U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/92/D/1745/2007


Communication No. 1745/2007

1 April 2008


human rights committee

  Ninety-second session  
  17 March – 4 April 2008  

José Luis Mazón Costa






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CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Rafael Rivas Posada (Colombia)

VICE-CHAIRPERSONS: Mr. Ahmed Tawfik Khalil (Egypt), Ms. Elisabeth Palm (Sweden), Mr. Ivan Shearer (Australia)

RAPPORTEUR: Mr. Abdelfattah Amor (Tunisia)

MEMBERS: Mr. Prafullachandra Natwarlal Bhagwati (India), Ms. Christine Chanet (France), Mr. Maurice Glele Ahanhanzo (Benin), Mr. Yuji Iwasawa (Japan), Mr. Edwin Johnson Lopez (Ecuador), Mr. Walter Kalin (Switzerland), Mr. Rajsoomer Lallah (Mauritius), Ms. Zonke Zanele Majodina (South Africa), Ms. Iulia Antoanella Motoc (Romania), Mr. Michael O’Flaherty (Ireland), Sir Nigel Rodley (United Kingdom), Mr. Jose Luis Sanchez-Cerro (Peru), Ms. Ruth Wedgwood (United States)

PermaLink: http://www.worldcourts.com/hrc/eng/decisions/2008.04.01_Mazon_Costa_v_Spain.htm
Citation: Mazon Costa v. Spain, Comm. 1745/2007, U.N. Doc. A/63/40, Vol. II, at 500 (HRC 2008)

Report of the Human Rights Committee, U.N. GAOR, 63rd Sess., Supp. No. 40, U.N. Doc. A/63/40, Vol. II, Annex VI, sect. Y, at 500 (Oct.1, 2008)

  The Human Rights Committee, established under article 28 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

Meeting on 1 April 2008,

Adopts the following:


1. The author of the communication, dated 16 November 2006, is José Luis Mazón Costa, a Spanish citizen born in 1948. He claims to be a victim of a violation by Spain of articles 2, paragraph 3; 25; and 26, read together with 14 of the Covenant. The Optional Protocol entered into force for Spain on 25 April 1985. He is not represented.


2.1 The author claims to be a victim of a violation of article 25, because the Spanish monarchy is not subject to free and public elections. As a Spanish citizen, his right to vote and to be elected King of Spain is therefore violated. He contends that the monarchy was institutionalized by former dictator Francisco Franco y Bahamonde in 1936, when he came to power as a result of a military coup d'état. He notes that, unlike other countries, Spain has not made any reservations to article 25 of the Covenant.

2.2 He claims that article 2, paragraph 3, is also violated because there is no effective remedy against this violation.

2.3 Finally, he contends that the recognition in the Spanish Constitution of the inviolability of the monarch grants the king an unacceptable privilege and violates article 26, read together with article 14.


3.1 Pursuant to rule 93 of its rules of procedure, before considering any claim contained in a complaint, the Human Rights Committee must determine whether it is admissible under the Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

3.2 The Committee recalls that the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs directly or through freely chosen representatives referred to in article 25, paragraph (a), of the Covenant relates to the exercise of political power. [FN1] However, this article does not impose a specific political model or structure. The Committee notes, in particular, that a constitutional monarchy based on separation of powers is not in itself contrary to article 25 of the Covenant. While article 25, paragraph (a), alludes to the election of representatives, paragraph (b) of the same provision, while guaranteeing the right to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections, does not grant a right to elect a head of State or to be elected to such position. Therefore, the Committee considers that the author's complaint is incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the Covenant and declares it inadmissible under article 3 of the Optional Protocol. The same is true for the author's allegations under article 2, paragraph 3, of the Covenant. The Committee recalls that the rights referred to in this provision are accessory in nature and can be invoked only in conjunction with another provision of the Covenant. [FN2]

[FN1]General comment No. 25 on article 25 (Participation in public affairs and the right to vote), para. 5.
[FN2] Vid, among others, C.E.A. v. Finland (communication No. 316/1988), decision of 10 July 1991, para. 6.2; Rogerson v. Australia (communication No. 802/1998), Views of 3 April 2002; and Sastre Rodríguez et al v. Spain (communication No. 1213/2003), decision of 28 March 2007, para. 6.6.

3.3 As regards the claim that the inviolability of the monarch grants the king an unacceptable privilege and violates article 26, read together with article 14 of the Covenant, the Committee considers that the author has not shown that he is a victim of the alleged violation in accordance with article 1 of the Optional Protocol.

3.4 The Human Rights Committee therefore decides:

(a) That the communication is inadmissible under articles 1 and 3 of the Optional Protocol;

(b) That the decision be transmitted to the State party and to the author.

[Adopted in English, French and Spanish, the Spanish text being the original version. Subsequently to be issued also in Arabic, Chinese and Russian as part of the Committee's annual report to the General Assembly.]

Made public by decision of the Human Rights Committee.





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