Seerattan v. Trinidad and Tobago,
Communication No. 434/1990, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/55/D/434/1990 (1995).

The Human Rights Committee, established under article 28 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

Meeting on 26 October 1995,

Having concluded its consideration of communication No. 434/1990, submitted to the Human Rights Committee by Mr. Lal Seerattan under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

Having taken into account all written information made available to it by the author of the communication, his counsel and the State party,

Adopts its Views under article 5, paragraph 4, of the Optional Protocol.

1. The author of the communication is Lal Seerattan, a Trinidadian citizen currently detained at the State Prison in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. He claims to be a victim of violations by Trinidad and Tobago of article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. He is represented by counsel.

The facts as presented by the author:

The complaint:

The State party's observations on admissibility:

The Committee's admissibility decision:

Further information received from the State party:

Issues and proceedings before the Committee:


(1) Privy Council Appeal No. 10 of 1993; judgement delivered on 2 November 1993.

(2) The author was represented by the same attorney at all stages of the judicial proceedings against him, i.e. preliminary hearing, trial and appeal to the Court of Appeal.

(3) It appears from the Notes of Evidence of the trial that the photographer had left the country and that the author's attorney made an application to visit the locus in quo. The prosecution objected because the author's house had burned down after the incident. The application was then withdrawn.

(4) It appears from the written judgement of the Court of Appeal that the attorney admitted before the Court of Appeal that, having examined the evidence in the case as well as the judge's summing-up to the jury, he could find no ground to argue on his client's behalf. The Court of Appeal agreed with the attorney, but stated that: "for the record we should deal briefly with the facts of the case".

[Adopted in English, French and Spanish, the English text being the original version. Subsequently to be issued also in Arabic, Chinese and Russian as part of the Committee's annual report to the General Assembly.]