Due Process and the Presumption of Innocence in the Interpretation and Enforcement of INTERPOL’s Rules
5 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2017 Last revised: 31 May 2017
Date Written: March 6, 2017
In November 2016, the INTERPOL 85th General Assembly adopted the Statute of the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files. The Commission is responsible for adjudicating requests from individuals seeking access to, correction, or deletion of information about them in the organization’s databases. The newly adopted Statute provides for important reforms in the Commission’s work, including its powers, structure, composition, decision-making process, and independence. Although the Statute is a significant step towards guaranteeing individuals on the INTERPOL wanted list due process, there are still important steps to be made in this direction. The lack in the INTERPOL framework of all guarantees inherent to the modern democratic due process is behind the setbacks the organization has been facing while trying to maintain its neutrality and avoid involvement in politically motivated and other unlawful prosecutions conducted by its member countries. Among the shortcomings is the Commission’s hesitancy to always interpret and enforce INTERPOL’s regulations in favor of individuals rather than governments. The author argues that by failing to interpret the organization's rules in favor of individuals, both INTERPOL and the Commission violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, under its Constitution, INTERPOL must observe.
Keywords: interpol, human rights, red notice, due process, presumption of innocence, extradition
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