the reservation of the United Kingdom.
Mr. WU (China) abstained rrom voting as he could not approve of the detailed limitations,
The CHAIRMAN did not approve of the detailed exceptions, but if included,they would have to be comprehensive,
Mr. COX (international Labour Organization) pointed out that the wording of the text proposed by the ILO for sub-paragraph (c) which was to be submitted to the Commission with the Geneva text, was the same as that in the Convention, Article 9
Mr. WILSON. (United Kingdom) said that he and the representative of Lebanon had been asked to re-draft paragraph 2 of Article 9. They had agreed that if it began with "in consequence, no person..." it would have the desired effect of emphasizing that it was merely a definition of
paragraph 1.
The CHAIRMAN proposed that paragraph 2 should read as suggested by the representatives of the United Kingdom an Lebanon, with the limitations to follow.

E/CN.4/AC.l/SR.30 Page 7
Mr, PAVLOY (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) proposed that the whole Article should be amended to read: "No person shall be subject to arrest except by order of the court; inviolability of the
son ghould be guaranteed by law; every person arrested must be immediately advised of the charges against Mm; every person -who has been deprived of liberty shall be brought before the court in as short a time as possible for consideration of his case, or he shall be freed; each person has under the present existing law the right to compensation for illegal arrest or deprivation of liberty".
Mr. WILSON (United Kingdom) was in favour1 of enumerating the exceptions.
It was decided to leave further discussion on Article 9 until the USSR draft had been submitted in writing together tilth all the limitations which the United States of America, the United Kingdom,Lebanon and Prance had proposed should be added to the Geneva draft. Article 10
The CHAIRMAN said the United States of America would accept the present text of Article 10, but reserved its right to propose an amendment at a later date.
In reply to a question by the representative of France, Mr. SAMTA CRUZ (Chile) said that the present text had been adopted as a compromise. He had been in favour of the Geneva text but some representatives had thought the wording might cover cases of fraud.
Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) said the drafts were different in substance. "Inability" was stressed in the present text. A person might be able but not willing to fulfil his obligations. There was danger in

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that approach. He reserved his right to reopen the question at a later
Mr. SAWTA CRUZ (Chile) preferred the Geneva draft but reserved his right to bring the matter up again before the Commission,
The representatives of the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics affirmed that all,members of the Committee had the right to reopen discussion before the Commission without having made formal reservations. Article 11
Mr, WILSON (United Kingdom) said he had accepted Article 11 as a statement of the general principles involved, hut did not agree to its being submitted to the Commission in its present form. He moved that as in other cases, the Geneva text should be taken as a basis and submitted with the proposed amendments and.the lists of further'exceptions to be considered.
The CHAIEMAI Submitted the restrictions on movement proposed by the. United States of America,
Mr. ORDOMEAU (France) reserved his right to add two exceptions to paragraph 2 of Article 11. These were listed under the French draft of Article 10 (b),
Mr. SANTA CRUZ (Chile) pointdd out that Article 9 was closely connected with paragraph 1 of Article 11, If the USSR amendment to Article 9 'were adopted, similar wording would have to be adopted for Article 11.
It was agreed to leave further discussion until a decision had been taken on Article 9.
/Article 12

E/CN.4/AC.1/SR.30 Page 9
Article 12
Adopted at first reading. Article 13 (Report of the Sub-Committee, document E/CN.4/AC.1/Rev.l)
Mr. MALIK (Lebanon) proposed that the first part of paragraph 2 (a) of Article 13 should read: "...a public trial, though the press and public may be excluded from some or all portions thereof.'."
The CHAIRMAN said the United States of America would accept this proposal and 'would agree to the whole article being submitted to the Commission, but reserved the right to propose amendments later,
Mr, SANTA CRUZ (Chile) stated that although in the United States of America criminal proceedings began after an investigation had been made by the Attorney-General and data had been,compiled; in countries euch as Chile, oriminal proceedings began from the opening of investigations, and it was therefore necessary to safeguard them at the beginning, An exoeption should be provided in such cases.
Mr. OKDOMEAU (France) agreed with the representative of Chile, who later supported his statement that the interested party should not have the right to waive a public hearing as suggested by the Sub Committee's draftHe'and the representative of the United Kingdom reserved their right to /make a final statement when instructions had been received from their Governments.
The CHAIRMAN said the right of an individual to a public trial or to waive it must be preserved.
Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), stressing the difficulty of not having either the French or Russian texts before him, proposed that Article 13' should state that all persons should be

Page 10
equal lie fore the court; judges should be independent and should he answerable only to courts of law; court trials In eaoh state should be based on democratic grounds; hearings of public trials should be public in all courts unless otherwise provided for by law (in cases involving security or morals, or state security) with the guarantee that the per-son oharged should have the right for his defence. In cases where the person .committed was not conversant with the language in which the case was conducted, he should be given full information regarding the proceedings through an interpreter and should be free to speak in his own national tongue.
The USSR draft would be acceptable to all democratic states and yet would not interfere with their legal processes.
Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) stressed the complexity of the problem
of drafting a text which would be acceptable to States with opposed systems of legal procedures, and agreed with the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics regarding the difficulties created by not having the translations of documents available.
Mr. WIISON (United Kingdom) accepted the Sub-Committee draft, with a reservation about the right to waive a public trial.
As proposed by Mr. SANTA CBUZ (Chile) Article 13 was left in abeyance until the SIBSR proposal had been submitted in writing, and all relative documents and proposals were available. Article 14
Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) pointed out that there was nothing in the text of the Covenant regarding war criminals, and this should be remedied.

E/CN.4/AC.1/SR.30 Page 11
Mr. SANTA CRUZ (Chile) reminded the committee that Article 14 concerned the position of the individual in relation to the lave of the various countries. It had been decided that war criminals should he dealt with in a separate onvention, as that was a separate question and should be regulated by laws not dealt with in the Covenant. A statement to that effect should be included in a separate article.
It was agreed that Article 14 should he accepted as it stood with the deletion of ragraph 2, and that a new Article should he drafted to deal with war criminals. The meeting rose at 5:45 p.m.