What is the UN Secretariat's position regarding the use of the death penalty in international tribunals?
Last Updated: Nov 12, 2018
In 2007, at the request of the Chief de Cabinet of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, the UN Office of Legal Affairs prepared an opinion regarding the use of the death penalty in international tribunals.
The title and head note of the opinion are included below, which summarizes the stance taken by the UN Secretariat:
8 (a): Note to the Chef de Cabinet, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, on the death penalty under international law and the position of the United Nations Secretariat
Question of death penalty under international law—Restrictions and/or prohibition applies to parties of certain regional and universal conventions—Position of the United Nations Secretariat that United Nations-based Tribunals shall not be empowered to impose the death penalty—The United Nations Secretariat has refused to lend its assistance to courts and tribunals empowered to impose the death penalty.
The full text of the note is available in the 2007 volume of the United Nations Juridical Yearbook, which can be found on the UN Juridical Yearbook website and in the print volume (ST/LEG/SER.C/45). The pdf of Chapter 6 of that volume containing the opinion on page 475 is included below, along with a link to the website in general, where you can find all volumes of the United Nations Juridical Yearbook dating back to 1962.
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