Cabal & Pasini v Australia (HRC, 2003)

Violations: ICCPR art 10(1)

Remedy's assessment: Partially remedied

The UN says:

The authors are entitled to an effective remedy of compensation for both authors. The State party is under an obligation to ensure that similar violations of the Covenant do not occur in the future.

HRC (2003)
‘Mexico’s most wanted man’, Carlos Cabal in 2003 (photo: ABC-TV, Foreign Correspondent, 8 July 2003)

‘Mexico’s most wanted man’, Carlos Cabal in 2003 (photo: ABC-TV, Foreign Correspondent, 8 July 2003)

Wealthy Mexican brothers-in-law living in Australia under false identities were subject to arrest warrants in Mexico for major fraud. Arrested in Melbourne in 1998, they were remanded in custody while contesting extradition. They submitted a complaint to the HRC alleging inhuman treatment in Port Phillip Prison, where they were housed not on remand, but in maximum security with convicted prisoners. Only one of a range of complaints was upheld by the HRC, which found that locking the two men in a wire cage with floor area only big enough for a chair constituted a breach of prisoners’ right to humane and dignified treatment. (The Vice-President of the HRC issued an individual opinion finding further violations of article 10.)

Both men were extradited to Mexico before the HRC reached its Final Views, where they appear to have successfully fought the charges against them.

Australia has said it would take steps to ensure ‘a similar situation does not arise again’ – partially remedying the complaint – but does not accept that Messrs Cabal and Pasini are entitled to compensation.

The HRC has deemed Australia’s response unsatisfactory and regards follow-up dialogue as ongoing.

For source details, see Remedy Australia's 2014 Follow-up Report (PDF 1.3Mb).

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