Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jochen Abr. Frowein, M.C.L.
Director at the Max-Planck-Institute for Foreign Public Law and International Law
9th September 2002, Heidelberg
Dear Mrs Forouhar,
I apologise that I am only writing back today in reply to your letter from the 11th of July.
Unfortunately I cannot give you the name of an international court that could deal with your inquiry, as an authority of this type does not exist.
If these issues were to occur in Europe, then bringing the complaint before the European Court of Human Rights would be a conceivable matter of course.
Iran has in fact ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights but not the supplementary protocol that enables complaints on an individual basis. A complaint to this committee is also, in this respect, out of the question.
I am sorry that I haven’t been able to offer you any information that could be of more help.
Max-Planck-Institute for Foreign Public Law and International Law
Dr. Christian Walter
21st October 2002, Heidelberg
Dear Mrs Forouhar,
Professor Frowein has asked me to respond to your letter from the 1st of October of this year. It is unfortunately not possible to extend the admissibility criteria for an individual complaint in the way that you requested, according to the supplementary protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It is not possible to submit an individual complaint in compliance with the established procedures without ratifying the supplementary protocol. This also applies to political parties acting as complainants and to complainants with the support of a petition.
Aside from the procedures in accordance with the protocol, it is in fact possible to submit “notifications” to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. This procedure, which is based on the Resolutions of the Economic and Social Councils of the United Nations, and is enclosed with this letter, can be commenced with a notification submitted to the United Nations Centre for Human Rights in Geneva (for the address see FN 3 to the enclosed Resolution 728). The Commission on Human Rights does not have the power to make specific decisions pertaining to the submitted notifications. It can however carry out investigations into the state of affairs that can point to a “pattern of systematic human rights violations”. (Clause 3 of Resolution 1235, enclosed).
It is of course possible to circulate petitions with the aim of exercising international political pressure at any time except in cases of certain legal proceedings.