Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty

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Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 44/128 of 15 December 1989

Text of the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty

The States Parties to the present Protocol,

Believing that abolition of the death penalty contributes to enhancement of human dignity and progressive development of human rights,

Recalling article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on 10 December 1948, and article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted on 16 December 1966,

Noting that article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights refers to abolition of the death penalty in terms that strongly suggest that abolition is desirable,

Convinced that all measures of abolition of the death penalty should be considered as progress in the enjoyment of the right to life,

Desirous to undertake hereby an international commitment to abolish the death penalty,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

  • 1. No one within the jurisdiction of a State Party to the present Protocol shall be executed.
  • 2. Each State Party shall take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within its jurisdiction.

Article 2

  • 1. No reservation is admissible to the present Protocol, except for 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.
  • 2. The State Party making such a reservation shall at the time of ratification or accession communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations the relevant provisions of its national legislation applicable during wartime.
  • 3. The State Party having made such a reservation shall notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations of any beginning or ending of a state of war applicable to its territory.

Article 3

  • The States Parties to the present Protocol shall include in the reports they submit to the Human Rights Committee, in accordance with article 40 of the Covenant, information on the measures that they have adopted to give effect to the present Protocol.

Article 4

  • With respect to the States Parties to the Covenant that have made a declaration under article 41, 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 shall extend to the provisions of the present Protocol, unless the State Party concerned has made a statement to the contrary at the moment of ratification or accession.

Article 5

  • With respect to the States Parties to the first Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted on 16 December 1966, the competence of the Human Rights Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals subject to its jurisdiction shall extend to the provisions of the present Protocol, unless the State Party concerned has made a statement to the contrary at the moment of ratification or accession.

Article 6

  • 1. The provisions of the present Protocol shall apply as additional provisions to the Covenant.
  • 2. Without prejudice to the possibility of a reservation under article 2 of the present Protocol, the right guaranteed in article 1, paragraph 1, of the present Protocol shall not be subject to any derogation under article 4 of the Covenant.

Article 7

  • 1. The present Protocol is open for signature by any State that has signed the Covenant.
  • 2. The present Protocol is subject to ratification by any State that has ratified the Covenant or acceded to it. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • 3. The present Protocol shall be open to accession by any State that has ratified the Covenant or acceded to it.
  • 4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • 5. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States that have signed the present Protocol or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or accession.

Article 8

  • 1. The present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession.
  • 2. For each State ratifying the present Protocol or acceding to it after the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession, the present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or accession.

Article 9

  • The provisions of the present Protocol shall extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.

Article 10

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to in article 48, paragraph 1, of the Covenant of the following particulars:

  • (a) Reservations, communications and notifications under article 2 of the present Protocol;
  • (b) Statements made under articles 4 or 5 of the present Protocol;
  • (c) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under article 7 of the present Protocol:
  • (d) The date of the entry into force of the present Protocol under article 8 thereof.

Article 11

  • 1. The present Protocol, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
  • 2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Protocol to all States referred to in article 48 of the Covenant.

Status of Signature, Ratification or Accession to the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty

Country Signature Ratification/Accession
Albania - 17 October 2007
Andorra 5 August 2002 22 September 2006
Argentina 20 December 2006 2 September 2008
Australia - 2 October 1990
Austria 8 April 1991 2 March 1993
Azerbaijan - 22 January 1999
Belgium 12 July 1990 08 December 1998
Benin - 5 July 2012
Bosnia and Herzegovina 7 September 2000 16 March 2001
Brazil - 25 September 2009
Bulgaria 11 March 1999 10 August 1999
Canada - 25 November 2005
Cape Verde - 19 May 2000
Chile 15 November 2001 26 September 2008
Colombia - 5 August 1997
Costa Rica 14 February 1990 5 June 1998
Croatia - 12 October 1995
Cyprus - 10 September 1999
Czech Republic - 15 June 2004
Denmark 13 February 1990 24 February 1994
Djibouti - 5 November 2002
Ecuador - 23 February 1993
Estonia - 30 January 2004
Finland 13 February 1990 4 April 1991
France - 2 October 2007
Georgia - 22 March 1999
Germany 13 February 1990 18 August 1992
Greece - 5 May 1997
Guinea Bissau 12 September 2000 -
Honduras 10 May 1990 1 April 2008
Hungary - 24 February 1994
Iceland 30 January 1991 2 April 1991
Ireland - 18 June 1993
Italy 3 February 1990 14 February 1995
Kyrgyzstan - 6 December 2010
Lao People's Democratic Republic 7 December 2000 25 September 2009
Liberia - 16 September 2005
Liechtenstien - 10 December 1998
Lithuania 8 September 2000 27 March 2002
Luxembourg 13 February 1990 12 February 1992
Malta - 29 December 1994
Mexico - 26 September 2007
Monaco - 28 March 2000
Mongolia - 13 March 2012
Montenegro - 23 October 2006
Mozambique - 21 July 1993
Namibia - 28 November 1994
Nepal - 4 March 1998
Netherlands 9 August 1990 26 March 1991
New Zealand 22 February 1990 22 February 1990
Nicaragua 21 February 1990 25 February 2009
Norway 13 February 1990 5 September 1991
Panama - 21 January 1993
Paraguay - 18 August 2003
Philippines 20 September 2006 20 November 2007
Poland 21 March 2000 -
Portugal 13 February 1990 17 October 1990
Republic of Moldova - 20 September 2006
Romania 15 March 1990 27 February 1991
Rwanda - 15 December 2008
San Marino 26 September 2003 17 August 2004
Sao Tome and Principe 6 September 2000 -
Serbia - 6 September 2001
Seychelles - 15 December 1994
Slovakia 22 September 1998 22 June 1999
Slovenia 14 September 1998 22 June 1999
South Africa - 28 August 2002
Spain 23 February 1990 11 April 1991
Sweden 13 February 1990 11 May 1990
Switzerland - 16 June 1994
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - 26 January 1995
Timor Leste - 18 September 2003
Turkey 6 April 2004 2 March 2006
Turkmenistan - 11 January 2000
Ukraine - 25 July 2007
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 31 March 1999 10 December 1999
Uruguay 13 February 1990 21 January 1993
Uzbekistan - 23 December 2008
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 7 June 1990 22 February 1993

See International Law