United Nations

A/HRC/RES/53/4

General Assembly

Distr.: General

18 July 2023

Original: English

Human Rights Council

Fift y- third session

19 June–14 July 2023

Agenda item 3

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 12 July 2023

5 3 / 4. Mandate of Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

The Human Rights Council,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of person, and the relevant provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other relevant human rights conventions,

Having regard to the legal framework of the mandate of Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, including the provisions contained in Commission on Human Rights resolution 1992/72 of 5 March 1992 and General Assembly resolution 47/136 of 18 December 1992,

Welcoming the universal ratification of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, which alongside human rights law provide an important framework of accountability in relation to extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions,

Bearing in mind paragraph 6 of General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006,

Recalling Human Rights Council resolutions 5/1, on institution-building of the Council, and 5/2, on the Code of Conduct for Special Procedure Mandate Holders of the Human Rights Council, of 18 June 2007, and stressing that the mandate holder shall act in accordance with those resolutions and the annexes thereto,

Mindful of all relevant General Assembly, Human Rights Council and Commission on Human Rights resolutions on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in particular Commission resolution 2004/37 of 19 April 2004, Council resolutions 8/3 of 18 June 2008, 17/5 of 16 June 2011, 26/12 of 26 June 2014 and 35/15 of 22 June 2017, and Assembly resolutions 61/173 of 19 December 2006, 65/208 of 21 December 2010, 67/168 of 20 December 2012, 69/182 of 18 December 2014, 71/198 of 19 December 2016 and 73/172 of 17 December 2018, 75/189 of 16 December 2020 and 77/218 of 15 December 2022,

Acknowledging that extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions are crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,

Convinced of the need for both effective action and remedies for victims and their families in order to prevent, combat and eliminate the abhorrent practice of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, which represent a flagrant violation of the inherent right to life,

Dismayed that, in a number of countries, impunity, the negation of justice, continues to prevail and often remains the main cause of the continued occurrence of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions,

1.Strongly condemns once again all extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in all their forms, that continue to take place throughout the world;

2.Acknowledges the importance of relevant special procedures of the Human Rights Council, in particular the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in their key role as early warning mechanisms in preventing the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and encourages the relevant special procedures, within their mandates, to cooperate towards this end;

3.Demands that all States ensure that the practice of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions is brought to an end and that they take effective action to prevent, combat and eliminate the phenomenon in all its forms;

4.Reiterates the obligation of all States to conduct prompt, effective, thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigations into all suspected cases of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, exercising due diligence, in line with international standards and forensic best practices, and in this regard takes note of the Revised United Nations Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extralegal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, to identify and to bring to justice those responsible, while ensuring the right of every person to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law, to grant adequate, effective and prompt remedies, including reparation to victims or their families and to adopt all necessary measures, including legal and judicial measures, in order to bring an end to impunity and to prevent the recurrence of such executions;

5.Welcomes the work of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and takes note with appreciation of the thematic reports presented by the mandate holder to the Human Rights Council on medico-legal death investigations and deaths in prisons, and invites States to give due consideration to the conclusions and recommendations given therein;

6.Commends the important role that the Special Rapporteur plays towards eliminating extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and encourages the Special Rapporteur to continue, within the framework of the mandate, to collect information from all concerned, to respond effectively to information that comes before him or her, to follow up on communications and country visits and to seek the views and comments of Governments and to reflect them, as appropriate, in the mandate holder’s reports, and to identify, exchange and promote best practices and offer advice on measures to prevent and investigate extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions;

7.Requests the Special Rapporteur, in carrying out the mandate:

(a)To continue to examine situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in all circumstances and for whatever reason, and to submit the findings on an annual basis, together with conclusions and recommendations, to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly, and to draw the attention of the Council to serious situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions that warrant immediate attention or where early action might prevent further deterioration;

(b)To continue to draw the attention of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to serious situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions that warrant immediate attention or where early action might prevent further deterioration;

(c)To respond effectively to information that comes before him or her, in particular when an extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution is imminent or threatened or when such an execution has occurred;

(d)To enhance further the dialogue with Governments, and to follow up on recommendations made in reports after visits to particular countries;

(e)To continue to monitor the implementation of existing international standards on safeguards and restrictions relating to the imposition of capital punishment, bearing in mind the comments made by the Human Rights Committee in its interpretation of article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Second Optional Protocol thereto;

(f)To apply a gender perspective;

8.Urges States:

(a)To cooperate with and assist the Special Rapporteur in the performance of his or her tasks, to supply all necessary information requested by him or her and to react appropriately and expeditiously to his or her urgent appeals, and those Governments that have not yet responded to communications transmitted to them by the Special Rapporteur to do so without further delay;

(b)To give serious consideration to responding favourably to the Special Rapporteur’s requests to visit their countries;

(c)To ensure appropriate follow-up to the recommendations and conclusions of the Special Rapporteur, including by providing information to the Special Rapporteur on the actions taken on those recommendations;

9.Welcomes the cooperation established between the Special Rapporteur and other United Nations mechanisms and procedures in the field of human rights, and encourages the Special Rapporteur to continue efforts in that regard;

10.Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Special Rapporteur with adequate human, financial and material resources in order to enable him or her to carry out the mandate effectively, including through country visits;

11.Decides to extend the mandate of Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for three years;

12.Also decides to continue to consider this matter in conformity with its programme of work.

34 th meeting 12 July 2023

[Adopted without a vote.]