The International Human Rights Framework on the Right of Peaceful Assembly

Niue is not a state party to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 21 of which governs the right of peaceful assembly.* 

The right of peaceful assembly is, though, a fundamental human right that is part of the corpus of customary international law. It is also a general principle of law.See Art. 38(1), 1945 Statute of the International Court of Justice.

There is not yet a regional human rights treaty to which Pacific nations can adhere despite discussions going back decades as to the possibility of establishing a regional mechanism.

* Niue is reportedly bound by human rights treaties to which New Zealand had adhered by 1988, which includes the ICCPR.

The Domestic Legal Framework on the Right of Peaceful Assembly

Constitutional Provisions

The Constitution of Niue does not guarantee freedom of assembly.

National Legislation

There is not believed to be specific legislation governing assembly in Niue.

The Legal Framework on Use of Force During Assemblies

The Use of Force

International Legal Rules

Under international law, the duty on the state and its law enforcement agencies is to facilitate the enjoyment of the right of peaceful assembly. According to the 1990 United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials:

In the dispersal of assemblies that are unlawful but non-violent, law enforcement officials shall avoid the use of force or, where that is not practicable, shall restrict such force to the minimum extent necessary.

All force used by police and other law enforcement agencies must be necessary for a legitimate law enforcement purpose and proportionate to that purpose.

National Legislation

There is no legislation dedicated to regulating the use of force by law enforcement personnel.

The Use of Firearms

International Legal Rules

According to the 1990 United Nations Basic Principles, in the dispersal of violent assemblies, a law enforcement official may only use a firearm against a specific individual where this is necessary to confront an imminent threat of death or serious injury or a grave and proximate threat to life. 

National Legislation

There is no legislation dedicated to regulating the use of firearms by law enforcement personnel.

State Compliance with its Legal Obligations

Views and Concluding Observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies

Niue is not a state party to the ICCPR. It does not go through the Universal Periodic Review under the UN Human Rights Council.

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