Arrest

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Background

An individual has the right not to be arbitrarily arrested or detained. In many countries, an officer must have probable cause to arrest an individuale. Probable cause to arrest exists when, at the time of the arrest, the officer is relying on reasonably trustworthy facts and circumstances sufficient to lead a reasonably prudent person to believe that the acused has committed or is committing a crime.

International Sources

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Article 9 -

  1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.
  2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.
  3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.
  4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.
  5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights

Article 6 -

Every individual shall have the right to liberty and to the security of his person. No one shall be deprived of his freedom except for reasons and conditions previously laid down by law. In particular, no one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained.

American Convention on Human Rights

Article 7 -

1. Every person has the right to personal liberty and security

2. No one shall be deprived of his physical liberty except for the reasons and under the conditions established beforehand by the constitution of the State Party concerned or by a law established pursuant thereto.

European Convention on Human Rights

Article 5

Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.

No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:

(a) the lawful detention of a person after conviction by a competent court;

(b) the lawful arrest or detention of a person for non-compliance with the lawful order of a court or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation prescribed by law;

(c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority of reasonable suspicion of having committed and offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so;

(d) the detention of a minor by lawful order for the purpose of educational supervision or his lawful detention for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority;

(e) the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of the spreading of infectious diseases, of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug addicts, or vagrants;

(f) the lawful arrest or detention of a person to prevent his effecting an unauthorized entry into the country or of a person against whom action is being taken with a view to deportation or extradition.

Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reasons for his arrest and the charge against him.

Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1(c) of this article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.

Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful.

Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the provisions of this article shall have an enforceable right to compensation.

Examples of standards for arrest

Cambodia

Judicial Police officers can arrest a person if they suspect his participation/if he will not provide required information/ if written permission has been received from the prosecutor (art 96 CCCP)

China

An arrest of a crime suspect or a defendant must be approved by a people's procuratorate or decided by a people's court, and shall be executed by a public security organ. (art. 59 CPL)

No citizens may be arrested except with the approval or by decision of a people's procurator or by decision of a people's court, and arrests must be made by a public security organ (art.37 Constitution)

India

The police may arrest a person without a warrant except in non-cognizable offences if it is based on a probable cause. This exists if at the time of the arrest the officer is relying on reasonable facts sufficient to lead him to believe that the person committed or is committing a crime. (Indian Criminal Procedure Code Section 41)

Rwanda

When an offence is punishable by at least an imprisonment of two (2) years or if there exist reasonable grounds to suspect that the accused is likely to escape or if his or her identity is unknown or is doubtful, a Judicial Police Officer can, if it is deemed necessary for the purposes of investigation, arrest and detain him or her in an official remand in a custody which is situated at a police station if there are serious reasons to suspect that he or she committed the offence (Rwanda Criminal Procedure Code Article 37)