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Pritzker Legal Research Center

International Media Law and Related Human Rights

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) entered into force on 23 March 1976. This UN treaty protects civil and political rights of individuals, including freedom of opinion and expression (Art. 19) and right to privacy (Art. 17). 

Commentary on the ICCPR

Scholarly commentaries provide article-by-article analysis of a convention, including citations to relevant cases, general comments, concluding observations, travaux préparatoires (preparatory works), and other documents. 

Human Rights Committee

The Human Rights Committee monitors implementation of the ICCPR by State parties. The website for the Human Rights Committee provides access to general comments, state party reports and concluding observations, cases, and other materials. 

General CommentsThe Human Right Committee publishes general comments that offer interpretations of the provisions in the ICCPR. 

​State Party Reports: State party reports are submitted by state parties to the HRC to describe the efforts they have made or problems they have encountered when implementing the treaty's provisions. 

Concluding Observations: Concluding observations consist of observations and recommendations issued by the Human Rights Committee after consideration of a state party's report. These include recommendations for how a State should take further action to implement the treaty. 

Jurisprudence: The HRC may consider complaints from individuals alleging violations of rights under the ICCPR if the State is a party to the First Optional Protocol. 

Other UN Human Rights Treaties & Treaty Bodies

Other UN human rights treaties also provide protection for the freedom of expression. See Freedom on Expression - International Standards for a list of other universal and regional treaties and standards pertaining to freedom of expression.

Special Rapporteurs