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STATUS AS AT : 24-04-2014 05:03:02 EDT
CHAPTER IV
HUMAN RIGHTS
12 . Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty
New York, 15 December 1989
Entry into force
:
11 July 1991, in accordance with article 8(1).
Registration :
11 July 1991, No. 14668
Status :
Signatories : 37. Parties : 80
Text :
United Nations,  Treaty Series , vol. 1642, p. 414.
Note :
The said Protocol, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, was adopted by resolution 44/1281 of 15 December 1989 at the Forty-fourth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations and is open for signature at the United Nations Headquarters in New York by all States having signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Participant
Signature
Ratification, Accession(a), Succession(d)
Albania
  17 Oct 2007 a
Andorra
 5 Aug 2002
22 Sep 2006
Angola
24 Sep 2013
 
Argentina
20 Dec 2006
 2 Sep 2008
Australia
   2 Oct 1990 a
Austria
 8 Apr 1991
 2 Mar 1993
Azerbaijan
  22 Jan 1999 a
Belgium
12 Jul 1990
 8 Dec 1998
Benin
   5 Jul 2012 a
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
  12 Jul 2013 a
Bosnia and Herzegovina
 7 Sep 2000
16 Mar 2001
Brazil
  25 Sep 2009 a
Bulgaria
11 Mar 1999
10 Aug 1999
Cabo Verde
  19 May 2000 a
Canada
  25 Nov 2005 a
Chile
15 Nov 2001
26 Sep 2008
Colombia
   5 Aug 1997 a
Costa Rica
14 Feb 1990
 5 Jun 1998
Croatia
  12 Oct 1995 a
Cyprus 2
  10 Sep 1999 a
Czech Republic
  15 Jun 2004 a
Denmark
13 Feb 1990
24 Feb 1994
Djibouti
   5 Nov 2002 a
Ecuador
  23 Feb 1993 a
El Salvador
   8 Apr 2014 a
Estonia
  30 Jan 2004 a
Finland
13 Feb 1990
 4 Apr 1991
France
   2 Oct 2007 a
Gabon
   2 Apr 2014 a
Georgia
  22 Mar 1999 a
Germany 3
13 Feb 1990
18 Aug 1992
Greece
   5 May 1997 a
Guinea-Bissau
12 Sep 2000
24 Sep 2013
Honduras
10 May 1990
 1 Apr 2008
Hungary
  24 Feb 1994 a
Iceland
30 Jan 1991
 2 Apr 1991
Ireland
  18 Jun 1993 a
Italy
13 Feb 1990
14 Feb 1995
Kyrgyzstan
   6 Dec 2010 a
Latvia
  19 Apr 2013 a
Liberia
  16 Sep 2005 a
Liechtenstein
  10 Dec 1998 a
Lithuania
 8 Sep 2000
27 Mar 2002
Luxembourg
13 Feb 1990
12 Feb 1992
Madagascar
24 Sep 2012
 
Malta 4
  29 Dec 1994 a
Mexico
  26 Sep 2007 a
Monaco
  28 Mar 2000 a
Mongolia
  13 Mar 2012 a
Montenegro 5
  23 Oct 2006 d
Mozambique
  21 Jul 1993 a
Namibia
  28 Nov 1994 a
Nepal
   4 Mar 1998 a
Netherlands 6
 9 Aug 1990
26 Mar 1991
New Zealand 7
22 Feb 1990
22 Feb 1990
Nicaragua
21 Feb 1990
25 Feb 2009
Norway
13 Feb 1990
 5 Sep 1991
Panama
  21 Jan 1993 a
Paraguay
  18 Aug 2003 a
Philippines
20 Sep 2006
20 Nov 2007
Poland
21 Mar 2000
 
Portugal
13 Feb 1990
17 Oct 1990
Republic of Moldova
  20 Sep 2006 a
Romania
15 Mar 1990
27 Feb 1991
Rwanda
  15 Dec 2008 a
San Marino
26 Sep 2003
17 Aug 2004
Sao Tome and Principe
 6 Sep 2000
 
Serbia
   6 Sep 2001 a
Seychelles
  15 Dec 1994 a
Slovakia
22 Sep 1998
22 Jun 1999
Slovenia
14 Sep 1993
10 Mar 1994
South Africa
  28 Aug 2002 a
Spain 8
23 Feb 1990
11 Apr 1991
Sweden
13 Feb 1990
11 May 1990
Switzerland
  16 Jun 1994 a
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  26 Jan 1995 a
Timor-Leste
  18 Sep 2003 a
Turkey
 6 Apr 2004
 2 Mar 2006
Turkmenistan
  11 Jan 2000 a
Ukraine
  25 Jul 2007 a
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
31 Mar 1999
10 Dec 1999
Uruguay
13 Feb 1990
21 Jan 1993
Uzbekistan
  23 Dec 2008 a
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
 7 Jun 1990
22 Feb 1993
Declarations and Reservations
(Unless otherwise indicated, the declarations and reservations were made
upon ratification, accession or succession.)
Azerbaijan 9

Reservation:

28 September 2000


       “It is provided for the application of the death penalty in time of war pursuant to a conviction of a person for a most serious crime of a military nature committed during wartime.”
Brazil

Reservation:
       ... with an express reservation to article 2.

Chile
       Reservation:
       The State of Chile formulates the reservation authorised under article 2, paragraph 1, of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, and may in consequence apply the death penalty in time of war pursuant to a conviction for a most serious crime of a military nature committed during wartime.
Cyprus 2

El Salvador

Reservation:
       The Government of the Republic of El Salvador accedes to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty with an express reservation permitted to States under article 2 of the Protocol, which consists on the application of the death penalty in accordance with article 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of El Salvador, which reads as follows: ‘The death penalty may be imposed only in the cases provided by the military laws during an international state of war’.

Greece

Reservation:
       Subject to article 2 for the application of the death penalty in time of war pursuant to a conviction for a most serious crime of a military nature committed during wartime.

Guinea-Bissau

Declaration
       Hereby declare that the declaration the Government has made in accordance with Article 41 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to recognize the competence of the Human Rights Committee to receive and consider communications when a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations do not extend to the provisions of the Second Optional Protocol, as provided in Article 4 thereof.
       Also, declare that the competence that the Government of Guinea-Bissau recognizes for the Human Rights Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals subject to its jurisdiction does not extend to the provisions of the Second Optional Protocol, in accordance with the option provided in Article 5 thereof.

Malta 4

Republic of Moldova

Declaration:
       "Until the full re-establishment of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, the provisions of the Convention shall be applied only on the territory controlled effectively by the authorities of the Republic of Moldova. "

Spain 8

Objections
(Unless otherwise indicated, the objections were made upon
ratification, accession or succession.)
Finland

27 September 2010

With regard to the reservation made by Brazil upon accession:

       “The Government of Finland welcomes the accession of Brazil to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and has taken note of the reservation made by Brazil to Article 2 thereof upon accession.
       The Government of Finland recalls that it is the object and purpose of the Second Optional Protocol to abolish the death penalty in all circumstances and reservations are, as a main rule, not admissible.  This object of aiming at the complete abolition of the death penalty enjoys the full support of Finland.  However, the Government observes that, in the light of the wording of Article 2(1), a reservation to the Protocol is allowed to the extent it concerns the application of the death penalty in time of war pursuant to a conviction for a most serious crime of a military nature committed during wartime.  The acceptability of such a reservation requires that the State Party making the reservation communicates, at the time of ratification or accession, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations the relevant provisions of its national legislation applicable during wartime.
       Accordingly, the Government of Finland would find the reservation made by Brazil acceptable, provided it meets the requirements set out in Article 2(1) and (2).  According to information available to the Government, the applicable provisions of the national legislation of Brazil were not communicated to the Secretary-General at the time of accession.  Therefore, the Government of Finland objects to the reservation.  Should, to the contrary, Brazil have communicated the provisions to the Secretary-General pursuant to Article 2(2), this objection may be considered null and void.
       This objection shall not preclude the entry into force of the Protocol between Brazil and Finland.  The Protocol will thus become operative between the two states without Brazil benefiting from its reservation."
End Note
1. Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 49 (A/44/49) , p. 206.
2.On 20 June 2003, the Government of Cyprus informed the Secretary-General that it had decided to withdraw its reservation made upon accession to the Optional Protocol. The reservation reads as follows:

“The Republic of Cyprus in accordance with article 2.1 of the [...] Protocol reserves the right to apply the Death Penalty in time of war pursuant to a conviction of a most serious crime of a military nature committed during wartime.”

3.The German Democratic Republic signed and ratified the Protocol on 7 March 1990 and 16 August 1990, respectively. See also note 2 under “Germany” in the “Historical Information” section in the front matter of this volume.
4.In a communication received on 15 June 2000, the Government of Malta informed the Secretary-General that it had decided to withdraw its reservation made upon accession. For the text of the reservation, see United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1844, p. 318
5.See note 1 under "Montenegro" in the "Historical Information" section in the front matter of this volume.
6.For the Kingdom in Europe, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. See also note 2 under “Netherlands” regarding Netherlands Antilles in the “Historical Information” section in the front matter of this volume.
7.See also note 1 under “New Zealand” regarding Tokelau in the “Historical Information” section in the front matter of this volume.
8.On 13 January 1998, the Government of Spain notified the Secretary-General that it had decided to withdraw its reservation made upon ratification. The reservation reads as follows:

Pursuant to article 2, Spain reserves the right to apply the death penalty in the exceptional and extremely serious cases provided for in Fundamental Act No. 13/1985 of 9 December 1985 regulating the Military Criminal Code, in wartime as defined in article 25 of that Act.

9.The reservation made upon accession read as follows:

"The Republic of Azerbaijan, adopting the [said Protocol], in exceptional cases, adopting the special law, allows the application of death penalty for the grave crimes, committed during the war or in condition of the threat of war."

With regard to the reservation made by Azerbaijain upon accession, the Secretary-General received communications from the following States on the dates indicated hereinafter:

France (8 february 2000):

The Government of the French Republic has taken note of the reservation made by Azerbaijan to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, which was adopted on 15 December 1989.  This reservation, in allowing the application of the death penalty for grave crimes committed during war or ‘in condition of the threat of war', exceeds the scope of the reservations permitted under article 2, paragraph 1, of the Protocol.  Under this article, only a reservation made ‘at the time of ratification or accession that provides for the application of the death penalty in time of war pursuant to a conviction for a most serious crime of a military nature committed during wartime'  is admissible. Consequently, the Government of the French Republic expresses its objection to this reservation, without prejudice to the entry into force of the Protocol between Azerbaijan and France.

Finland (17 March 2000):

"The Government of Finland notes that, according to Article 2 of the Second Optional Protocol, a reservation other than the kind referred to in the same Article is not acceptable. The reservation made by the Government of Azerbaijan is partly in contradiction with Article 2 as it does not limit theapplication of death penalty to the most serious crimes of a military nature committed during the time of war.

The Government of Finland therefore objects to the reservation made by the Government of Azerbaijan to the said Protocol.

This objection does not preclude the entry into force of the Second Optional Protocol between Azerbaijan and Finland.  The Optional Protocol will thus become operative between the two states without Azerbaijan benefitting from the reservation."

GermanyMarch 2000):

"The reservation allows the application of the death penalty for grave crimes committed during war ‘or in condition of the threat of war’.  Thus the reservation is partly in contradiction of article 2 of the Protocol since it does not limit the application of the death penalty to the most serious crimes of a military nature committed during the time of war.

The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany therefore objects to the reservation by the Government of Azerbaijan.  This objection does not preclude the entry into force of the Protocol between Azerbaijan and Germany."

Sweden (27 April 2000):

“The Government of Sweden recalls that reservations other than the kind referred to in Article 2 of the Protocol are not permitted.  The reservation made by the Government of Azerbaijan goes beyond the limit of Article 2 of the Protocol, as it does not limit the application of the death penalty to the most serious crimes of a military nature committed during the time of war.

The Government of Sweden therefore objects to the aforesaid reservation made by the Government of Azerbaijan to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

This shall not preclude the entry into force of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Kingdom of Sweden, without Azerbaijan benefiting from the reservation."

Netherlands (17 July 2000)

“ The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands notes that, according to Article 2 of the Second Optional Protocol, a reservation other than the kind referred to in the same Article is not acceptable. The reservation made by the Government of Azerbaijan is in contradiction with Article 2 as it does not limit the application of death penalty to the most serious crimes of a military nature committed during the time of war.

The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands therefore objehe aforesaid reservation made by the Government of Azerbaijan.

This objection shall not preclude the entry into force of the Convention between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Azerbaijan."

Subsequently, on 28 September 2000, the Government of Azerbaijan communicated to the Secretary-General a modification to its reservation made upon accession. Within a period of 12 months from the date of its circulation, i.e. on 5 October 2000, none of the Contracting States to the Protocol notified the Secretary-General of an objection. Consequently, the modified reservation was deemed to have been accepted for deposit upon the expiration of the 12 month period, i.e., on 5 October 2001.