INTERPOL’s CCF (the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files) has made its most recent Annual Report available online, here. In the 2017 Annual Report, which was officially published at the 2018 General Assembly meeting, the CCF covered a variety of topics, from recent statutory changes to the duties of the two chambers.
Among the most interesting topics for an INTERPOL practitioner is the CCF’s treatment of some member countries who have attempted to circumvent the CCF’s rulings on previous cases. In paragraphs 57 and 58 of the report, the Commission recognizes that certain countries do, in fact, violate the spirit and effect of those rulings:
57. Misuse of INTERPOL’s channels: The Commission dealt with cases where the sources of data
have sent a diffusion to INTERPOL members to request the arrest of an individual, whereas a
request for a red notice has previously been refused. It also processed requests which
highlighted the use of the SLTD database where a diffusion or a notice to arrest a person was
considered not to comply with INTERPOL’s rules.
58. These cases raised questions of compliance with INTERPOL’s rules that have been addressed by
the Commission and the General Secretariat. In such cases, the data concerned (if they were
still recorded in INTERPOL’s files when the Commission studied them) are deleted, and the
INTERPOL member countries which received the information are also informed that INTERPOL’s
channels cannot be used in the case concerned.
The good news is that the CCF is acting consistently when it discovers that a member country has improperly utlized a diffusion (which it can circulate itself, without General Secretariat involvement) after a Red Notice has been refused by the General Secretariat.
The bad news is that, in order for these types of violations to be discovered, the unlucky subject of the diffusion often has to discover his or her diffusion status, and this discovery often occurs during travel, and it may lead to detention. Even a brief detention is frightening and disruptive of one’s life.
So the next question is, aside from deleting the diffusion and (again) informing the member country that INTERPOL’s channels cannot be sued in that case, what consequence do these countries face?
As always, comments and questions are welcomed.