Global Justice Clinic Submits “List of Suggestions” to UN Regarding US Compliance to International Human Rights Law
January 8, 2013

In December 2012, the Global Justice Clinic submitted a “Suggested List of Issues to Country Report Task Force on the United States.” This is a submission to the UN reviewing US compliance to international human rights law. Additional documents submitted to this committee and updates can be seen here.

In June 2012, the GJC co-published the report “Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in Response to Occupy Wall Street,” the first in a series by the Protest and Assembly Rights Project, a national consortium of law school clinics addressing the United States response to Occupy Wall Street. In their 132-page report, the experts catalog 130 specific alleged incidents of excessive police force, and hundreds of additional violations, including unjustified arrests, abuse of journalists, unlawful closure of sidewalks and parks to protesters, and pervasive surveillance of peaceful activists.

This submission expresses concerns about US compliance with its expression and assembly rights obligations in the context of the response to Occupy Wall Street. The previously released report called for a response, however, to date, the U.S. has issued no public response, and has not acted upon these necessary recommendations.

In the Suggested List of Issues, the GJC additionally recommends:

1. The U.S. government should ensure that protest policing policies are made public and that policies promote the protest rights secured by international human rights law.  Federal authorities in the U.S. should consider preparing model protest policing guidelines, and disseminate such guidelines to local authorities.

2. U.S. authorities at all levels should ensure that they fulfill their transparency obligations, including by promptly and fully responding to freedom of information requests about authorities’ responses to the Occupy Wall Street protests.

3. The U.S. should review whether city and state authorities have adequately investigated allegations of protest rights violations, and whether they provided an effective remedy for victims of abuse, particularly in New York City. If local authorities have failed to do so, the federal government, especially the Department of Justice, should exercise its authority to investigate allegations of official misconduct.


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