Enforced Disappearance Legal Database

Jurisprudence Database


The Jurisprudence Database sets out leading judgments and commentary by international and domestic legal mechanisms in the field of enforced disappearances. It summarises factual and legal findings and identifies common themes and search terms allowing for a comparative cross-jurisdictional analysis of this area of law. Users can search the source bank through a filter-based or key-term search and access text in English, Spanish, Russian and French.

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Guidelines to prevent and address intimidation and reprisals against individuals and groups cooperating with the Committee

The guidelines aim to prevent and address intimidation and reprisals against individuals and groups cooperating with the Committee on Enforced Disappearances. It clarifies the mandate of the Rapporteur on reprisals, including the adoption of protection measures, and the procedure for reporting allegations of intimidation or reprisals.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

April 20, 2021

Country

Universal

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Interim/Urgent Measures

Follow-up report on individual communications – Yrusta v. Argentina (2)

The Committee concluded that the measures taken by the state party do not amount to a satisfactory implementation of the recommendations contained in its Views and reiterated in the follow-up procedure.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

September 25, 2020

Country

Argentina

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute | Guarantees of Non-Repetition

E.L.A. v. France

The Committee clarified that the risk of enforced disappearance at the country of origin/return should be linked to the personal circumstances of the applicant, as well as the general context of enforced disappearance in the respective country. The risk of enforced disappearance following return must be examined by the domestic courts in a comprehensive manner. A mere acknowledgment of the applicant’s arguments and a simple confirmation of the lower court’s findings does not satisfy this requirement.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

September 25, 2020

Country

France

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Refugees and Migrants | Extraterritorial Jurisdiction | Admissibility

Key guidelines on enforced disappearances in the context of COVID-19

The Committee and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances recall that enforced disappearance is prohibited in all circumstances. They developed eight key guidelines to assist Member States to continue to respect their international obligations in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

September 18, 2020

Country

Universal

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Refugees and Migrants | Effective Remedy | Children/Youth

Guiding principles for the search for disappeared persons

The Committee developed 16 guiding principles based on its accumulated expertise. The guiding principles aim to consolidate good practices in searching for disappeared persons. They identify mechanisms and procedures for carrying out states’ obligation to search for disappeared persons. The principles also reaffirm the important role that victims and their relatives play in the search for disappeared persons.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

May 8, 2019

Country

Universal

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Refugees and Migrants | Children/Youth | Indigenous Peoples

Follow-up report on individual communications – Yrusta v. Argentina (1)

The Committee noted unsatisfactory implementation of its recommendations by the state party. As a result, the rights of the applicants of the communication are being persistently and increasingly violated.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

September 15, 2017

Country

Argentina

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute | Guarantees of Non-Repetition

Yrusta v. Argentina

The Committee found that deprivation of liberty of a person without providing information about his fate constitutes a form of concealment of the fate and whereabouts of the concerned person. The placement of a person outside the protection of the law is the consequence of the concealment of the detained person’s whereabouts. Such acts amount to enforced disappearance.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

March 11, 2016

Country

Argentina

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Deprivation of Liberty | Judicial Protection | Refusal to Disclose Fate | Relatives as Victims | Admissibility

Statement on enforced disappearances and military jurisdiction

The Committee reaffirms that cases of enforced disappearance should remain outside of military jurisdiction that could limit the effectiveness of investigations, prosecutions and trials. Such cases should be investigated and prosecuted by or under the control of civil authorities and tried only by ordinary courts.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

February 13, 2015

Country

Universal

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Judicial Protection | Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute | Punishment

Fadel v. Switzerland

The Committee found that the state party had failed to determine whether there were substantial grounds for believing that the victim risked being subjected to torture if he was expelled. The Committee also noted that the victim faced a risk of being arrested and tortured again if returned to his country of origin, where he is regarded as a fugitive, even if the charges against him, the proof of those charges and his conviction in absentia are not known with any certainty. Such risk arises also from widespread acts of impunity for torture and ill-treatment in country’s prisons.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

November 14, 2014

Country

Switzerland

Judicial Body

Committee Against Torture

Extraterritorial Jurisdiction | Burden of Proof | Refugees and Migrants

Statement on the ratione temporis element in the review of reports submitted by States parties under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

The Committee clarifies the scope of ratione temporis element in the review of states reports and individual cases concerning enforced disappearances. Individual cases which commenced before the entry into force of the Convention for the state concerned cannot be examined. The reporting process takes into consideration the current obligations of the state party.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

November 15, 2013

Country

Universal

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Admissibility