As we await the publication of the CCF’s annual report from last year, it is worth reviewing the speech given by the Commission’s Chairman, Vitalie Pirlog, at INTERPOL’s 2017 annual meeting as a means of providing continuity in the analysis of the upcoming report.
Mr. Pirlog focused at that time on the changes brought about by the passage of the Statute of the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files, including new time limits for the CCF’s decisions, the change from a single chamber to a dual chamber, and the challenges faced by the Commission in relation to its dealings with National Central Bureaus (“NCBs”).
While the Commission is now tasked with meeting deadlines for its decisions, it also relies on NCBs to respond quickly and succinctly to inquiries related to requests for removal. The speech indicates that while most NCBs respond in an appropriate fashion, some have not.
For example, Mr. Pirlog found it necessary to remind member countries that the organization’s asylum policy was meant to be utilized in accordance with international law and the protections afforded to people with protected status. This reminder came at a time when INTERPOL had already implemented its asylum policy, and was developing the policy under President Meng Hongwei, who sought to exclude Red Notice subjects from the policy’s protections if their countries considered them to be terrorists. The danger with this nuance, of course, was that protected persons could still be subject to persecution with INTERPOL’s assistance if the requesting countries improperly categorized them as terrorists.
In that situation, as with others faced by the Commission, the Commission is obliged to weigh individual rights and the need for legal protection against member countries’ expressed need for law enforcement.
It is reasonable to expect that the next CCF Annual report (which I understand will be released this month) would include an update on the NCBs’ collective response to Mr. Pirlog’s request for heightened recognition of legitimate protective status claims.
As always, questions and comments are welcomed.