3 November 1993


Communication No. 524/1992; U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/49/D/524/1992


human rights committee

  Fourty-Ninth Session  
  18 October 5 November 1993  

E. C. W.






  Return Home
BEFORE: CHAIRMAN: Mr. Nisuke Ando (Japan)
VICE-CHAIRMEN: Mr. Vojin Dimitrijevic (Yugoslavia), Mr. Omran El Shafei (Egypt), Mr. Bertill Wennergren (Sweden)
RAPPORTEUR: Mr. Francisco Jose Aguilar Urbina (Costa Rica)
MEMBERS: Mr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli (Venezuela), Miss Christine Chanet (France), Ms. Elizabeth Evatt (Australia), Mr. Janos Fodor (Hungary), Mr. Laurel B. Francis (Jamaica), Mr. Kurt Herndl (Austria), Mrs. Rosalyn Higgins (United Kingdom), Mr. Rajsoomer Lallah (Mauritius), Mr. Andreas V. Mavrommatis (Cyprus), Mr. Birame Ndiaye (Senegal), Mr. Fausto Pocar (Italy), Mr. Julio Prado Vallejo (Ecuador), Mr. Waleed Sadi (Jordan)
At the forty-ninth session (1273rd meeting), held on 25 October 1993, the Chairperson informed the Committee of the death of one of its members, Mr. Janos Fodor (Hungary).

All the members attended the forty-ninth session.

PermaLink: http://www.worldcourts.com/hrc/eng/decisions/1993.11.03_ECW_v_Netherlands.htm
Citation: E. C. W. v. Neth., Comm. 524/1992, U.N. Doc. A/49/40, Vol. II, at 346 (HRC 1993)
Publications: Report of the Human Rights Committee, U.N. GAOR, 49th Sess., Supp. No. 40, U.N. Doc. A/49/40, Part II, Annex X, sect. V, at 346 (Sep.21, 1994)

1. The author of the communication (dated 22 October 1992) is E.C.W., a medical doctor, residing in The Hague, the Netherlands. He claims to be a victim of a violation of articles 6 and 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. He is represented by counsel.

The facts as submitted by the author:

2.1 On 1 June and again on 6 July 1987, the author participated in a sit-down demonstration on a road leading to the Woensdrecht military base, to protest the preparation for the deployment of cruise missiles on that base. On both occasions, the author was arrested and charged with the offence of obstructing the free flow of traffic on a public road. On 11 February and again on 7 April 1988, the Bergen op Zoom Magistrate's Court (Kantonrechter) found him guilty as charged; he was fined f 51,- and f 120,- respectively.

2.2 The author appealed the judgments; on 17 October 1988, the Breda Court (Arrondissementsrechtbank) rejected the appeals against conviction, but decided not to impose a penalty. The author then appealed to the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad), arguing that his convictions should be quashed, since he had acted out of conscience and under necessity. The Supreme Court, on 30 January 1990, rejected the appeals, stating that the absence of legal means to protest the deployment of the cruise missiles had not been shown, and that the Breda Court therefore had lawfully rejected the author's appeal on the ground of necessity.

The complaint:

3. The author claims that he had no choice but to protest by all possible means against the deployment of cruise missiles on the Woensdrecht base. He argues that the possession of nuclear weapons and the preparation for the use of nuclear weapons violates public international law and amounts to a crime against peace and a conspiracy to commit genocide. In this context, he submits that the Dutch military strategy violates not only international norms of humanitarian law, but also articles 6 and 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Issues and proceedings before the Committee:

4.1 Before considering any claim contained in a communication, the Human Rights Committee must, in accordance with rule 87 of its rules of procedure, decide whether or not it is admissible under the Optional Protocol to the Covenant.

4.2 The Committee notes that the author claims that, because the Dutch military strategy allegedly violates articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant, he should not have been convicted for violating the law while protesting the deployment of cruise missiles. In this context, the Committee refers to its jurisprudence in communication No. 429/1990 FN1, where it observed that the procedure laid down in the Optional Protocol was not designed for conducting public debate over matters of public policy, such as support for disarmament and issues concerning nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[FN1] E.W. v. the Netherlands , declared inadmissible on 8 April 1993.

4.3 Moreover, before the Committee can examine a communication, the author must substantiate, for purposes of admissibility, his claims that his rights have been violated. In the present case, the Committee considers that the author's conviction for obstructing the free flow of traffic on a public road, cannot be seen as raising issues under articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant. The communication is therefore inadmissible under article 2 of the Optional Protocol.

5. The Human Rights Committee therefore decides:

(a) that the communication is inadmissible;

(b) that this decision shall be communicated to the author and to his counsel, and for information, to the State party.






home | terms & conditions | copyright | about


Copyright 1999-2011 WorldCourts. All rights reserved.